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Improve customer experience with Front

World-class customer communication starts with well-organized internal processes. If your inbox is a mess, or your messages are scattered amongst people, customers will feel the chaos through longer response times, less thorough responses, or an impersonal experience.

These 5 features — signatures, tags, SLAs, rules, and analytics — are proven ways to create a seamless system for your team to manage customer messages.

Personalization at scale

When your customer receives a ticket number rather than a reply, they feel like one of millions rather than one in a million — no matter what follows. Front has multiple ways for you to manage messages so your team doesn’t get underwater, and all your customers still feel like VIPs. Here’s a couple ways to give them all the white glove experience they deserve:

  • Create multiple signatures to help create a personal, and credible sign-off that shows there’s a human on the other end rather than a robot. Adding multiple, unique signatures to your team’s toolkit allows for personalization that scales. 

  • Create message templates for your team to use. Think of these as saved message templates for your most common responses to customers. When you save a message as a message template, anyone on your team can use it in a single click, and spend their time personalizing it rather than typing out a common reply. 

canned response gif

Organize messages with tags

Team tags are ways to categorize and prioritize messages. They’re similar to folders, but aren’t intended to house messages that eventually get forgotten (we see you, ‘save for later’ folder ). Rather, we like to create tags that are correlated with an action, like the following:

  • VIP 👑 – for your largest or biggest customers who require immediate attention

  • Urgent 🔥 – to escalate messages that demand immediate attention

  • Feedback 💙 – a place to gather and respond to both positive and negative customer feedback

When a message is in a team inbox, anyone can add a tag. In an ideal world, all messages in your team inbox are either assigned or given a tag so that your team can focus and manage their time better. 

Route messages to the right person with assignments

Assignments give every message a clear owner so they can be handled quickly and with continuity. Rather than letting messages sit in a team inbox — and fall behind as new ones come in — assign each message to the person best fit to handle it, and rest assured that it’ll be taken care of. You can even automatically assign messages to people and make sure loads are balanced with rules — which is conveniently coming up next in this guide! 

assignments gif

Rules prioritize messages for you 

Rules automate the administrative task of routing messages, looping relevant people in, or responding to FAQs. They follow a “When _____, if _____, then _____.” For example: 

When: there’s an inbound message
If: the inbox is [inbox name] and from an email address that contains [@domainname.com]
Then: Add tag [select tag]

You can customize rules in a variety of ways to fit your team’s needs:

  • Time-based rules – Like SLAs, or after-hours rules that automatically send a message template to let your customers know you’ll get back to them first thing in the AM

  • Routing rules – Routing messages from a specific customer, or that include a specific keyword, to the correct tag or assignee

  • Archiving rules – Archiving spam, document sharing email updates, or project management tool updates

  • Tagging rules – Tagging messages that include a specific keyword or are from a VIP customer to an urgent tag

  • After hours rules – Sending a message template to messages that come in after hours 

Dream big here – there are countless rules to create that help your team save time. 

Create SLAs to improve response times 

A Service Level Agreement (SLA) is a goal or agreed upon amount of time for businesses to respond or resolve client messages. With Front’s SLAs, you can ensure that goals are met and no customer gets left behind. Setup is guided and easy, and there are some key features that help prevent breaches before they happen:

  • Customize your escalation path by sending messages that are at risk to a “breach warning” tag or even alerting an “SLA” Slack channel.

  • Front Analytics reports on your SLA success to show how your team is performing, help set realistic goals, and motivate your team to improve.

  • Create multiple unique SLAs for different criteria like account value or client contact groups, and Front will automatically apply the right SLAs to the right conversation.

SLa gif

Front’s SLAs are the guard rails your team needs to ensure every email is handled on time and every customer has a great experience with your team.

Track progress and improve with analytics

Whether you’re motivating your team or strategizing how to reach goals, it always helps to back things up with data. Front analytics give you success metrics on team and individual performance, plus customer experience. You’ll be able to view and create reports on:

