Team inbox is still an unknown. Companies rely on a single email address, cc’ing in teams, or using big helpdesks to solve problems. But, does it really solve the problem?
We’re launching shared inbox (Drag Team boards) so you can work with your team to organize, comment and reply to emails, together. We think we’re onto something, but before you agree, here’s my view on the other options.
When you first start out in business, you know everyone’s name, you recognize their email, you may even recognize their email fonts.
Here’s Richard (a widely known Drag advocate amongst the Drag team). His emails to us are iconic:
Customers love speaking to the Founders, when things first start out. They feel the passion and enthusiasm. But things must change as your business grows. Teams need to replace the Founders. Communication needs to broaden and bigger teams need to support this growth.
It’s still a common problem. How do you share your inbox with your team so your wider team can lend a helping hand?
1. Share one email account
These and other email clients are the perfect foundation for a super-useful inbox, except for one thing. Sharing. There are options with folder structures, color-coding, tags and automatic filtering of emails.
The big BUT! They do not allow your team to collaborate on tasks together.
There are third party solutions such as Helpdesk, CRM and other software that are made to crunch emails in a really efficient way for teams. While they solve the problem, in part, they are cumbersome, and often too heavy for what’s needed.
Now some people try to hack together a shared inbox by having lots of team members logging into one single email account and run all the tasks that way.
Pros: It’s a quick fix. It’s lightweight and in can work really well for small teams.
Cons: You’ll outgrow it fast. There’s no accountability on who’s doing what (the method assumes everyone is the same person).
2. Lots of cc’ing and forwarding
Sometimes, things naturally develop. Have you ever found yourself starting to build an intricate network of cc’s and email forwards to an email string in order to solve the problem? Me too. This works for basic tasks but is not a scalable process for your company and so has it’s space and has its shelf-life.
Pros: It’s simple. If you are clear, cc’ing and forwarding the correct emails, it’s perfect.
Cons: It can fast develop into an intricate web. Complex conversations stop you from scaling this way of communicating as part of a team in email.
Helpdesk’s single goal is to support customers in a structured, scalable way; to create trackable, accountable tickets (support requests).
This is great for large teams (in support) but becomes tedious and cumbersome for other parts of a business (eg. Sales, Marketing, Finance).
Pros: Awesome if you have a big team and need to share your email threads across teams for customer support.
Cons: Very hard to adopt sharing an inbox for anyone other than Customer Support. Small teams can benefit more from having a Help Desk in Gmail.
4. Drag Team boards
And, the crowd stands to applaud. We bring you multiple team boards.
It’s shocking. There’s not much that can make you fast and smart when managing emails as part of a team.
Drag’s shared inbox allows you to work together on emails when it needs more than one person (and it’s not just for customer support).
Is it worth it?
1. Respond to emails faster: getting to inbox zero is everyone’s goal, irrelevant if you’re in sales, customer support or anything else. But imagine, your team helping you reach inbox zero ?. This is our goal to make a truely collaborative place for your team’s inbox.
2. Manage communication from one place: We’ve talked a lot about email. But people use email for lots of different things – marketing, sales, customer support. We also know how hard it can be managing lots of different tasks in different roles. Having Drag Team boards means you can do just that, all from one place. Lots of tools have emerged that do specific tasks for different roles, but having a universal place, inside your inbox, is awesome.
3. Have a transparent team: It’s not just about saving time, it’s about promoting transparency across your team. Sharing certain communication onto team boards provides context to why things are getting done.
4. Get s&*t done: Remember that amazing deal your top sales person closed? You can see how she did it plus check on the status of other opportunities. Or need to know where marketing tasks are at with a third party agency? Jump in and manage your marketing (team board!).
What’s the conclusion?
We’ve talked to over 40,000 people about organizing their inbox. One thing resonates; improve their productivity and collaborate.
Email is painful, but it doesn’t have to be. Team boards can help.
Drag is The Everything Inbox for Teams – one single place to support customers, manage tasks and close deals, from the place teams love – Gmail. We are Techstars-backed Company, trusted by 30,000 users around the World.