Maybe you haven’t heard of this term yet, or maybe you are already using it but not completely satisfied with it. But a shared inbox is a great way of team collaboration, which makes it a perfect solution to boost your business productivity.
We know that you are always looking for tools that can improve your workflow, and also that your team is probably using at least two different software or applications besides email right now. But it’s possible to have everything you need for your business in one single place.
Today you are going to find out everything that shared inboxes can do for you and your team. After seeing everything in this ultimate guide, you can finally consider having one as an alternative of collaboration.
What is a Shared Inbox?
Emails were created with the only purpose of exchanging messages. But at a certain point, this functionality was not enough anymore. Mainly because companies started to use it as a tool for customer support, and other essential business activities.
Sharing the same email account with more than 10 people sounds a bad idea. That’s why software developers created specific programs for sharing emails differently.
Then some products like Front and Help Scout started appearing in the market, offering platforms where it’s possible to collaborate with your team colleagues. The best part of this new kind of software is that you can keep your email at the same time you share a team email.
Improvising a Shared Inbox: a huge mistake
Before email collaboration through shared mailboxes was an option some solutions appeared on the way. Using a single Gmail account, for example, and give access to it to a lot of people inside the company.
It means that everyone on the team uses the same password to access the same account (e.g. firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com).
The problems with this solution go from lack of security to a complete fail in client communication and even an organization disaster. Yeah, it’s a really bad idea. Some main issues that an improvised shared inbox might have are:
It happens between team members, and with clients. You can’t see if the email has already been answered by someone in the team. So you either answer it again, without knowing about a previous response or anybody end up not answering at all. This can cause a huge problem in the relationship with your clients because no one wants to receive two different answers for the same problem, or not having the issue solved.
As a customer support team improvising can also be a waste of time. You may think that someone has already started a conversation with the client and that you shouldn’t interfere with answering it. It, unfortunately, happens even if you are responsible for the matter in the email. It may slow down the process, and you will probably have to check with the rest of the team the status of a ticket.
Some teams simply can’t handle this situation for much time, and they start to fall apart. The workflow becomes unviable when problems like these happen, and the whole company suffers from it.
Google Groups is not a Shared Inbox!
Google Groups is a service created for communication and collaboration inside Google. Its initial goal was creating groups to share forums and emails. Now is commonly used as a kind of collaborative inbox for teams, but with some limitations:
- It’s not inside Gmail, so you have to work with your regular email, and the Google Groups tool separately. However, navigating between the two tabs can slow down productivity. The best option is to find a shared inbox solution inside Gmail.
- It doesn’t have task visibility, and that’s why team members can visualize what’s been done by one another. It causes an unpredictable mess.
- Remember what we’ve talked about miscommunication? It happens a lot inside Google Groups because with this tool everybody receives the same email simultaneously. The problem comes next when each person can start a different thread in this email, without the other team member seeing this. A lot of threads in the same email? A huge problem with so many bad endings that we won’t even start listing them.
We’ve already talked about all the Google Groups’ limitations in this article, and also the best use cases for this tool if you’re still considering to use it.
Why your team should use a real Shared Inbox
So now that you know that improvising a shared mailbox is not the ideal alternative to your business, learn about the reasons why it’s a great option for you and your team.
It’s possible to share a team email address without the need of everybody using the same password. This makes the whole situation much safer than simply sharing one simple personal account. Having a shared password can be problematic, for many reasons.
First, you probably know that sharing a login is not a great way to keep your email security well protected.
But another reason is that when someone leaves the company, you need to reset all the login information. So imagine having to change this security data a couple or more times during a year. This can be a real inconvenient which a shared inbox can solve by maintaining your account, and inside it a team shared mailbox.
Teamwork sometimes can be a bit difficult, mainly because each person has their ways of doing things and getting organized. It can be confusing and slow down the processes when you don’t have the right tool that keeps the whole team on the same page.
A shared inbox allows everybody in the team to know in which task each one of them is working at the moment.
Moreover, you can see if an email has been already responded to in real-time, avoiding any kind of duplicated answers, or even doing the same task twice.
Usually, in a regular email, when you want to share messages you have to follow a lot of steps. For example, when forwarding an email you click on “forward”, and then you add an “FYI” and finally click on “send”. With a shared inbox, you can remove these extra steps, simplifying the whole process.
Everybody on the team receives the same email and can keep track of it simultaneously. So say goodbye to “FWD”, “CC’s” and “BCC’s” and optimize your daily work.
Drag: The ultimate Shared Inbox solution in Gmail
We wanted to make email great again. Less painful, less messy… That’s why we created DragApp. A shared inbox solution to help your business grow and overcome each one of those problems that the improvised ones couldn’t solve.
The best thing about Drag is that it’s not just an inbox that your whole team can access and work on. It’s also a task management tool with folders, labels, tasks, tabs, tasks, due dates, notes and more! And all of this can be visualized in amazing Trello-like boards. It doesn’t stop there, because the best part is that you can use Drag right inside Gmail. A place your team know well, and probably use at work.
We merged different technologies to offer you a solution that provides a whole new experience that simplifies both your life and work.
As you may know and already have experienced, a regular email can be messy and easily cluttered. This is intensified with a business email that receives dozens or hundreds of emails each day.
That’s why Drag was developed to keep your Gmail inbox organized in the best way possible. You can create columns inside your boards, as you can see below:
Then you can drag emails between these columns to keep emails and tasks separated in stages. It facilitates the visualization and management of your workflow.
Navigating between tools can be a waste of the precious time you have, reducing productivity. You can use Drag as a CRM, Helpdesk, Task Management, email and also as a team chat. So basically you have everything you need to work as customer service, sales team, marketing team, and others, in just one single place. This can optimize your time and workflow.
The best view
You can have the Kanban view with Drag. This layout allows you to visualize your tasks and email in a better way. And it also facilitates the other feature that we love and gave the name of our tool: dragging emails and tasks between boards.
You can drag and drop cards between processes, so your team can keep track of what’s happening, and what is already marked as “done”, for example.
Now that you already know everything you need about shared inboxes, have you made your decision? We can assure you that your team will enjoy the experience of having an integrated tool to work with inside an email. It will be easier to have everything they need in one single place. And better yet if it’s inside Gmail, right?
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.