Do you have multiple email accounts and multiple people managing them?
Well, what if we told you that you could combine all your email accounts and let your agents work together from a single dashboard. Would that make you breathe a sigh of relief?
Ladies and gentlemen, that is a shared inbox for you!
Having too many emails on your plate can be quite a struggle. We all have seen customer service reps complain about how they start their day checking customer emails. And when they are finally done responding to every single email, it's bedtime again.
So, is reaching Inbox-Zero leading to Productivity Zero?
In this blog, we will discuss how a shared mailbox can be the key to higher productivity and improved team efficiency. Guess it’s finally time to put all your worries in the JUNK folder and get your [email protected] act together!
Shared Inbox- Have More Eyes on Your Emails
There are two kinds of entrepreneurs in this world. The first is those who claim that their business struggles with managing over-flooded inboxes. The second is lying to themselves.
Americans, on average, spend around 209 minutes each weekday checking their emails.
Emails are eating up your time and leave your customers waiting for a response, staring at the clock in despair.
Tick! Tick! Tick!
The truth is that people seek fast responses and anything short of that can hamper the overall customer experience. So, how do you ensure your customers never have to wait long hours to get a response?
A shared inbox can be the answer as it serves two crucial purposes:
- It lets you manage multiple email accounts from a single dashboard.
- It allows multiple agents to collaborate and offer the best assistance quickly.
However, despite many businesses using a shared inbox, some entrepreneurs are still skeptical. They believe too many cooks can spoil the broth.
It is true that in some cases, you would not want too many people to work on the same thing. However, you must realize that modern help desks are designed to be seamlessly operated by multiple agents. It offers a shared space where your agents can collaborate, share ideas, and help each other to resolve tickets faster.
Sometimes a shared space is all the space your agents need.
10 Shared Inbox Best Practices for Lightning-Fast Support
#1. Prioritize Tickets With Labels
Emails come in all shapes and sizes.
Now, an email inquiring about the events that your business plans to conduct in the future, might not deserve your immediate attention. On the contrary, an email where a customer shares his/her issue would require you to prioritize and address it.
A shared inbox allows your agents to prioritize tickets that demand an urgent resolution. This helps them narrow down their tasks and focus on crucial tickets, which can cost your business big time if left unattended.
For instance, Agents can prioritize certain tickets as 'High,' 'Low,' or 'Normal' based on their importance or urgency. When your agents are well-aware of the priority status of a ticket, they would know exactly where to start.
#2. Drop Internal Comments & Notes
Your business must have received complex customer issues that require the help of multiple departments.
For instance, let’s assume a customer is encountering a regular downtime on his newly purchased software. Now, this situation would require the IT department and the customer support department to work in sync and resolve the issue.
This is exactly where internal notes come into the picture and help your teams/departments to discuss internally before sharing a response. Internal discussions ensure that nothing slips through the cracks. Your agents can even leave a note or comment on a ticket so that if that ticket gets reopened, the new agent wouldn’t have to start from scratch.
#3. Use Canned Responses for Faster Replies
Does your inbox get bombarded with similar product-feature requests or customer issues that seem familiar?
In that case, you would not want to overwork your agents and make them spend a ton of time pasting the same replies to people over and over again.
Well, canned responses can help you save time and share lightning-fast responses.
Canned responses are saved replies or templates that can be used in particular situations. For instance, you can use a canned response to tell customers that their issue has been registered and your team is working to resolve it at the earliest.
#4. Route Tickets to Relevant Departments
Sometimes support tickets can end up in the wrong department, and stay unresolved for weeks or even months.
Assigning tickets to relevant teams/departments is not rocket science and should not take more than a few seconds.
With a shared help desk platform, any agent can assign a ticket to different departments such as Support, Sales, Billing, Product Development, etc. For instance, a customer email asking about product features or pricing can be effortlessly assigned to the sales team.
By allocating the right tickets to the right departments, you can stop your agents from stepping on each other’s toes and make them focus on the tickets meant for them.
#5. Avoid Sharing Multiple Responses
Ask any entrepreneur about an email sin that they have committed, and they will most likely tell you how they regret sending a response to an important email, only to find that another colleague had also responded
Sharing multiple responses to a single email can make your support process appear unprofessional and redundant. Rather than solving a problem for your customer, you might end up creating more confusion.
