Successful entrepreneurs and leaders know one secret- Traditional email platforms are not designed for teamwork.
They completely ignore team goals and preferences, do not allow internal collaboration, and make tracking emails far from easy, thus resulting in an inefficient process. This hurts both- your customers and your team’s morale.
However, the addition of shared inbox software has turned the tables upside down.
Team members can see at a glance what emails are in the inbox and may need a reply, they can discuss internally while drafting a response, prioritize conversations, and respond to customers faster than ever before.
In this blog, we will explore the different roles and features of a shared inbox, and compare the 15 best shared inbox tools to help you choose the best.
What Is a Shared Inbox?
A shared inbox refers to an email inbox that multiple team members can use to send and receive emails- all from a single place. A shared inbox is a great way to have more eyes on your emails and ensure not a single email can slip through the cracks.
In addition to emails, modern shared inbox software acts as a universal inbox that incorporates chats, text messages, social media messages, and more. Team members can get relevant context through customer contact history, hold discussions with internal notes or comments, and share a common calendar.
Why Do You Need a Shared Inbox?
Most businesses start their journey with a single email account. But as the business grows and different departments pop into existence, the need to manage multiple email accounts becomes all the more important.
Let’s say you have a shared email account- ‘email@example.com’. Now with traditional email clients, there is a single login credential and only a single team member can access the account at any given time. Now, as your support emails grow, individual efforts for managing this email account might not be sufficient.
However, with a shared inbox software, it’s a whole different ball game!
You can have multiple team members manage an email account at the same time. That’s not all. They all can manage not just firstname.lastname@example.org but many other email accounts such as info@, contact@, design@, and many others- all from a shared dashboard.
Shared Inbox Software Features
While there are many shared inbox vendors in the market today, choosing the one with the right features can be difficult. Here are some must-have shared inbox software features that you should know.
- Multiple Email Management
As discussed in the above sections, a shared inbox makes it super-easy for you to manage multiple email accounts. Users can keep emails well organized through Labels and Tags, prioritize the ones that need immediate attention, and use canned responses for faster replies.
- Internal Collaboration
Shared inbox tools are designed for teamwork. Multiple team members can simultaneously work on a shared dashboard without stepping on each other’s toes. They can leave important notes about a request with the help of internal comments and discuss them internally without the customer knowing.
- Collision Detection
A collision happens when two people on your team reply to the same customer twice, without knowing that someone else already replied. Shared inbox software automatically detects when such collisions occur and helps you avoid sharing multiple replies to the same email.
- Reports & Analytics
The best-shared inbox software offers reports and analytics to help you gauge daily, weekly, or monthly performance. You can track key metrics such as email response times, number of responses shared by a team member, number of unresponded emails, and more.
Top 15 Shared Inbox Tools Available in the Market
Let’s explore the top shared inbox software that are currently ruling the market. Here we go.
1. ProProfs Help Desk
With the best shared inbox, ProProfs Help Desk takes email management to a whole different level. Agents can easily collaborate to solve complex issues together, leave internal notes, prioritize urgent issues, track every single email conversation- all from a common dashboard.
The product comes with a dedicated cloud hosting on IBM servers, allowing you to manage shared emails while working from the office, at home, or on the road. Moreover, with a Gmail like user interface, managing thousands of customer emails will not only feel familiar but far better.
- Create and use canned responses for common customer emails
- Agent Collision Detection helps you avoid sharing multiple replies to a single email
- Encourage self-service with a knowledge base
What you may like: ProProfs Help Desk is not just a shared inbox tool; it’s a lot more. In addition to email ticketing, you can reduce support ticket volume with a knowledge base and interact with customers in real-time through live chat.
What you may not like: Although the tool can be integrated with Salesforce, it still misses out on some popular integrations.
Price: Starts at $10/user/month
HubSpot offers a remarkable universal inbox that connects multiple email addresses and gives different teams- marketing, sales, customer service, a single place to view and manage all conversations. Users can have complete transparency and will never have to guess whether someone has followed up on an important email or not.
Users can easily set up routing rules to assign emails to specific individuals or distribute them evenly across all team members. With the application of filters, it becomes easier to sort through conversations and find the ones you are looking for.
- Set up routing rules to automatically send emails to relevant agents or teams
- Leverage pre-designed templates and canned responses for faster replies
- Get all the context you need for personalized and meaningful conversations
What you may like: HubSpot’s team email is integrated with its free CRM. This way your team can deliver more personalized email responses based on information that they have already captured about a contact.
What you may not like: If you wish different internal departments such as sales, marketing, and customer service, to work in isolation then this tool might not be your best option. Collaboration between so many departments can often create confusion.
Price: Starts at $45/month (2 paid users)
Kayako is one of the popular shared inbox tools that comes with customizable view options. Users can use ‘Tags’ to easily categorize emails and organize all external as well as internal conversations in a single place.
Kayako’s ‘SingleView’ offers a complete visualization of the entire customer journey that includes stages such as- purchase history, recent activities, and interactions with other agents. This gives relevant context to your agents so that you don’t have to ask additional or repetitive questions.
