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One Pager - 7 Min Read

What’s Front, and why is it a better way to work?

All about Front

The problem with work today 

Email seems to be both the most relied upon communication tool in work as well as the most common workplace woe. Originally built for 1-to-1 communication, it isn’t designed to support large teams or customer communication, and too often work that should be tackled by a team becomes siloed or chaotic as a result. 

These days, customer-facing teams look to a variety of other apps to fix the workflow that email lacks, like help desks. But the clunky software experience and impersonal communication that results takes the humanity out of work, and often causes teams to feel out of touch with their impact. People find themselves bouncing between different tabs consistently, draining productivity.

But there’s a reason teams still use email. It’s familiar and personal, and in many ways the backbone of workplace communication. 

Front is reinventing email for the way teams work. We wanted to solve for a dated, siloed email experience and robotic help desks, so we started from scratch. Front takes your email provider – like Gmail or Outlook – and adds all sorts of good stuff:

  • Automated workflows

  • Analytics built for visibility 

  • Internal coordination tools

  • Integrations with all your important apps 

  • A shared, company wide view of customer context

And that list isn’t comprehensive. Front helps you make more impact as a company and scale customer communication without losing the personal touch of email – all from your inbox.  

Front – making missions possible since 2013

Front is a customer communication platform that powers effective engagement at scale by combining email, apps, and teamwork into a single view. It transforms work into impact by meaningfully connecting your teams and customers and taking away the clutter, chaos, and impersonal customer experience that so often comes with today’s workflows. Ultimately, Front makes more missions possible by removing the inefficiencies of today’s work and supercharging personal customer communications. 

With Front, you get the automation and customization of a help desk, with the personal and familiar touch of email. Front integrates with all your favorite tools – Salesforce, Jira, Asana – so you can do all your work from your inbox. 

Who uses Front?

Front works best for customer-facing teams, though we find that all companies appreciate the fresh take on email. Below are some guides designed for specific customer-facing teams that don’t look back after switching to Front:

Email is the most widely-used workplace technology on the planet, but it could use a facelift. Front is your reliable, dependable email — redesigned for today, so that you and your team can work more efficiently.

How teams make a bigger splash with Front

Front’s mission is to help teams make a greater impact. There’s a few ways that teams see huge improvements in collaboration and productivity, and most importantly, customer experience, right away. 

1. Access every message and app in one inbox.

From CRMs and file storage, to customer support and project management, new tools pop up every day. And with time, there will be more. If we’re going to get work done, our inboxes need to integrate with these new tools.Since traditional email is separate from our other message platforms and apps, we spend time searching for context, switching tabs, and copy-and-pasting critical information. To save you time and make it easier to get work done, Front brings this context into your inbox:

  1. Manage all your messages in one place.Send an SMS text, reply to a Tweet, or start an internal discussion to hold a chat conversation with your teammate — without switching tools.

  2. Access your apps and tools in your inbox. From customer data to important context from past conversations, Front’s integrations pull all your critical information right into your inbox. You can create tasks in Asana, update customer records in Salesforce, or manage issues in JIRA directly from Front — so you don’t have to switch tools or enter information twice to get work done.

Integration panel - Reference Salesforce gif

2. Mention teammates on emails and work on drafts together.

Whether you’re forwarding a message to your boss to ask a question, or shooting an FYI to your entire team, you need to be able to discuss and share emails with teammates. That’s why many teams turn to chat apps like Slack to ask quick questions and discuss issues in real-time. This creates a few problems:

  1. The conversation happens separately from the original email, so when you look at it later on, you have no context on the situation.

  2. When you go to find that context, you have to search through multiple apps to find it.

  3. Chat messages can be distracting, and when they happen separately from the email itself, you have to message more to explain the email’s purpose.

Front brings the discussion to where it should be: with the original message. Loop teammates in on a conversation with an @mention, or get a second opinion on a reply by sharing a draft. With Front, you can get the context you need to work more efficiently.

mention gif

3. Automate the tedious tasks that suck up time.

We do the same things over and over with traditional email. We move emails into folders, forward emails to teammates, reply with similar answers — the list goes on. Front can do repetitive work for you with rules.