So, what’s the way out?
The answer lies in a shared inbox feature called Agent Collision Detection that averts your agents from responding to the same ticket. This feature shows the active agent on a ticket and thereby, helps you avoid serious email blunders.
ProProfs Help Desk is a feature-packed tool that offers Agent Collision Detection feature and thereby, prevents multiple agents from making updates to the same ticket at the same time.
#6. Organize Tickets for Greater Efficiency
With so many emails on your plate, keeping a solid track of every ticket might seem like a demanding task.
However, there is still some good news.
Modern help desks are designed to reduce agent effort, and they help you keep your dashboard well-organized and tidy. Here are 3 ways you can better organize your tickets and achieve greater efficiency:
- Ticket Status
A ticket status simply tells you if a support ticket is open (unresolved) or closed (resolved).
- Parent-Child Ticketing
By using this feature, you can convert complex tickets into smaller child tickets for faster resolution.
With labels, your agents can easily sort, categorize, and filter support tickets. You can select labels from a list of existing ones or create new ones.
#7. Give Each Email Account Equal Attention
Most traditional organizations had a single email account to manage both internal business and customer-related communications.
Now, it is obvious that you might end up devoting more time to one email account, while the other accounts keep growing in size and remain cluttered.
However, with a group mailbox, you can club all your important email accounts in a single dashboard. The best part? You don’t have to log out from one account to log in to the other. The moment you log in to your dashboard, all inboxes will be there right before your eyes.
#8. Monitor Agent & Team Efficiency
It is important for any business to set Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to track individual, as well as team performance.
After all, you can’t improve what you don’t measure.
At the end of the day it is natural for you to be left with questions such as:
- What is the average ticket resolution time?
- How many unresolved tickets do we have?
- Which agents are resolving the maximum number of tickets?
The reports and analytics section of a help desk tool will allow you to unlock the right answers to such key questions and fill any improvement gaps. You can leverage such key data to make data-driven decisions.
#9. Leverage Auto-Assign Feature
If your agents still manually pick and choose tickets, you need to pause and ask yourself- ‘Is that really an efficient practice’?
Manual assignment of tickets can lead to a situation where every agent would like to work on tickets that require less time and effort. The result? You are left with tons of urgent emails that should have been addressed. So how do you instill a fair process?
Modern shared inboxes use the AI-based ticket assignment feature to ensure that tickets are always evenly distributed among your agents.
This feature assigns tickets to online and active agents such that the workload can be equally balanced. There is no point in assigning more tickets to an agent that already has a bucket full of tickets.
#10. Train Agents for Empathetic Responses
When you focus too much on the quantity (for instance, the number of tickets resolved), you tend to lose grip over the quality of responses.
Both, quality and quantity should be given equal importance. If a customer highlights that she is worried about the refund for a product she has just returned, sharing a generic email would not be of much help.
It's time to put empathy back into email.
Now, here is an example of an empathetic email response.
An empathetic and personal tone should be the driving force behind every email that goes out of your inbox. Now, there are obviously certain situations where your business can’t help a customer. For instance, when a customer asks for unrealistic discounts or when a customer had to wait for days due to a natural calamity.
Thankfully, you can offer empathetic training to your agents and ensure they share responses that strengthen the emotional bond between the customer and your business.
Bonus Tip- You can use ProProfs Training Maker to create visually appealing online courses and training programs. Your customer service heroes can access the courses anytime, anywhere, and gain the necessary wisdom.
Ready to Unleash the Power of Your Shared Inbox?
A poorly managed inbox can be the root cause of long work hours, stressed out team members, and above all disorganization.
However, keeping your inbox organized and clutter-free isn't an impossible goal. By leveraging shared inbox features such as ticket prioritization, internal notes, canned responses, intelligent reports, etc. you can make your agents join forces to offer delightful experiences.
So, if you’re running a business and wondering if having a shared inbox will make your life easier, the answer is a Big Yes! But you still don't have to take our word for it. You can try ProProfs Help Desk absolutely free for the first 15 days and witness the true power of a shared inbox.
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