- Agents can apply ‘Tags’ to email conversations for better organization
- Use shared notes for internal discussions and improved collaboration
- Get a complete visualization of the customer journey with ‘SingleView’
What you may like: With the help of the collision detection feature, your agents can see when another agent is viewing or replying to a conversation.
What you may not like: This tool might not be useful for other teams in your organization.
Price: Starts at $15/user/month
4. Help Scout
Whether you have a team of 3 or 300, Help Scout keeps all your customer service agents on the same page. Before replying to customers, your agents can send private notes with @mentions to other team members. This ensures you always share the most appropriate response to customers.
With Help Scout, you can even create a vast library of answers to frequently asked questions. Within just a few clicks, agents can easily insert these answers into their responses and offer instant help to customers.
- With Workflows, you can set up powerful automation and reduce repetitive tasks
- Find exactly what you need with advanced filters, bulk actions, and quick views
- Send private notes to team members before replying to a customer
What you may like: Help Scout’s dashboard is super convenient as users can toggle between email and chat conversations in seconds and check new customer requests added to the queue in real-time.
What you may not like: With its Standard Plan, users can get only 3 mailboxes.
Price: Starts at $20/user/month
Freshdesk is another popular shared inbox software that does a commendable job of converting incoming requests to your support email into helpdesk tickets. These tickets can then be easily prioritized and assigned to the right customer service agents.
Freshdesk equips your agents with all the tools they need to deliver outstanding customer service. Users can integrate their favorite business applications such as CRM, payment solutions, bug-tracking software, etc. with Freshdesk for a holistic support experience.
- You can create multiple custom views to quickly access support tickets
- Prevent sharing multiple replies to the same customer using agent collision detection
- Create canned responses to quickly respond to common customer emails
What you may like: Over the years, Freshdesk has built a vast collection of help content in the form of FAQs, blogs, etc. to support its users from across the globe.
What you may not like: Freshdesk offers heavy features and it mainly caters to large enterprises. If you are a small business, Freshdesk might not be the perfect option for you.
Price: Starts at $15/user/month
Recommended Read: Top 11 Freshdesk Alternatives for 2021
HappyFox is a world-class team email management tool that comes with 35+ languages to help you offer multilingual support. With its user-friendly dashboard, you can queue up your email conversations and threads to resolve them in an orderly manner.
Help desk agents can use private notes to discuss tickets internally before drafting a response and hitting the send button. Moreover, managers can add tasks and due dates to maximize productivity and streamline support operations.
- Offer multilingual support in over 35+ languages
- Speak directly with customers using voice integration
- Automatically convert social media messages into unique tickets
What you may like: In addition to emails, HappyFox’s shared inbox gives you a holistic view of all your social media customer messages. The tool seamlessly integrates with Facebook and Twitter.
What you may not like: Compared to other shared email software in the market, this tool is on the expensive side.
Price: Starts at $24/user/month
Hiver is another emerging shared inbox software that is built right on top of Gmail. This tool presents Notes alongside emails so that agents can always get the right context. These notes are private and are not visible to customers.
With Hiver, agents can assign, track, and respond to customer emails, all from the Gmail interface, without the need for any additional software or dashboard. Therefore, there is no need to train your agents on learning any new software.
- Make the most of your Gmail interface without switching software
- Collaborate in real-time with team members while drafting responses
- Set multiple SLAs and get notified in case of SLA violations
What you may like: Hiver does a great job of enhancing Gmail to work for teams like customer support, finance, accounts, operations- basically for any team that uses Email.
What you may not like: This tool only works for Gmail users and does not support other leading email clients such as Outlook or others.
Price: Starts at $7/user/month
GrooveHQ offers a robust shared email inbox that is designed for improved productivity and teamwork. No matter how you interact with customers (email, chat, social media, phone, etc.). you can easily track all conversations in a single dashboard.
GrooveHQ helps you manage your team better with the help of insightful reports and important metrics. Help desk managers can generate multiple reports in real-time- including performance, conversation, happiness, and company reports.
- See a customer’s full support history at a glance
- Update the status of every conversation by marking it as Open, Snoozed, or Closed
- Generate multiple in-depth reports in real-time
What you may like: GrooveHQ displays great integration capabilities and is quite simple to use.
What you may not like: The starter plan comes with only a single mailbox which might not be sufficient for even small to medium-sized businesses.
Price: Starts at $12/user/month
Drag is another shared inbox that has been designed specifically for G Suite users. With Drag, users can turn their Gmail dashboard into a team workspace to support customers, manage tasks and respond to all sorts of emails.
With Drag different teams can achieve different goals. Customer service reps can respond to customer requests, the sales team can close deals, the operations department can manage day-to-day internal conversations, and so on.
- Easy-to-use internal team chat for better collaboration
- Managers can delegate and assign emails directly from the shared inbox
- Get help or approvals for drafts before sending emails
What you may like: Any team that uses Gmail can leverage this tool and streamline their email communications.
What you may not like: For those who have just started, it can make your Gmail interface appear more complicated.
