Shared Inbox

The definitive guide to shared inboxes

By 6th July 2019 No Comments

The golden age of email is far from over. People and businesses all over the world rely on email for communication daily. More than 246 billion emails sent every day are definitely a powerful statement. Shared inboxes are a crucial element in today’s email dynamics. Here’s everything you need to know about shared inboxes and its importance.

A lesson in email history

It’s been a long run since 1971 when the first email was sent using a network of computers. Despite all the new technologies and all theories about how emails are doomed, they’re still quite useful.  Even stronger than ever before. In all fairness, it’s been a while since we stop hearing all the theories about the death of email and how new technologies were to take over email’s legacy.

Well, it seems that for most of us, emails are not even close to moving away from our daily routines. Now, it wasn’t always like this, a few years ago this was a common topic especially after the surge of instant messaging technologies that were bound to make people stop using email.

Then Whatsapp happened and it seemed like it was it for emails. Now, even though email usage did decrease for a while it was just an impression. In reality, people have never stopped using email, especially businesses. 

Against all the odds emails have kept their status as a reliable communication tool throughout the years and it seems pretty far from. Even if people decided to stop using email for personal matters, there would still be email for businesses. Using email is the minimum requirement for a company that wishes to be competitive in the modern world.

In the recent past, Outlook was the preferred email client for companies, until new and innovative ways to email were launched. Google was one of the first to revitalize the concept of email. Companies know the potential Gmail has and they also know what a valuable tool it is, that’s why almost all companies use it on a daily basis. 

What’s So Good About Email That We Still Rely On It?

There are many reasons why Emails are still around despite new technologies and instant messaging solutions. People like the fact that is an easy way to overcome communication boundaries between people and also between companies. 

Another major plus is the fact that it’s a type of technology available for everyone. Of course that a regular email user is also an avid instant messaging user, and probably uses them all on a daily basis. Companies, on the other hand, rely more heavily on email usage.

Companies are more inclined to keep using email as one of the main communication channels available, mainly because it helps keep things organized as it provides a good structure for communication development.

That structure we just mentioned has only improved over the years. Email interfaces are more intuitive and friendlier than five years ago. In addition to this, email had a great transition to mobile devices, making it more practical and useful. 

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So, Is There A Downside To Email?

In terms of communication, an email is a great tool, and people currently prefer to use email as the primary communication channel when they wish to get information from a company. Email is the preferred communication method when companies or individuals decide to do business with another company.

Sadly, it’s not all positive. There are some areas within an organization that encounter some issues that slow down productivity and, at a bigger scale, can have a negative impact on the company. 

This is a common struggle for sales or customer support work teams, who deal on a daily basis with many emails from customers or providers.  In those instances, it’s necessary to delegate tasks, emails and everyone needs to be on the same page and email can generate multiple inconveniences in those cases. 

These inconveniences affect important processes, like sharing information. If a customer support department receives hundreds of emails every day, can you imagine a team leader trying to delegate emails to other members for them to work on? You’ll have an endless thread of forwarded emails that will clutter all of the team’s inboxes. 

That’s not the only big issue with work teams using email to work together. Actually, there’s no way to overcome these problems, unless the entire team begins to inform verbally of every task or action taken, can you imagine the levels of confusion and work not-being-done?

Of course, this doesn’t mean that there’s no solution to overcome these type of issues. As you know, the main consequence of companies struggling to share information properly is that no work gets done. The reason for this is that the only way to delegate tasks or knowing who’s working on what is forwarding emails like there’s no tomorrow.

Despite that, companies still rely on email, because is the most practical way to share relevant business information like invoices, quotations, inquiries, etc. That’s why no matter the obstacles, email is still refusing to take a beating. Of course, it would be nice to find a tool that gets rid of forwarding emails and makes the process way more simple. Well, guess what? There is a way to overcome these issues in no time and without using external software or tools.

Shared Inboxes

If a work team is having problems because every day there’s a never-ending thread of forwarded emails that have a negative impact on productivity, they need a shared inbox. The easiest way to do this is simply using one email account for everyone, so the entire team has access to it and manage emails directly. Whenever you see an email account that looks like sales@yourcompany or support@yourcompany, it’s a shared inbox. 

That’s the best way to have a whole work team included in an email account, so they can have direct access and get the work done. No one will ever miss an email because they will all have access.

For customer service situations it’s great because team members can reply in real time to customers and there’s no need to forward as much as usual. Plus it will put an end to all the unnecessary CCing you’ve been probably doing all this time.

The downside was that as companies begin to rely more and more on shared inboxes, other problems started to surface.

Shared Inboxes are not working, why?