  • Resolution time

  • Team performance

  • Inbox performance 

  • Load balancing

  • Specific customers

Keep learning

One Pager - 6 Min ReadGetting started in Front: 7 tips for using your brand new inbox
Congrats! Now that you’ve got Front, you’re on your way to working more collaboratively and productively than ever before. We know moving away from a traditional inbox like Gmail or Outlook can take some getting used to, but once you’ve played around in Front a little bit, we think you’ll really love it. We put together our top tips for your first month using Front, so you can get all set up and comfortable with your new inbox in no time. 1. Update your account settings Customize Front to fit your working style. Find your settings by clicking on the icon in the upper left corner of Front. From there, you’ll be able to customize individual settings like your name, password, and profile picture. Depending on the permission levels your Front Admin has set up, you might also be able to access settings for your team inboxes or company here as well. Here are the main settings we suggest you check out right after you’ve set up your Front account: Profile: Add a photo of yourself and specify your username. This is how your teammates will @mention you in comments, so make sure you pick a name your team can remember. My preferences: Here you can choose your default settings for how you manage your emails, like whether you want missing attachment warnings or to use the same shortcuts you use in Gmail. My signatures: Create email signatures for messages you send in Front here — you can add as many as you need. Front designates the first signature as the default, so make sure the one you usually want to use is at the top of the list. Notifications: You can create different notification settings for each of your inboxes in Front. Choose to receive desktop, mobile, and email notifications, or none at all. 2. Connect your individual work email Front’s not just for your team email. It’s for your individual work messages too! Sync your work email so it’s easy to manage all your messages in one place. And don’t worry — your personal work emails stay private and separate from your team inbox, unless you share them with someone. 3. Think collaboratively You can see your individual work email and shared inboxes in Front, all in one place — so you won’t have to switch back and forth between Front and your own inbox in Gmail or Outlook to get work done. Shared inboxes work a little differently than a traditional email inbox though. Here are a few questions you might find yourself asking when you start working in Front. Am I archiving this message for everyone? When you’re working on a message in a shared inbox, every action you take will reflect that way for the rest of your team. Who can see this reply? If you’re working on a message in a shared inbox, everyone can see the reply you’re writing. Likewise, if you’re working in your individual inbox, and you’ve @mentioned a teammate on a message, that person is now “following” your message, and they can see your reply as well. Can my customer see this comment? Comments and @mentions are internal-only, so only you and your team will see them, not your customers. Talk to your Front Admin on your team about how you plan to work together in your shared inboxes. Some teams like to let everyone answer messages in shared inboxes as they come in, while others prefer to set a process for triaging your shared inboxes. Every team approaches it differently, so it’s important to understand the protocol expected for your team. 4. Start working together in Front Front is made for teamwork, so there are a few features that make collaboration easy. Here are two basic ways to work with your team in Front: Assign a message: When you assign a message, you’re designating a teammate to take care of it, so there’s no confusion on who’s following up. There are two ways to assign a message. In the upper right corner of a message, you’ll see “Assigned to” along with a name. To assign it, you can click the name and select a teammate from a drop down menu. Alternatively, you can drag a message to a name in your list of teammates. Leave a comment: Instead of forwarding a message to a teammate or CC’ing them when you reply, use comments and @mentions, located at the very bottom of your screen in Front. When you @mention a teammate, you share the whole thread with them, so they can easily read through and respond. You can also use comments to leave notes about a conversation. That way, when you or anyone else is looking at it again later, you'll have the context you need to reply. 5. Boost your productivity ⚡ We want working in Front to be faster than your old inbox, so you never feel like you want to open up your old inbox again. Try out our favorite ways to speed through your open messages (and even hit Inbox Zero — that awesome moment when you’ve answered everything in your inbox). Snooze: Not every message that comes into your inbox needs an answer right away. That’s why you can “snooze” in Front. Hit the clock icon at the top of a message you don’t need to look at right now, and select a time for it to come back to your inbox later. Reminders: When you’re sending a message you’ll need to follow up on, set a reminder in Front. Click the clock on the bottom of your message to select a time for the message to pop back up in your unread message folder. That way, if you haven’t gotten a reply, you’ll know to send the recipient another message. Message templates: Find yourself typing the same message over and over? Save it as a message template. That way you can easily pull it up, edit it, and send with just a few clicks, instead of typing out the same explanation all the time. You can save message templates for your private inbox, or for your shared inboxes, so you can access responses your teammates have created as well. Tags: Tags are the easiest way to keep your messages organized. You can create Private Tags only visible to you — like “Read Friday afternoon”, or Team Tags, visible to your whole team — like “Customer Feedback”. 6. Download the Front apps Now that you’re managing all your messages in Front, bring them with you wherever you work! Download the Front desktop app for your computer, and access Front on the go with the mobile app. 7. Read more about using Front Check out our other helpful resources for inspiration, how-to’s, and tips on setting up workflows and using Front features. Front Community: Browse our community page to learn from other Front users and share your own tips. Getting Started with Front: Download our full user guide to get the full scoop on all things Front. Our Customer Success Team: Don’t hesitate to shoot us a question at team@frontapp.com. We’re more than happy to help out!
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