Countsy is a cloud-based accounting service for venture-backed startups that has worked with high-growth companies for more than 20 years. Today, the outsourcing practice offers accounting, HR, and back office services to hundreds of tech companies and startups around the country. Over the years, they've serviced thousands of leading startups including Facebook, lnstagram, Asana, Intercom, Brit+ Co, lOx Genomics, and many more.
Countsy's high-touch client services model provides a comprehensive back office infrastructure for startups. Each client works directly with a dedicated accounting and HR team, including their own Startup CFO. Consequently, the Countsy team handles an extremely high volume of email communication around time-sensitive issues and requests that are critical to their clients. In the past, they used Outlook distribution lists to enable clients to get in touch quickly by sending an email to an alias like "email@example.com".
While this system was simple for clients, it wasn't quite so easy for Countsy to manage. Email distribution lists were difficult to keep current and didn't give new team members access to past client conversations for context on the account. With team members subscribed to several distribution lists at once, their process for managing email prevented them from servicing their clients as efficiently as they believed was possible.
The Countsy team suffered from email overload and wanted to simplify their cluttered inboxes, but up to that point, they believed Outlook distribution lists were the best (and only) way to manage a business like theirs.
When Countsy first met with Front as a potential client, they learned that Front offered the perfect shared inbox solution to address their challenges with distribution lists.
"After meeting with Front, I fell in love with the product. It was clear to me that Front would help us operate more efficiently and optimize our service offering to clients," says Mairtini Ni Dhomhnaill, Founder of Countsy.
Following a pilot program that began in early 2017, their entire client services team of more than 100 consultants made the switch from Outlook to Front to manage all of their client communications.
Today, they have over 200 shared in boxes, including a dedicated email in box for each client. Now, when a client emails their alias, consultants can get up to speed on the request quickly with visibility into every past conversation in Front.
"In Outlook, we could only see what had happened since the point in time we joined the distribution list," Kathy Costillo, Head of Technology Service Center says. "With Front, we have access to all the client history we need."
Client teams use Front's tagging and assignment functionality to have clear ownership and accountability for every message. They can focus on making sure new requests are handled quickly while maintaining visibility into assigned conversations.
With Front, every Countsy consultant and executive has insight into what's going on with clients, while teams can manage messages collaboratively without duplicating work. Countsy has also been able to consolidate their workflow into a single place: their shared in box.
Client teams previously used other tools beyond email to manage projects, but they've found them unnecessary now that so much collaboration is happening through in-line comments in Front.
"We're sending far fewer emails now that we have message comments in Front, and the ability to tag emails in Front allows for faster retrieval and searches than we had in Outlook," Kathy says.
Some of the Countsy team have even connected their personal email accounts to Front and work out of the platform 24/7. These power users are Front's biggest champions - and are helping the rest of the team connect their personal email accounts so they can streamline all their communication in Front.
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