Gmail/G Suite is one of the leading email clients in the world. It’s the first option for thousands of companies, including emerging companies too. Their shared inbox feature is a recurrent solution to overcome some of the inconveniences we mentioned above.

When using Gmail, team managers have the option to share email credentials.  They can do it with everyone in the team or give each one delegated access. This means that several people will access the account from different devices.  This should be ok if you don’t have concerns about security. It’s also not a problem if you have less than 25 people on your team. 

When teams go past the 25-user limit, Google steps in and starts to block those accounts. Google can close the accounts for good if you don’t correct this. Imagine the huge mess if a support or sales account gets shut down all of a sudden?

That’s not all, there are also restrictions on managing roles, Google won’t allow that only one person handles the shared inbox. This sounds like a major setback, right? Well, Google decided to do something about this and that’s when The Collaborative Inbox appeared.

At first, it seemed like Gmail nailed it and solve the shared inbox restriction problems because people were able to access, manage and handle the shared inboxes and they didn’t even have to log in. Sadly, those were the only good things about Google’s collaborative inbox.

For instance, teams were unable to measure their performance, which is vital for customer support or sales departments. There was no way of telling who’s doing a good or a bad job. Managers can’t have reports of performance when using Google’s collaborative inbox. There’s only “sent” and “received” emails.  This is useless when you want to assess how is your team doing.

That’s not the only issue with the collaborative inbox, another problem is that within the collaborative inbox the only way to communicate is through an email. Literally, you have to send an email for every single action you want to transmit to people on your team, and they can only respond with an email. Your team will have cluttered inboxes with an endless thread of unnecessary emails.

That’s not all

Problems don’t stop there. When you use the collaborative inbox, you go from Gmail to another interface.  It’s worth mentioning this interface it’s not friendliest one. This is because it doesn’t look like anything the regular Gmail user has seen before. This means that the entire team would have to go through a steep time-consuming learning curve. 

Even if they learn fast, they would still have to permanently switch between the regular Gmail and the collaborative inbox.  It’s too time-consuming, plus,  there’s the risk of losing valuable info for not using only one interface. 

Last, but not least, we have another flaw in Google’s collaborative inbox, and it has to do with tracking emails. This, as you can imagine, is crucial for any support or sales department. There’s no way for you to know if a co-worker is working already on a received email or not.  unless such coworker decides to copy the team on the reply. The immediate consequence is that nobody on the team will know the real status of an email which leads to another problem: duplicated work.

We’ve seen cases of teams where several customer support agents started working on the same email, sending a response to the client. Can you imagine the reputation level of a company who has no control over their replies to a customer? They would likely lose that customer.

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Is There A Way To Fix Shared Inboxes?

In a nutshell? Yes, there is a solution. Since Google’s not-so-collaborative inbox has more cons than pros, there was the need to create a tool that overcomes all of these issues but without leaving the Google interface we all love. Well, Dragapp is the ultimate solution. Manage shared inboxes flawlessly, effortlessly and like a total pro. Here are some of its many benefits:

  • No More Duplicate Work: Those days of not knowing who’s working on what, are gone now. Everyone on the team will know when an email has been assigned to a coworker. There’s no way in which two people end up working the same email. Now, since replies are for everyone to see, you can also kiss good-bye all the CCing you’ve been doing.
  • No More Cluttered Inboxes: Remember when people’s inboxes were cluttered with an endless thread of emails. Dragapp’s notes in email will take care of that for you. They’ll be located right next to the thread for everyone to see. You’ll avoid losing time figuring out the email’s context.
  • No More Emails slipping Through The Cracks: With Dragapp you have the certainty that all incoming emails will be reviewed. Now teams will know which emails are assigned and which ones aren’t.
  • Teams Will Be Able To Use The Same Google Interface: Stop wasting time getting the whole team to learn how to use Google’s collaborative interface. Dragapp allows you to enjoy all of it’s benefits without leaving Gmail. It only takes seconds to add the Google Chrome extension. That way you can still use the shared inbox from Gmail itself, completely hassle-free.
  • A Fully Organized Email: The new  Kanban In Mail will make your inbox look more organized and you can access info so much fast and clear. It will give you the visual input you need to have control over all stages of email. Simple to use and a true productivity enhancer.

The Wrap Up

There you have it, the best way to organize your email like a champ.  Now you have an email ally that is more than just a shared inbox to manage emails. Dragapp was built to help businesses to grow, by making all the day-to-day email tasks more controllable and reliable. The entire team will now know what’s going on, making all processes more clear, giving satisfaction to clients and providers.

That kind of control is what makes teams work, it makes employees feel appreciated and a real component of the company.

What’s next

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