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Why You Need A Shared Inbox for Your Teams

Communication is the key to good teamwork, but it is also key to great customer service and building a strong business. If you want your business to grow, then you need to think about how you can help your team be more efficient at managing customer expectations.

There are a wide range of software options that can help get your company organised, but for most businesses these software selections mean that your staff are following multiple steps just to respond to a customer query.

What is your workflow when a customer query comes in? For many a customer will email in a query or request, the person receiving may be the person who deals with it, but chances are high that they will need to consult with other members of the team - and this is where a shared inbox can save hours of time, significant confusion, and increase the businesses efficiency. An example is Messagely's shared inbox tool, where you can integrate this tool into your website.

What Does A Shared Inbox Do?

An email comes in - maybe Mr Smith wants to organize a new website to be designed by your company. Anyone in a creative industry knows the amount of work and interaction that happens between team members behind the scenes - but your customer doesn’t need to know this. They just need to know that your company offers amazing service and really understands what they want.

With a good shared inbox, you can assign email queries to the appropriate person, even if it is from your client, which means that you will always know what stage any job is at. You can see who has responded to Mr Smith, you can see what Mr Smith has replied with.

Being able to track an email thread easily, assign people to each email or email thread, file the email in the appropriate folder and group email attachments, improves your workflow (see here for emailing tips).

Email Confidentiality

What about when you don’t want your customer to know about the internal email dialogue? If you have ever been in the position where you are trying to talk down an irate client who has been the recipient of an email thread that has bounced around the office discussing the client and their problem, often in a jovial or less than professional manner, then you know the damage that this can do to a relationship.

With the right shared team inbox system, you can have confidential team member only discussions about the client and their problem, and be secure that your client will never receive an out of context reply or see a comment from an overly stressed team member who was having a bad day.

Duplicated and Contradictory Information

One of the other great things about a good shared inbox is being able to get a notification if someone is also replying to the same email that you are currently drafting up. There is nothing more frustrating than sending a quick and efficient reply to a customer only to then discover that not only has another team member also responded, but that, even worse, they have given a contradictory response to the one you just sent. Trying to recover from this situation and remain looking professional is very difficult. If only your software system had been able to prevent this situation from happening.

Automation Systems

Many email systems are able to use a template system and help with automated replies or system flows. Unfortunately, many people don’t understand how these work, and still use a manual set up to complete their workflow.

Templates are a great way to ensure that your business is able to provide a standardised response to common queries. Templates also ensure that your staff members are not going to be missing vital information - this becomes even more important when you are introducing new staff to the team. Quotes, invoicing, design elements or requests for vital information can all be included in a standardised template that your team can all have access to.

Including these templates in a shared inbox has the added advantage of meaning that all team members have access to the information that the client has provided. Your designer will have access to your client’s colour choices and logos, your development team will know the level of functionality required, your sales team will know what services your client needs

Additionally, your accounts department can see what has been quoted and what additional products and services have been added after casual conversations. Often a “simple, quick change” is agreed to by team member who doesn’t realise how much work that change is going to actually require. These are the sorts of things that a proactive manager will be able to see at a glance and pull up before hundreds of dollars of staff hours have been used with no hope of being able to invoice for these hours.

Tracking Systems

What about clients who say that have never seen an email? With the right system you can automatically see not only if an email has been opened, but also if it has been forwarded or replied to, and even if the client has opened any attachments or clicked on a link to get further information.

Although this information becomes invaluable if there is a problem later on, it can also help you manage client expectations. You can follow up with a client who hasn’t opened an email to make sure they have received it (sometimes emails do get lost in spam and junk mail). If you have vital information included in a link that your customer hasn’t opened, you are able to offer excellent customer service by quickly pointing out that further information is available in a link. A quick mention of this can save endless issues at a later date.


One of the concerns people have when their managers start talking about a shared inbox is if they will lose the privacy of their current inbox. Having a group inbox does not mean that you will no longer have a private email! Not every piece of correspondence needs to be managed by your team, but having the option for both a team shared inbox and your own private company email, both in the same location, will ultimately make your life a lot easier.