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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

Guide - 6 Min ReadCreate a powerful Success team with Front
Your customers demand a first-class experience whether they’re in your high-touch segment or not. Front helps you personally ensure your customers’ desired outcomes at any scale, without sacrificing customer experience. Once you’ve set your Success team up using our getting started guide, it’s time to think about a strategy for helping your team thrive. Front is built to be customized to your team’s needs, meaning you can design the workflow that helps respond personally to clients at scale, work together on complex requests, and get visibility into what you care about most. This is a guide about how to use Front to support and improve your Success team.  #Automate workflow Automate high-touch communication Setting your team up for success means establishing a natural workflow that eliminates busywork and clears the way for higher quality connections with your managed accounts. Here are 4 actions that help streamline your workday.  Assign owners to accounts As messages flood into your team inbox, assign a specific CSM to the message. By giving each message an owner, duplicative work on the same customer is avoided, and each person knows exactly what they’re responsible for. You can even automate the assignments based on sender, content, and more – but we’ll cover that next.  Use rules to route messages to the right person or stay on top of SLAs Rules are automatic workflows that you can set up to triage messages, route them to the right person, and save your team time doing the sorting. Have you ever wished you could automatically ensure a message from a customer is assigned based on a region, specific success manager as indicated by your CRM, or by how much they spend? Front rules allow you to customize the escalation path for any message, so you can immediately assign messages from certain customers to specific teammates.  Rules also help you manage your SLAs – create a response time goal and have rules send messages on the verge of a breach to an “Urgent” tag or assign them to a teammate. Create email templates for common messages  Though every customer has different needs, it’s typical as a CSM to find yourself crafting similar messages often, like EBR checklists or onboarding content. When it comes to this type of response or other FAQs, create and save a message template. Create them for yourself, your team, or your company, so that content tone and voice can remain consistent and time can be saved and spent on personalizing and customizing the message.  Get reminders to follow up later It’s important to never let your customers fall through the cracks. By hitting “snooze” on an email, or “send and snooze,” you can set up an automatic reminder to check in on a message. So if you haven’t heard back from a VIP client by tomorrow morning, the message will pop back up in your inbox so there’s no chance of you dropping the ball.  #Work together Good account management takes a village Team up to handle complex CSM requests, share information about customers, hone your messaging, and get visibility into how your team is doing. View all communication in one place – your team inbox Whether you work as a scaled group or by specific clients, team inboxes are a place to connect all your customer communication channels and view every inbound message in one place, as a team. This way you can see all incoming messages, know who’s handling what, and build a culture of visibility, accountability, and collaboration as you tackle messages as a team.  Comment on emails to work together on messages Need a second opinion on a customer request, or want to include a teammate in a conversation? Comment directly on a message with a simple @mention. This replaces messy forwarding chains and makes collaboration much more actionable; when you @mention someone, they can stay in the loop and continue to provide support as you go back and forth with the customer.  Write important email drafts together  We all know what it’s like to stumble or get stuck when writing an important email to a customer. With Front, you can write up an email draft and share it with a teammate when you need help finding the right words or tone to massage a tough conversation. They can then review, edit, and write the draft with you so there’s double the amount of thought put into your most important messages.  Use internal discussions for quick chats with teammates So much time is wasted when people hop between apps to chat with teammates, only to return to their inbox to do the actual work. Internal discussions let you talk with a colleague or team casually, without having to go to a different chat app. And the discussions remain searchable, can be sorted into tags, snoozed, and all the other good stuff – so information is never lost. #Beat churn Stay on top of customer messages and beat churn before it happens The best way to hold onto customers it to know their experience intimately, and improve upon it over time. Tags and analytics help your team understand each customer and your impact on them, so you can turn those insights into action and reduce churn.  Get visibility into customer experience with analytics Your customers rely on you to get back to them quickly and meet their needs, no matter what. Front Analytics helps ensure that. See how quickly teammates are responding, which customers write in the most, when your busiest hours are, among other things. Then, adjust accordingly to take advantage of every opportunity to create a better customer experience.  Tag messages to prioritize work Tags and channels in your team inbox are ways to sort your incoming messages by customer profile, urgency, project, etc. Some common tags for Success teams are: Accounts at risk Upcoming renewal VIP  Once you’ve done this, and created rules that automatically sort messages into those tags, you can view analytics on each one. By categorizing messages, you’ll get a sense of what your customers are experiencing, and you’ll be able to prioritize their messages instinctively.  #Universal inbox Tools and communication channels in a single view Front offers a universal inbox, meaning all your communication channels – email, live chat, SMS, and more — as well as all your calendar, favorite apps, and more, are all in one place. No more need to switch between tabs or context-switch to get your work done.  All your relevant tools and data in one place Front has 50+ integrations that help you access all your favorite tools from Front. Whether it’s Gainsight, Dialpad, or HelpDocs, you can work faster and smarter by bringing data from other apps into your inbox. For instance, you can reference customer data as you’re responding to a message, or move an email to a task in your favorite project management software. If Front doesn’t have the integration already, you can use our open API to connect other databases and software so you never have to switch tabs and get distracted. 
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