Using “if, then” statements, you can organize your messages based on trigger words, or route messages to certain people on your team at specific times. With Front, your email knows where it should go, and what it should do, all on its own.

rules gif

Teams come up with amazing time-saving automations using rules. Some common favorites include:

  • Assign emails containing a certain keyword to the right teammate: If the message contains “billing,” route it to the accounting manager.

  • Add tags to emails so you can quickly scan your inbox for urgent items: If the message is from Acme Corp, add the tags VIP Customer and Urgent.

  • Archive emails you don’t really need to read: Auto-archive calendar accepts or CRM record updates.

For more ideas, check out the Front Rules Directory.

4. Manage group email in team inboxes to save time.

Our claim to fame is our team inbox. It’s a supercharged shared inbox (an inbox like support@company.com that allows multiple people to send and receive email from the same address) with the following superpowers:

Got emails to distribution lists, Google Groups, Outlook shared mailboxes, or some other group alias, like contact@, team@, or support@? Front completely changes the way your team manages these emails to save you hours every week. With Front, you can create shared inboxes to manage messages as a team.

1) Create a shared inbox for anything, like “Success,” “Support,” or “Marketing,” for instance. The shared inbox lives in Front right below your individual work email, so it’s easy to find.
2) When someone sends an email to these inboxes, like “success@,” any teammates who’s part of that inbox can see the same copy of every email.
3) When one person replies, everyone can see that it’s been answered, without creating any additional copies or duplicate work for other teammates.
4) If you know the best person to respond, you can assign it to them so everyone knows who’s responsible for what.
5) When you reply to an email in a shared inbox, it’s archived for everyone and moved out of the queue. Poof.

Team inboxes gif

Shared inboxes drastically cut down on the number of emails you need to look at every day. Instead, you’re working through your group emails together. No need to read every single customer email; what’s important is that every customer gets a reply from your team, from whomever is best equipped to answer it.

5. Organize your inbox to work more efficiently.

With endless messages and very limited attention spans, we need a better way to organize our inboxes. Gmail and Outlook have tried solving this with spam, folders, and labels like “important.” These depend on teammates to sort messages individually, though, so everyone has to spend time organizing messages. The way you organize your inbox is probably very different from the rest of your team.

With Front, your team stays organized as a whole and can find information you need faster with team tags. You can make tags stand out in your inbox with colors and emojis, or view tagged messages at once like folders. You can also create your own private tags to organize messages for your personal workflow.

