How customer-facing teams use shared inboxes

Customer-facing teams like support, sales, and customer success love using shared inboxes in Front to manage customer communications. We’ll cover the most common types of communications teams manage in shared inboxes in Front below, so you can get a sense of how other teams are using shared inbox technology:

  • Support requests: Clients get help by contacting support@dundermifflin.com. 

  • Customer success management: Customers maintain a relationship with the customer success team by emailing success@dundermifflin.com

  • Dedicated account management: Clients contact their account manager or account team at their custom address like deckert@dundermifflin.com. 

  • Inbound sales inquiries: Prospects email sales@dundermifflin.com to arrange sales calls. 

Using a shared inbox for customer support

Support teams who love personalization tend to prefer using a shared inbox to manage email, like support@dundermifflin.com. Here are the most common workflows teams use to manage customer support communications in a shared inbox with Front:

  • Prioritize requests into tiered inboxes: Automatically or manually move requests into tiered inboxes so your team knows what needs an urgent reply, and what can wait.

  • Escalate technical issues easily: Move technical support issues to a dedicated inbox, or easily pull in a technical support rep with an internal comment on an email.

  • Knowledge base: Integrate your knowledge base into your inbox to search, find answers, and insert articles into replies in a few clicks. 

  • Track common bugs and issues: Tag requests based upon issue, customer, or feature to understand common challenges and prioritize bug fixes.

  • Meet SLA requirements: Set alerts when a VIP customer submits a request.

  • Monitor and improve response time: Watch metrics like response time and more on a team and individual basis.

Read how you can set up these workflows for customer support with Front →

Help desk vs shared inbox?

When it comes to customer support, many teams use a help desk to manage and respond to customer requests. Depending on how your customer support team operates, however, a help desk isn’t always the best option. A shared inbox can be a great alternative to a help desk because:

Shared inboxes require minimal effort to get going

First things first — if your team needs to be up and running on a new tool quickly, a shared inbox platform typically requires less effort to set up than a help desk. 

Shared inboxes are easy to use

When a new hire joins your team, you don’t have to spend hours on training. A shared inbox feels just like your email client, so it’s intuitive to learn.

Shared inboxes allow for a more personal customer experience

Traditional help desk tools attach ticket numbers to every message. While this is great for organization, it makes the customer feel like just a drop in a vast ocean of tickets. 

Shared inboxes are more flexible

Help desks typically have a more rigid process that’s standardized to support teams, so they’re more limited in the ways you can route and assign messages, especially outside your support team. You can customize shared inboxes to your unique processes, and if you have complex questions that need escalation, you can easily loop in those teammates. 

Read the questions to consider before choosing a help desk →

Using a shared inbox for customer success and account management 

Managing customer relationships, whether you’re in customer success, client services, or any other type of account management, requires being on top of email. Because of that, shared inboxes are usually very helpful for managing emails to success@dundermifflin.com or deckert@dundermifflin.com. Here's how teams manage these emails in shared inboxes in Front:

  • Route emails to the right account owner: Move emails to the right account owner automatically with triggers like keyword, sender, subject, and more. 

  • Go out of office without dropping a conversation: Automatically move customer emails to a shared inbox when you’re away, so you get peace of mind and your team can easily jump in and reply.

  • Integrate your CRM or custom database: Reference a customer’s history and journey with a CRM or custom database directly in your inbox.

  • Easily escalate and collaborate on technical issues: Assign technical issues to engineers or easily loop them in to edit email drafts together.

  • Set reminders to follow up: Schedule a time for an email to come back if it hasn’t been replied to — so you don’t have to worry about remembering on your own, even months later.

  • Insights for success: See which customers require the most care to better distribute workload among your team.

Read how teams like Shopify, HubSpot, and Countsy use Front for account management →

Using a shared inbox for sales

Getting back to leads quickly is a top priority for most sales teams. In a shared inbox, your team can work on the queue together — with no duplicate replies or confusion on who gets each lead. That’s why shared inboxes are popular for managing sales inquiries like sales@dundermifflin.com. Here are the most popular ways we see sales teams use shared inboxes in Front:

  • Round-robin leads to your team: Evenly distribute emails to sales@dundermifflin.com among your reps to balance workload automatically.

  • Integrate your CRM: Reference and update Salesforce opportunities directly in your inbox.

  • Set reminders to follow up: Schedule a time for an email to come back if you haven’t received a reply.

  • Access resources in your inbox: Connect a knowledge base or resource library to quickly grab answers or send resources to prospects.

  • Easily schedule meetings: Easily schedule meetings, check calendar openings, and let prospects book time slots with you in a few clicks. 

Working together to improve customer experience

Whether you’re answering support requests, responding to sales inquiries, or building long term relationships, being in a customer-facing role is highly demanding — and highly dependent on email. Teams find shared inboxes improve their customer experience in many different ways:

Faster, more thorough responses

Customers want quick answers, but they also want correct information. Looping in teammates quickly makes it easy to get an answer and reply to customers.

Work together on replies

Teamwork makes the dreamwork, right? In a shared inbox, you can leverage your team’s collective brainpower to solve customer questions with fewer back-and-forth conversations.

More manageable workload

Shared inboxes significantly cut down on the email each individual receives each day. Less email = more time to get work done!

Access to customer context and history

No one likes answering the same question twice. With a shared inbox, you can look back at past conversations you’ve had with a customer, even if it was with someone else on your team. This means it’s easy to get the full picture of every customer, and you don’t have to bug customers to learn more or ask repeat questions.

Personalized experience

Saying, “Hey Pam, how’d your vacation time in Niagara go?” isn’t possible when you didn’t know (or forgot) that she even went on the trip. With access to conversation history in your shared inbox — even with other teammates, you can get much more personal.