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Considering a Team Inbox? Here’s What You Should Know

By August 7, 2019 No Comments
Team inbox Featured
Team inbox Featured

Some have argued that email is dead or predicted it would be replaced by social media messaging or the rise of mobile app use. According to a 2018 study released by Radicati Group, more than 281 billion business and consumer emails were sent last year, and that number is expected to grow to more than 333 billion by year-end 2022. The continued popularity of emails is largely due to so many individuals having easy access on smartphones. On average, individuals spend four hours per weekday checking work emails, a 28 percent increase from 2015.

This study shows that email is alive and well. Email was essentially created to be used individually, but in recent years, businesses have felt the pressure to deliver better customer service and started using shared inboxes to maintain faster response times.

Pros and Cons of Shared Inboxes
Like any new opportunity, utilizing shared inboxes comes with both positives and negatives that you should consider before making a decision.

Pros
1. Faster Response Time
Customers expect answers to questions or requests promptly. Many businesses that utilize shared inboxes can respond to customer service requests quickly. Since all customer service representatives are working from the same queue, their questions are always answered in order instead of experiencing a delay because a rep is away from their desk or out of the office.

2. Increase Transparency
Customers expect answers to questions or requests promptly. Many businesses that utilize shared inboxes can respond to customer service requests quickly. Since all customer service representatives are working from the same queue, their questions are always answered in order instead of experiencing a delay because a rep is away from their desk or out of the office.

3. Improve Communication
Several shared inbox vendors offer available integrations that let companies pull messages from other platforms so all communication is in one place. This way, if a customer contacts you through multiple channels, you are aware and able to address the request quickly. A shared inbox also decreases extra steps because representatives no longer have to forward messages to team members for review.

Cons
1. Loss of Personalization
A customer email won’t tell you much about who the customer is, what their buying history is, or how often they contact you. If businesses rely solely on a shared inbox, you risk losing customers because many want a personalized experience.

2. Duplicate Work
If too many individuals have access to the same inbox, it can cause confusion and duplicate work. For instance, if two employees respond to the same email at the same time or if an employee forgets to tag an email as being worked on. In either case, the customer can end up more confused because of the multiple messages and one of the employees could have been working on solving another request. Color-coding emails as they come in is helpful in preventing the confusion.

3. Lack of Drive
With shared inboxes, you risk having undriven employees who know that somebody else will pick up the work. Unless you track the number of queries solved by each employee, it can also be difficult to identify when this occurs. Set expectations for the number of emails expected to be answered by each representative daily so you can track who is being productive and who is not.

Shared inboxes are a valuable tool for some teams. It is important that you compare to other available options as well to make the best choice for your business.