A shared inbox for teams makes sense for a lot of organizations. However, it’s important that you make sense of the incoming email as well as identifying who has touched what emails. There are some best practices to implement for your team so that a shared inbox doesn’t become a nightmare.
When you’re in Outlook, you can tag emails using different colored tags. You can set up a coded system so that each color means something different. Blue may mean that it’s been read, yellow might be that the person is still awaiting a response, and green may mean that the issue has already been handled. This will help everyone to stay on the same page so that work isn’t being duplicated. You don’t want anyone claiming “I didn’t know” because it’s a sure sign that your system in place has failed.
Set Up Notifications
A common concern of operating a shared inbox can be the problem of email overload. If you want to make sure that you are keeping an eye on messages that might require an immediate response then think about setting up a notification to automatically alert you when a reply is received. You can also have specific emails you receive to be sent to your phone by setting up filters in your notifications. When you set up your notifications make sure you set the right rules so you will only receive emails from specific threads that are important to you. It is important to note you can do this on both iPhone and Android devices.
A variety of folders can be created in the inbox. You can use these as a way to organize what is going on. You may want to use the folders as a way to delegate to everyone else who shares the inbox. You may also want to use the folders to keep tabs on the progress of what’s going on. The purpose of your business and why you have a shared inbox will often dictate what goes on with the folders, such as IT help desk tickets versus volunteers for a special event.
Forward the Email
In some instances, you may want to hit “forward” on the email and then send it directly back to the group. The benefit of this is that you can then type a message so that you can get some feedback from others who have access to the email. It may be what’s needed to keep everyone on the same page or to provide insight into a recurring issue that’s happening within the organization.
Change Passwords Like Clockwork
When you have a shared inbox, it’s likely going to be accessed by a number of people. Some of these people may come and go from your organization. To avoid giving people access who shouldn’t have it, get in the habit of changing your passwords like clockwork. Set a reminder so that on the first of every month, the password gets changed. Then distribute the password to everyone who needs to have it.
A shared inbox for teams has a number of pros and cons. By implementing some best practices, you can make it work more efficiently. The key is to make sure everyone utilizes the same system so that everyone knows what is going on and emails are being handled properly.