There are over 3.9 billion active email addresses today, representing more than half of the world’s population. Even with the rise of social media, nearly everyone with an active presence online uses email as a primary form of communication with friends, family, and businesses. For any company striving to keep up with customer demands, the pressure is likely to rise.
Consumers today are seeking a personalized customer experience that addresses their unique needs while providing easy access to resources. One of the ways that companies have started to improve their communication with customers is by utilizing a shared inbox, often with an integrated knowledge base and customer portal.
A shared inbox consolidates the processes from many different systems onto a single platform. It can have a dramatic impact on team effectiveness, especially in a call center or customer service environment. If you have not yet implemented a shared inbox, here are a few important reasons why it might be a valuable investment for your team.
Simplify Workflows for Your Team
One of the immediate benefits of using a shared inbox is the elimination of many smaller tasks. With centralized email management, your team will have access to all incoming messages in a centralized location. Team members will no longer need to forward messages or try to organize emails themselves. A shared inbox allows email assignments, automatic sorting of messages, email labeling and tagging, and the use of collaboration tools from within a single platform.
Collaboration Tools for Addressing Requests
A standard email platform will provide basic tools for editing and sharing messages but may lack additional capabilities for teams. With a shared inbox, each team member can view the queue at any time to see the status of each open request. Team members can create and share draft replies with supervisors or coworkers for input before responding to the customer. Team members can add comments to a message and discuss any information or opinions needed to close out the request. You can also set up notifications for different scenarios, such as a request that hasn’t been resolved after a specified number of days, to prevent a request for sitting too long without attention.
Control over Data and Customization
A shared inbox isn’t the same as simply sharing an email mailbox password with multiple users. It allows each agent to log in to the system with their unique credentials and customize their dashboard and workspace. Individual logins provide greater control over data security and privacy. Because each user has unique credentials, you can set permissions for customers, teams, or documents. A shared inbox system also comes with a complete audit trail that’s useful for reviewing records and tracking changes to anything stored in the system.
Data Access and Integrity
When any edit or change is made within the shared inbox system, it is captured and available to the entire system in real-time. Individual agents can review work in progress and check the status for any request at any time. This also eliminates the need for manually sharing external reminders or status updates. Many shared inbox tools utilize cloud storage, which enables access to the platform from any location and the ability to maintain safe backups.
Reporting and Metrics
A shared inbox that comes with a reporting feature allows you to view and monitor the performance of your customer support efforts in real-time. Detailed reporting allows your management to keep tabs on important metrics like average first response time, the number of open tickets, and more, so they can easily identify areas for improvement, set goals, and monitor progress. With reporting for agents, teams, and labels, companies have access to both high-level data and granular reporting to monitor performance for different lines of business or support teams.
Automation and Connection to Other Tools
With a shared inbox, you can also automate certain functions using snippets and filters to save time and automatically organize incoming messages. Using a system that also includes a knowledge base and customer portal gives customers multiple ways to access information and contact your customer support team. Integrating a shared inbox with other tools such as Slack, Trello, and Zapier makes it possible to implement a shared inbox without disrupting your existing team workflows.
Customer support today is all about improving the customer experience and demonstrating your commitment to your customers. A shared inbox gives teams of all sizes and structures the ability to organize their entire support system around incoming requests and resolve issues quickly. It will continue to be a differentiator for teams that want to offer additional customer support capabilities while also streamlining operations.