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 canned responses

It’s up to you if you want all members of your team creating rules and canned responses 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 canned response, 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 canned response 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 canned response. 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 canned response 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 - 4 Min ReadHow to give your inbox a brain: Using rules in Front
Our inboxes make us do the same tasks, over and over, every single day. We reply, archive, label, and delete. We mark as unread, forward, cc, enter data into CRMs, copy ideas into project management tools…the list goes on. Wouldn’t your productivity skyrocket if you didn’t have to worry about those time-consuming, repetitive tasks – if your inbox could handle them for you? Good news! Using “rules” in Front is like giving your inbox a brain, so when you go to plow through your email everyday, some of your work is already done for you. Rules come with endless possibilities for customization, and our customers use them to create amazing automations all the time. Here’s everything you need to know to start making rules (you'll be whipping through your inbox at lightspeed!) What are rules? Rules let you automate workflows you often repeat by using “if, then” statements – guidelines that tell your inbox what to do with certain messages. For instance, “if an inbound message contains "urgent support", then add the tag "Urgent". Types of rules There are three kinds of rules: team rules, individual rules, and company rules. Individual rules: only apply to messages in your individual inbox Team rules: apply to messages in shared inboxes (only Team or Company admins can make these) Company rules: apply to all messages in individual and shared inboxes (can only be created by company admins) Above is a company rule, so it apples to individual and shared inboxes. How to make a rule 1 - Select what type of message you’d like to apply the rule to – an inbound message to your support inbox, for instance. 2 - Add specific conditions – maybe when the message is from your VIP client, in the middle of the night. 3 - Set the outcome you want for it – say, the message automatically gets “assigned” in Front to your night-shift support agent. 4 - Voilà! Your inbox is now on autopilot. Our most popular ways to use rules Read on to discover some of our favorite ways to use rules, then browse our Front Rules Directory for more examples that can boost your team’s productivity. 1. Route messages Move messages exactly where you want them, as soon as you receive them. These rules help divvy up messages from group aliases evenly among team members, so everyone knows exactly what they’re in charge of. When to use it Distribute new leads in a round-robin to members of your sales team. Assign all support messages containing “refund” to your agent who handles refunding. 2. Auto-reply Send a custom canned response to a message based on its body text, subject, sender, or time of day. When to use it Send a “We’ll get back to you soon” to any message that’s received from 9pm to 6am in your Support inbox. Give a “thanks for applying” note to any message tagged as “Job Application.” 3. Organize & categorize Automatically add “tags” to incoming messages so your inbox always stays neat and tidy. You can also make rules to trigger actions to those tagged messages. When to use it Instantly tag anything that’s from a @smith.com address as Urgent Support. Automatically assign anything tagged as “Recruiting” to your recruiting coordinator. 4. Notify teammates Make sure the right parties know about certain messages, every single time, without having to forward them the message. Teammates will get notifications in Front, as if you @mentioned them on the message yourself. When to use it Loop in your boss every time you get an email from a VIP client. Give a heads up to the sales team when someone sends a message requesting a demo. 5. Set timers Create time-based rules to send emails when it works best for you, and set time limits and follow-up reminders to make sure every message gets a prompt response. When to use it “Unassign” any messages your team receives between 3 and 5am. If a message is unreplied after 2 hours, assign it to a specific teammate. 6. Auto-archive It’s like having a personal assistant who sweeps up your inbox before you open it each morning: automatically archive messages based on specific qualifications, so you only see what you really need. When to use it Archive a Salesforce record update message. Archive retweets received from Twitter. 7. Integrate with other tools Rules even help for parts of your workflow outside your inbox. Set rules to send information to some of your other apps – like Salesforce, Hipchat, or Slack. When to use it Automatically create a new opportunity in Salesforce when you receive a message from a potential lead. Send your support team a Slack message when you get emails that contain the words “help” and “credit card.” With rules, you can make your team more productive, clear out your inbox, and let technology do a little work for you. ➡️ See how to set up rules like these in the Rules Directory. ➡️ Learn more about using rules on our Help Center.
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