Price: Starts at $8/user/month
In addition to offering the familiarity of an email interface, SupportBee provides many powerful email collaboration features to your team. You can categorize tickets as Answered, Unanswered or Archived. This helps you keep your inbox organized and clearly communicates which tickets in your shared inbox need your immediate attention.
Moreover, users can assign tickets to the most relevant agents or teams, add internal comments on tickets to discuss them, and share draft responses for review before sending them off to the customer.
- Save draft responses and tag team members to get them reviewed
- Add private comments for team collaboration on tickets
- Support multiple brands using email signatures
What you may like: With SupportBee, new tickets are displayed within minutes of customers emailing you. Your inbox is auto-updated so there is no need to consistently hit the refresh button.
What you may not like: Where SaaS companies are offering multiple pricing plans to cater to the needs of different business sizes, SupportBee offers just two plans.
Price: Starts at $13/user/month
SharedBox is a help desk tool that offers a team inbox build on Slack- collaboration software. Users can manage customer support, send and receive emails, tweets, and direct messages- all from their Slack dashboard.
Users can connect ShareBox to their existing email accounts. You can also receive an @in.sharedbox.app email that can be used to forward emails directly to your shared inbox in Slack.
- Receive notifications when your email is delivered and when it is opened
- Operates within Slack with no additional installation
- View interaction performance with your contacts
What you may like: If your team uses Slack, then you can get started with this tool in minutes without any additional installation or training requirements.
What you may not like: SharedBox is designed particularly for Slack users. So, if your business is not on Slack, this tool is not for you.
Price: Starts at $5/user/month
Front offers a robust ‘Universal Inbox’ for all your emails, SMS texts, chats, tweets, and more. You can keep all incoming customer communications well organized and actionable in just one platform.
With Front, you can always stay on top of every conversation. You can apply workflow rules to automate repetitive tasks and assign requests based on keywords, sender, time of day, and more.
- Discuss emails internally- directly on the email thread
- Assign the most relevant owner to a request or task
- Offers a familiar interface like Gmail and Outlook
What you may like: Front offers holistic insights across all channels to help you streamline your workflow and improve performance.
Price: Starts at $9/user/month
Helpmonks allows users to keep a firm track of customers, companies, and SLAs with built-in customer management tools. Just a single glance and users can see how many emails are awaiting a reply, prioritize the ones that need immediate attention, and archive important conversations.
Unlike other shared inbox tools, Helpmonks can be deployed in three different configurations. This gives you the flexibility to choose the right setup based on your current business needs.
- Use reminders to bring urgent email conversations back to the attention
- Built-in CRM tools for sales and support to work in sync
- Keep all your emails archived and searchable
What you may like: Helpmonks offers multiple deployment options- hosted, dedicated cloud-server, or self-hosted.
What you may not like: Helpmonks’ interface appears quite dull and is not very user-friendly.
Price: Hosted plans start at $19/mailbox/month
With Missive, users can easily set up all their email accounts- including private accounts and shared inboxes. It acts as a centralized communication tool and helps you manage emails, chats, and social media accounts like Facebook and Twitter.
Missive offers a wide range of integration capabilities and can be integrated with popular business tools and platforms such as Asana, Shopify, Trello, Todoist, Dropbox, and more.
- Customize user interface with beautiful themes
- Create and manage team signatures from a single place
- Organize conversations better with Shared Labels
What you may like: This tool comes with plenty of important integrations and can help you merge the functions of your favorite business apps.
What you may not like: Since there are so many places where a conversation can happen- one-on-one chat, group chat, and email communication, internal conversations can get lost.
Price: Starts at $10/user/month
Acquire’s shared inbox helps your business keep up with all customer service communications. In addition to emails, your agents can respond to chats, social media messages, video chats, SMS, and more.
With every important message in one place, communications don’t get lost or forgotten – and every team member can see who owns each conversation. You can use chatbots and a knowledge base along with a shared inbox to offer superior support to customers.
- You can easily tag team members into any conversation
- Set minimum email response times for priority clients
- Available on iOS and Android
What you may like: With Acquire, you can easily analyze conversation trends to understand how your team is performing and what can be improved
What you may not like: Unlike most email management software, Acquire does not display transparent pricing details on its website.
Price: You have to request pricing details.
Recommended Read: 11 Best IT Ticketing Systems to Manage IT Support Requests
Quick Comparison of Top Shared Inbox Tools
|Software||Price||Free Plan||Ticket Management||Alerts & Escalations||Canned Responses||Live Chat||Self-Service Portal||IT Help Desk|
|ProProfs Help Desk||$10/month||Y||Y||Y||Y||Y||Y||Y|
Grab the Best Shared Inbox Software
Disorganized and cluttered inboxes have been a constant source of worry for teams. You are often lost in a sea of unread emails leading to lost productivity and unhappy customers.
However, with so many shared inbox tools at your disposition, managing your multiple inboxes should be a breeze. We have put ProProfs Help Desk at the top for its ease of use, features, and affordability. Before settling for any tool, we advise you to go through the features in detail and try a free trial to get an idea of what the tool can bring to the table. Happy emailing!
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