Why Front?SolutionsPricingResourcesContact Us
Guide - 8 Min Read

Inviting your team to Front

Motivating a team to adopt a new tool and form new habits takes work, and we want to be a partner in that transition. Here are some things we’ve learned about change management, and a step-by-step guide to onboard your team deliberately and successfully. This onboarding plan also works well for remote or distributed teams – Front actually makes remote work much easier – so no matter where your team is, you can get started today. 

We recommend the following schedule for adopting Front:

Week 1 – Distribute email about switching to Front, and give the team a week to digest the change and ask questions. Take this time to complete your set up and create team inboxes. 

Week 2 – Have your team complete their onboarding and distribute resources.

Week 3 – Try the 1 week challenge (more on this below!).

Week 4 – Work out the kinks and gather and response to some FAQs.

Week 5 – Fully commit.

Change management techniques

It’s normal for teams to be reluctant to change, especially when an app is replacing a system they’re already comfortable with, like email. Some common complaints are:

  • I don’t have time to learn something new

  • We’re comfortable and used to doing it this way 

  • Things move quickly enough here, we don’t need another change

We want to help ease the pain, and the first part of that is acknowledgement and acceptance that this may take some prep. But don’t worry, that’s why we’ve written up this guide for you! 

1. Awareness

Clue your team in on what problem you’re solving for by switching to Front. 

  • What are some metrics you hope to fix?

  • What is and isn’t working within your current system?

  • What are some past complaints from your team that you think Front will help solve? 

2. Desire

In order to get your team on board, consider figuring out the source of the resistance to change. One way to do this is to gather objections and recognize them, so that you don’t dismiss concerns and can understand what you’re up against. 

Then, it’s important to get people excited! Consider sending a demo and some resources, identifying one major win of having Front for each team, and sending a hype email. Here’s one we like: 

“Hi team,
How do you feel when you log into email? The answer probably isn’t “Yes! I get to check email!” You might also be using any of these tools too to manage the ocean of communications:

  • Tool 1

  • Tool 2

  • Tool 3

We want to make sure that everyone at our company can work happier – with less stress and noice. And, we’re determined to make our customer communication the greatest it can be so we can all make an impact – individually and as a team. That’s why we’re excited to announce that on INSERT DATE we’ll be making Front available to everyone at the company.

Front will allow us to:

  • Business Solution 1

  • Business Solution 2 

  • Business Solution 3

The project team is:

  • Team member 1

  • Team member 2

  • Team member 3

We’ll be hosting a demo on INSERT DATE so you can get the full picture of this powerful tool, and so we can answer any questions you may have. We’ll share what support we’ll need closer to the go live date, but in the meantime, feel free to peruse these resources:

We’re really excited about this change, and look forward to tackling it as a team.”

3. Knowledge

Now it’s time to put your team in the driver’s seat. Let them know how this change will be happening by distributing some onboarding resources for them to examine, mapping business processes in Front, and sharing a rollout calendar. 

This is also a great time to give your team some agency and let them provide input on: 

  • Which integrations should be set up

  • Which rules they’d like to use

  • How they can see Front’s collaboration tools helping their team

The keys to success here are building knowledge, easing the transition and acknowledging the benefits.

4. Ability

This is where the magic happens ✨ Come up with some reliable ways for your team to adopt and succeed with the product. Here are some things we suggest:

  • Schedule training sessions led by yourself, admins, or team managers. One of the best ways to learn is to teach, so after everyone has completed their initial onboarding with the resources you distributed in step 3, have someone teach a demo of how their team is using Front’s features. 

  • Schedule a weekly team tip share, where teams come up with a new function they learned and are benefitting from that week. 

  • Create a shared FAQ sheet for teammates to add questions when something confusing comes up. Try to respond to these regularly, or empower other members of your team to do so. Sharing the link to our tips & tricks page will likely help your team answer a lot of these questions on their own! 

5. Reinforcement

Habits succeed through repetition and reinforcement, so come up with some ways to keep your team engaged with the product. Here are some examples:

  • Give out awards for a full transition to Front, like completing the 1 week challenge (explained below).

  • Have a first month review of the product to discuss what’s going well and what areas for improvement there are, and to build a supportive environment throughout the change.

  • Gather stats via Front Analytics about how your team has become more successful, responsive, collaborative, and efficient since using Front. The reports are easily exported and made to be shared. 

Onboarding guide

Finding comfort in a new workspace

Before we dive in to managing your team onboarding, it’s important to make sure they’re set up for success. Check out our guide on getting started in Front to set the right foundation for your team. Once those steps are complete, have your team take the following actions to gain some comfort and familiarity with Front. This can serve as their first step in onboarding. Instruct everyone to…

  1. Download the Front app for desktop and mobile, and sign in.

  2. Watch our video on navigating Front so they understand the basics.

  3. Personalize their workspace by:

    1. Adding a photo and signature

    2. Adding 1 or 2 personal tags to their personal inbox

    3. Click into their calendar on the right side panel and schedule a meeting 

Collaborate in shared inboxes

Time for your team to start seeing Front in action, and exploring all the different ways they can work together. Have each person on your team (including yourself!) try the following actions:

mention gif

Create rules and message templates

It’s up to you if you want all members of your team creating rules and message templates for a shared inbox, or if you prefer to leave that in the hands of an Admin. Regardless, it’s great to have each person create one of each so they understand the workflow and value. It’s the same process to create a personal versus team rule or message templates, so once you decide which you’d like them to create, encourage them to dive in. 

Have everyone on your team…

1. Create a personal or team rule, and then work with a partner to activate the rule. For instance, they could create a rule along the lines of…

When a message comes inbound
If it’s from ABC colleague
Then tag the email with VIP and send message template XYZ

Once the rule is set up, make sure they test it out! And be sure to delete it if you don’t need after the test. 

2. Create a message template. Encourage your team to think about a common email response they write, be it a response to an inquiry or saying that they’ll review and get back to someone. Have them test the message template on a teammate. 

Play with an integration

It’s crucial that your team knows how to use the integration panel and that it’s set up properly, so take a moment to connect important tools and apps to your team’s workspace. Then, choose one that you hope your team will use often, like Salesforce, Trello, or Jira. Ask your team to sign in and complete a task within the app using only Front. This will help build the muscle of doing all work in one view, which will help your team staying focused and make an impact.

Integration panel - Reference Salesforce gif

Take the 1 week challenge

Time and time again, we’ve seen the most problems with team onboarding in Front arise because teams are switching back and forth from Gmail or Outlook to Front to manage email. Switching back and forth from your email provider to Front doesn’t work because the systems and processes differ.

To prevent that, we encourage teams to switch to Front completely. So once you and your team have completed the onboarding tasks, and worked out some FAQs, try a 1 week challenge! Everyone only uses Front, not their other email provider, for 1 full week. Keep a running list of FAQs that come up during the week. 

We recommend the following schedule for adopting Front:

Week 1 – Distribute email about switching to Front, and give the team a week to digest the change and ask questions. Take this time to complete your set up and create team inboxes. 

Week 2 – Have your team complete their onboarding, distribute resources.

Week 3 – Try the 1 week challenge.

Week 4 – Work out the kinks.

Week 5 – Fully commit.

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!
Read one pager