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Guide - 6 Min Read

Set up a team inbox

Front’s team inboxes are shared inboxes that integrate multiple channels and allow new possibilities for automation and collaboration. Here’s an example:

Your sales team is trying to manage an influx of emails from prospects, existing customers, and new leads from your company website. You use different apps to get the job done: like Slack to collaborate, Salesforce to close deals, and Gmail to decide which messages should take priority. Now, you find yourself switching back and forth between all these applications just to support your customers - all while teaching new sales reps the ropes.

Once you download Front, things get much more seamless. All messages and requests enter into one team inbox that your whole Sales org has access to. With rules and tags, messages are prioritized and categorized. Your demo requests are tagged by keyword, enterprise prospects are tagged as urgent, and clients with a long history of working with a specific AE are automatically assigned to that person. Though all the messages are seen in the team inbox, they are immediately filtered to encourage prioritization while encouraging transparency and accountability. New reps can keep track of how vets are handling messages, you can assign all messages to the right person, and teammates can @mention each other on emails to comment and discuss what should happen next. Suddenly, inbox zero is the new norm, and all prospects are dealt with in a personal, fast, and thorough manner. 

Team inboxes dramatically simplify the way you work. But like all change, it can take some getting used to. Here are some best practices to help you make the transition painless. They’ll help you set up your team inbox, start working efficiently right away, and start measure your team’s performance. Want to know more about team inboxes before you get started? Check out our guide on how your team can find value in a team inbox. 

Set up your team inbox

Admins can set up a team inbox in five easy steps. 

  1. Click your profile picture in the upper left corner of Front.

  2. Select Settings, then click My inboxes.

  3. Select Add a team inbox. You can choose to connect a channel, or leave it as an empty inbox.

  4. Give your inbox a name and click Next.

  5. Select the teammates you want to add to the team inbox, and click Create inbox.

You may want some help creating message templates or tags, so now is a good time to set permissions and give certain teammates admin access to the team inbox. You can set up default permissions and make everyone either an Admin or Member, or customize permissions to control exactly who can edit what. 

Team inboxes gif

Once you’re done, the team inbox will automatically show up in the team workspace on the left panel of Front. Then, you can start adding some simple but highly effective automation and organization techniques like tags, rules, and signatures. 

Work as a team

Shared inboxes function a little differently here, so it’s helpful to establish some processes for your team. Here are some team inbox tricks that nearly all teams use to give their workflow a much needed boost:

Assign owners to emails

Give each email a clear owner to help your team prioritize their day, and to help your team get to inbox zero. Your team can start by going through the team inbox and assigning messages they can handle to themselves. 

assignments gif

Archive wisely

When a message is archived in a team inbox, it’s archived for everyone (besides the assignee or whoever is subscribed to it). Encourage your teammates to only archive if they’re confident the team is done with a conversation. If you ever need to find something that has been archived, simply click into the ‘Archived’ tab or use the search filter “is:archived.”

Organize & prioritize with tags

You and your team can create tags (similar to folders) to sort incoming messages. You can automate this process with rules (for instance, route all emails from an important client to a VIP tag) or move them manually. We like to create tags for different projects, clients, and priority levels. 

tag gif

Manage time zones, shifts, and out-of-office through preferences 

Team inboxes are great for teams who are working remotely or across different time zones. You can set shifts and working hours in your preferences so that when one person heads home for the evening, another person can pick up where they left off. And, when someone goes OOO (out-of-office), you can make sure all messages that would typically show up in the vacationer’s inbox pop up in the team inbox instead. That way, you’re never worried about emails getting trapped in an inbox with no answer. 

Trust in the team inbox

Need an update on a project or customer? Let your team inbox be your source of truth. Teammates can look to the various tags and messages to get the context they need before interrupting the team.

Add the bells and whistles

The magic in team inboxes lies in the automation that you can customize, the seamless workflow you can create for your team, and the personal experience you can create for customers. 

Use message templates for quick replies

Do you find your team is writing certain common responses all the time? Save them as message templates so you can easily reuse them. Message templates help you send consistent responses faster and focus your attention on personalizing the email. 

canned response gif

Save time spent on mindless tasks with rules

Automatically route emails by keywords, sender, or other triggers to get messages in front of the right eyes immediately. You can create a variety of rules that help you save time doing administrative work on your inbox. 

Reach response time goals with SLAs

Create an SLA to make sure your customers are receiving the fastest, most thorough service. Help keep your team on track by sending emails that are at risk of an SLA breach to an “Urgent” tag. 

SLa gif

Sign off with team signatures

Save several signatures so your team can sign off appropriately depending on the client you’re communicating with. This helps keep correspondence professional while allowing for brand flair and personalization. You can also use team signatures to personalize a correspondence from a teammate by having the display name and signature show a teammate’s name even though they’re sending from a team address.

Access all your other apps from your team inbox

You can connect your team’s favorite tools and apps to Front through the integration panel. This means your team can reference Salesforce or create a Jira ticket right from the team inbox. There are dozens of integrations, and more are being added all the time!

