Email is not going to go away, at least not in the near future. A 2016 survey on email usage found that people spend an average of four hours on work-related email every day, and it keeps increasing every year.
Companies usually have a common email for customers to reach out to them for technical support or complaints. Things can quickly get overwhelming if a large number of emails come in and there isn’t a proper system to allocate emails to different agents. Team members who login to a single inbox like contact@ or help@ quickly realize that there is no clear visibility on who is handling what or who else might also be logged in, possibly addressing the same issue that you are.
Shared inboxes are a great way to allocate clear ownership and responsibilities, and bring visibility on what is happening across the team. When used properly, shared inboxes can be incredibly valuable for collaborative communication.
FrontApp is a popular shared inbox application that allows you to keep communication streamlined and set up automatic workflows. There are some equally impressive alternatives to FrontApp that we bring to you in this article.
Whichever email system that you currently use, Threads can transparently connect to it and store all the messages securely in the cloud. If you want something that you can just plug and play into your existing system, Threads is probably the best choice for you. The shared inbox system allows you to point colleagues right to the information that is relevant instead of having to sift through emails for hours. Threads has a very intuitive and easy to use interface that integrates seamlessly with your existing system, so all team members can adapt to the platform quickly. Threads also has the unique ability to ingest and transcribe VoIP phone calls so they appear in your shared inbox just like emails.
FrontApp and Missive are both great in allowing team members to comment and collaborate in between emails. Missive goes one step forward by being a full featured email client as well, rather than being just an email-based support desk. Missive aims to bring all of the email communications of a team member – shared work email, personal work email, and personal email – into the system, to enhance the possibilities of collaboration. You may want to collaborate around a potential high profile customer that you are communicating with in your personal work inbox – Missive can be a great fit here.
Zendesk is a simple system that allows you to assign, prioritize, solve, and track customer tickets. Depending on how extensively you want it to integrate with your existing email system, Zendesk can be customized to specific requirements. Along with the many existing app integrations that it allows, Zendesk also arms you with performance dashboards that give you a sense of how the customers are being served.
Intercom is a more expensive alternative to FrontApp, but it is an easy system to adopt and get started. For bigger companies, Intercom may be a good choice to add support tickets, chats, push notifications, and messages to customers and between team members. It has a lot of features, so if you are a small company you may not find use for all of it. The analytics dashboard gives you real-time statistics on how engaged the support team is.