tag gif

Keep learning

One Pager - 2 Min ReadTake control of your team inboxes with custom roles in Front
Everyone on your team plays a unique role. As an administrator of Front, it’s your job to make sure their permissions in Front reflect their role. That’s why Front lets you create custom roles for your team, so everyone can see and do exactly what they need. No more, no less. Custom roles make your job as an Admin easier by giving your team access to exactly what they need to get work done. Here’s how you can set your team up for success by creating custom roles and permissions. Access exactly what you need Front has three preset user roles to choose from: Company Admins, Team Admins, and Team Members. But Team Admins can also create any custom roles your team needs to give certain teammates permissions between those preset levels. Take your support team, for instance. Make a custom role for ‘Team Leads’, so they can assign messages to others in Front. Allow ‘Managers’ to view analytics without giving them full Team Admin permissions. Or share your support inbox internally with, say, the engineering team. That way they can collaborate on issues, but not respond to customers directly. Keep inboxes organized Limiting which teammates can create tags is a great way to keep your inboxes neat and tidy. Give ‘Managers’ control to build out a set of tags, without giving them full Admin access. Then restrict the creation of new ones. That way, everyone uses the same tags, and it’s easier to search for what you need. (No duplicate tag issues, like ‘Urgent things’, ‘urgent’, and ‘URGENT MESSAGE’.) The same goes for rules: Make a custom role to allow certain people, like 'Team Leads' for instance, to create rules — without giving them all the permissions of an Admin. It’ll empower them to take charge of their own workflows and iterate over time. And it’ll take a load off your shoulders (you don’t have to create them all on your own! ? ). Streamline messaging With the right roles and permissions set up, you can keep wording consistent and aligned with your brand in every message. Try restricting the ability to create message templates to ‘Team Leads’, or go even more specific: only copywriters on the marketing team. With only your most trusted writers creating message templates, you can ensure the messages your team sends from Front are on brand. Build different roles for different teams Every team is structured differently, with its own unique positions and management structure. Front lets you create an entirely new set of custom roles for every team, so your inboxes fit the way you work. Using Front already helps your team collaborate better, cuts down on inbox clutter, and empowers individual teammates to be more productive. By creating custom roles and permissions in Front, you can further elevate your team’s productivity and ensure everyone has the level of access they need to get work done.
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Customer Story - 3 Min ReadHow a Support team uses Front’s escalation and collaboration features to reduce response time by 67%
Learn how Lydia, a mobile payment app popular in France, has used rules, message templates, and built-in collaboration tools in Front to improve their workflow, scale personal customer communication, and boost their KPI metrics.  Over 30% of French people between 18 and 30 have a Lydia account. The mobile banking app allows peer to peer payments, personal bank account monitoring, transfers, and shared accounts. Any company that deals with banking knows the importance of fast, personal customer communication, which is why the entire Lydia team uses Front to manage customer messages.  Lydia uses 3 key features in Front to give their daily workflow a makeover – and increase their customer satisfaction rate, improve response time, and boost their KPI metrics along the way.  Automatically assign and categorize messages with Rules so that each customer message gets dealt with swiftly. When a message is assigned, it shows up in someone’s personal inbox so they can tackle it right away. If a message is routed to a VIP tag, for instance, the team knows to prioritize it.  Save time by creating message templates, which act as email templates that can later be personalized to keep a human touch. This helps the Lydia team get back their customers quickly while not forgoing high quality responses.  Collaboration is built into their workflow in the form of comments, which allow the team to loop in others to an email and get help on tricky support issues.  “Using Front, we’re able to speedily communicate both within our individual teams and with our operations and tech teams when issues need to be escalated.” — Guillaume Poirier, VP of Customer Care at Lydia Rules, message templates, and comments are now the foundation of the Support team. They rely on them daily to triage messages and get them in the right hands, save time, and collaborate. By switching to Front, Lydia's Support team has been able to reduce response time by 67% on average – without losing high-touch communication as they scale.   Do it yourself Rules for tags Rules automate workflows to make sure every message gets in the right hands or inbox right away. To automatically tag messages based on content, start by creating the tags that will help prioritize, triage, and categorize work for your team. For example, if you want to tag newsletter emails, create a rule to archive messages containing the word "newsletter.” Tag based on content Step 1 Go to Settings by clicking on your avatar in the top left → Rules & SLA → Add team rule Step 2 Set the When trigger to Inbound messages. Step 3 Set If conditions to: Inbox is the team inbox this rule should apply (e.g. Support inbox), AND Subject contains and Body contains to the word of your choice (e.g.newsletter). Ensure these are connected by an OR condition. Step 4 Set Then action to: Archive conversation Add tag and fill in the tag to add Message templates Create a variety of message templates to help train your team how to respond, keep tone and voice consistent, and save time. Teammates can then go find the message template that fits their need and spend more time personalizing the message. This ensures that the quality of customer communication doesn’t dwindle as your team becomes busy, and lets the emphasis always be on personalizing the message.  Collaboration tools  Commenting is an easy way to loop in teammates, flag a message, or phone a friend for help. Just at-mention someone’s name and they’ll have access to your full conversation. Still need support? Share a draft with them as you work on your response.  Another way to collaborate in Front is to start an internal discussion. This is a casual, yet still advanced, way to chatting with coworkers. Write to one person, a few, or an entire team inbox so that you don’t have to leave Front and context switch, or lose track of important topics, as you chat. 
Read customer story