Integration panel - Reference Salesforce gif

Set goals and measure success 

Front Analytics make it easy to measure how your team is performing and identify ways to improve or have your team inbox work harder for you. Keeping an eye on the metrics of success for your team inbox helps you continuously improve customer experience and build motivation for your team. 

Individual performance

Get a glance at the workload of a specific teammate and understand how they’re handling it by viewing metrics like response time, replies to resolve, and conversations handled.

Team performance

Help your team feel more engaged and united by sharing success metrics and patterns with them. Tracking team-wide messaging metrics allows for accurate, exciting goal setting and helps you know when it’s time for a morale boost or additional headcount. 

Customer insights

Build a more personal, in-depth understanding of each customer’s needs by viewing what kind of workload they require and the amount of times they write in so you can set them up with the right team member. 

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Keep learning

Guide - 6 Min ReadManage customer messages with ease
When it comes to managing customer messages, our approach is to save time sorting through, escalating, and assigning messages and spend it instead on improving the quality of the engagement with your customers. This is a guide on how to adopt that philosophy and make it simple to manage customer messages. #Setup Set your team up for success Make it easy on yourself and your team by doing some quick work on the backend that’ll make it simple for them to handle incoming messages.  Roles and permissions As you add new teammates to a team inbox and expect them to tackle customer communication, be sure to choose the right permissions for each person.  Default On any Front plan, you’ll be able to assign each teammate one of two default roles: Team Admin or Team Member. Here’s a table that covers what permissions are enabled for each role. Many leaders choose a selection of teammates to be Team Admins so they can help you create rules, track success with analytics, and keep the team inbox in check.  Custom If you have an Enterprise plan, you can create custom roles and permissions. Say you want the Team Lead to be responsible for creating all message templates and rules. Custom roles and permissions allow you to create a role with those unique abilities in Front. Then later down the line, when you want 2 other teammates to do the same, you can simply give them that same role and be on your merry way.  Shifts and load balancing  Shifts and load balancing prevent customer messages from getting backed up in your queue, while also preventing individual teammates from being overloaded with work. When you set up shifts, messages that are typically routed to someone who happens to be off duty will be flagged for someone who is on duty, so customers don’t have to wait for a reply. 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So instead of leaving read messages left to cause clutter, snooze the ones you’ll get to later, and archive the ones that you don’t need to take action on. Easy emails to archive are: App notifications or reminders Emails informing you of something, but that aren’t prompting anything (think newsletters, daily reports, etc.) Conversations that seem to be ending (they’ll always pop back up if someone pings them again!) You can find any email in your Archive tab, so rest assured they won’t go missing. This way your open messages can be treated like your daily agenda, you inbox won’t stress you out every time you open your computer, and you won’t accidentally miss messages. #Organize & prioritize Organize your inbox There are many ways to sort and triage messages as a team in Front. You get to choose the methodology that works best for you. Assign messages an owner With Front you can give every message a clear owner so everyone knows what they’re responsible for handling. 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It’s time to measure and showcase just how well your team is handling messages and find ways to improve.  Analytics  Analytics help you make informed decision and handle customer messages better. Track how quickly your messages are being resolved, how much each teammate is handling, or which customers write in the most, among other things.  Get visibility into what kind of messages you’re handling: By tagging messages by product, feature, location, customer, or project, you can track the volume and frequency of customer messages around certain topics. View a report on any tag in Analytics to figure out what kind of work your team is up to the most.  Track team performance: Track response time, handle time, resolution time, and more on a team and individual basis to see how your team is handling messages. This data helps you find ways to improve your customer communication, whether you’re deciding it’s time to hire more help, or finding a better way to distribute and escalate messages. 
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Guide - 5 Min ReadIndividual inbox productivity in Front
When we started Front, we took email as you know it and added a few game-changing improvements. With email that works more efficiently, you have more time to make an impact. Here we’ll walk you through the many ways you can organize your inbox and focus on work that matters. #Preferences Set your preferences Control your notifications That ping! sound from a notification can quickly snap you out of the zone.  Edit your notifications so you’re able to focus on work with only the most necessary interruptions, or so you can keep track of the important work you need to pay attention to across your inbox and team inboxes. You can have different notifications for your desktop, mobile, and email. Add and edit signatures Set up multiple personal signatures that you can toggle between when ending a message. They’ll be accessible whether you’re writing from your individual inbox or your team inbox, so you can save time and focus more on the customer message than your sign-off.  #Open vs. Archive Open, archive, & snooze Open messages are your to-do list The goal with Front is to achieve inbox zero every single day . To do this, start with your open messages in your personal inbox and treat it as your to-do list. Can you respond right away and be done with it? Go for it. If not, snooze it or assign it to someone else so it’s not left sitting there with no action. Snooze to take action later When you come across a message that you don’t have time for right now, you can snooze it for a time when you’re ready to handle it. Rather than writing down on a Post-It to check back later and letting the email gather dust in your inbox, the snoozed message will just reappear in your inbox when the time is right. 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