If your team communicates with customers by email, you have probably already figured out that email client apps were just not designed or built for teams. Perhaps you have tried solutions such as distribution lists or shared mailboxes; however, you probably concluded that it always becomes messy at some point.
Shared inbox software provides email management and collaboration tools designed for teams.
Different teams can benefit from using shared inbox software:
- Customer support teams and client services teams that handle customer issues and requests.
- Customer success teams that drive retention, delight customers, create opportunities for growth, and drive expansion.
- Finance teams that communicate with customers and vendors and manage processes such as accounts payables and receivables.
- Sales teams that manage leads, estimates, and quotes.
- Operations teams that delegate and orchestrate work while communicating both internally and externally.
- HR teams that take email referrals and communicate with potential employees.
- IT teams that run IT operations and IT support.
What is Shared Inbox software?
Shared inbox software is a collaborative email management tool designed to help teams work together effectively on customer emails. It is a customer communication hub where emails are directed into the shared inbox. The whole team can collaborate and work on the emails together: assign emails, chat about them behind the scenes, set up automation rules, and provide high-quality answers faster.
The core functionality of shared Inbox tools includes:
- Aggregate emails from one or more business email addresses such as support@, info@, or finance@ into a single collaborative space.
- Assign email conversations to specific team members.
- Communicate internally about emails while keeping the context.
- Organize with tags, labels, and categories.
- Automate with custom rules and workflow options.
What Is a Shared Inbox Software – In-depth coverage of what a shared inbox software is.
Six signs you need shared inbox software
If you’re considering a shared inbox software for your business, we’ve included the following common considerations to help you:
- Your company uses multiple public email addresses.
Like many companies, you may need to manage several email addresses like email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org that reach multiple people on your team. You feel that emails get scattered around, and it’s hard to keep track of open issues. You may be already using solutions such as a distribution list or a shared mailbox; however, it’s becoming evident that you need a better solution.
This is where shared inbox software comes to help. It lets you manage multiple email accounts in a single place and offers built-in communication tools for the teams to work together on customer email.
- You experience email collisions and duplicate replies.
If you have ever experienced that uncomfortable moment when you realize that two people on your team replied to the same customer twice and gave them the same, or even worse, different information, you are not alone. Collisions are common when people on your teams reply to customers individually, without using software that centralizes team and customer communication in one place.
When you realize duplicate replies get sent to the same customer, it’s time to think of solutions.
- You realize customer requests get lost.
If you’ve ever received a follow-up email from a customer asking about a request they sent in and never got a response for, that’s not good for business; however painful, this is quite common.
Requests can get lost for different reasons:
- Emails get buried in someone’s inbox because they are flooded with incoming emails, Cc’s, and Bcc’s that clutter up their inbox, and important stuff gets lost.
- No clear ownership – no one knows who is responsible for replying to this email, and no one answers the customer.
An email management software for teams lets you assign emails and prioritize them. It offers better organization and transparency and creates better accountability so nothing slips through the cracks and every customer request gets answered.
- Consistency is a challenge.
Consistent answers which are quick and easy to replicate can help you boost your and your team’s productivity. You’re looking for an easy way to compose standard replies to similar issues and produce accurate and knowledgeable responses, no matter who writes the answer.
- Collaboration is messy or non-existent.
You probably already tried different solutions for better collaboration. You may have tried collaborating by Cc-ing, Bcc-ing forwarding emails. Perhaps you use other, separate chat tools like Slack, Microsoft Teams, or WhatsApp – which lack the actual context of the original email you discuss and the entire internal discussion scattered in many places rather than within the context of the customer request. Whatever you use, at some point, it’s just not enough. Valuable information gets lost, and you spend too much time trying to keep track.
- You feel flooded with customer requests.
When your business and activity grow, that’s a great thing; however, it often comes with increased communication with customers. You may start considering adding more people to your team, but you may want to start by trying to be more efficient.
A shared inbox software can provide the required automation and organization that can help you handle a higher volume of incoming customer requests without adding people to your team.
Compared to help desk software solutions, which are usually complex, offer endless features, and require training, the best shared inbox software solutions keep things simple without sacrificing power. They provide the right processes required for a team looking to organize their customer-facing email management better. Shared inbox software maintains the power and simplicity of an email client while providing in-app collaboration capabilities and other tools that empower teams to work together and offer better customer experiences more efficiently.
How can shared inbox software help?
A shared inbox allows users to view incoming emails in a group view, which functions similarly to the familiar email-client inbox, with the added benefits of business email management and team collaboration tools all in one place. A centralized system allows focusing on the essential tasks and reduces the need to multitask or hire more team members.
The following features can improve how you work with email as a team, get everything organized, and make customers happy:
- Team Inbox.
The Team Inbox is where you see all emails from your group addresses like support@, info@, finance@, or sales@ in a single collaborative space.
Traditional shared inbox software requires that you switch and navigate between different inboxes, one for each incoming email address, making it harder to be on top of things. Modernized solutions unify the separate incoming email addresses into a single team inbox, and each team member sees the requests they are authorized to view.
Such centralized email management saves time, allows your team to respond faster, and prevents emails from falling through the cracks.
- My Inbox.
Unlike the team inbox that shows all incoming emails, My Inbox shows only conversations relevant to you. It shows you emails “assigned” to you and all email conversations you follow. This way, you don’t need to be assigned to a conversation or keep track of the team inbox – you can “follow” a conversation to be involved. The system will notify you about updates by pushing the conversation into your inbox.
Having a personal inbox view allows everyone on the team to focus on their tasks, achieve clarity, and transform the way you work as a team.
- Clear ownership with assignments.
Assigning emails to specific people helps everyone on the team know who is responsible for what, avoiding duplicate replies and forgotten emails. It generates better accountability and clarity.
- Time-saving automation tools.
With automation, you can deliver answers faster, freeing time to focus on making customers happy. Automation tools include:
- Automatic assignments to distribute the workload.
- Auto-replies send an immediate response to a new incoming email to reassure the customer that you are taking care of their issue.
- Canned responses that keep your team’s consistency and ensure high-quality thorough replies.
- Better collaboration.
Private, internal discussions with other team members within the email thread help you achieve real collaboration while always having the proper context where everything is in one place. Internal comments in the email thread instead of forwarding, replying-to-all, Cc-ing, or Bcc-ing simplify your work, create clarity, and save time.
- No Collisions.
You can prevent email collision by assigning incoming messages to specific teammates and using built-in collaboration prevention tools that show you in real-time when other teammates are working on the same request.
- Permissions and access rights.
Having a shared inbox does not mean that you should let everyone on the team see everything. Some customers’ data may be sensitive and require only specific team members to access it. Permissions and access rights help you protect sensitive conversations and make them accessible only to relevant team members. In addition, it cleans clutter from the inbox, allowing everyone to focus on the things that are in their scope only.
- Customer Portal.
Giving customers a way to see all recent and past conversations in one centralized place, checking the status of their requests, and asking questions will save you valuable support time, provide transparency, and enhance customer satisfaction. Unfortunately, not all shared inbox tools have this feature. When a Customer Portal is available, make sure it does not require any maintenance on your end.
Shared inbox solutions provide a complete way to work with email as a team. Teams who have chosen to move forward and work with customer communication software see improvement in their ability to collaborate on customer requests and can provide exceptional customer service.
Replypad is a modern shared inbox software solution designed from the ground up for teams to offer excellent customer experiences. With Replypad, you have everything organized in one place with clear owners, so everyone can be accountable for their tasks. You can try it out with your team for free. Quick to set up and easy to use, with Replypad you will be enjoying the benefits of a shared inbox software very quickly.