Are you tired of forwarding emails to your colleagues with “FYI” or cc’ing multiple people on your team just to make sure everyone is on the same page? Email can quickly become an untamable beast. Sure, you can subscribe your whole team to a shared email address, but that still leaves you searching through email threads, duplicating responses, and wondering if all your clients’ needs have been met. Maybe it’s time to revisit the way your team communicates and consider utilizing a shared inbox.
What is a shared inbox?
A shared inbox is an email mailbox that allows more than one person to send, receive, and manage emails from the same email address. For example, your entire customer support team could have access to a shared inbox named email@example.com. Anyone on your customer support team could then manage and collaborate on incoming emails from this particular inbox. Your sales team, on the other hand, could work within another separate inbox (i.e. firstname.lastname@example.org) specifically for sales inquiries and conversations. You get the idea.
Basically, creating a shared inbox and giving access to relevant team members allows anyone to manage and collaborate on incoming emails from their respective inboxes. The purpose of shared inboxes is to bring teams together and allow for quicker problem-solving by enabling you to work collaboratively and transparently. Team members are able to work within shared inboxes and all incoming and outgoing correspondence is visible to all mailbox users. All team members within a given shared inbox will know exactly what is being said, when it was said, and by who in any particular thread. This creates an environment of shared responsibility and collaboration, and ultimately builds efficiency while promoting streamlined operations and customer service.
What we love about Outpost
Email might seem like a small feat in the big picture of running an accounting firm, but we’re 100% remote. Email is one of our main methods of communication with clients and vendors and is crucial to the success of our operations. So when we heard about Outpost and their shared inbox solutions, our interest was piqued. Since the implementation of Outpost into our firm, we have taken note of features we absolutely love. Check them out…
‘Assign’ feature eliminates inbox clutter
Outpost makes it super easy for teams to work with shared inboxes. With the ‘assign’ feature, emails that come in can be delegated to specific team members. Inbox clutter is eliminated and you are able to clearly see what has or hasn’t been addressed so that all emails are accounted for. Part of the assign feature includes the ability to toggle to an inbox filter view where only emails assigned to you show up. This gives you the ability to coast through your inbox responsibilities and make sure all tasks assigned to you are completed.
Super clear communication history
One really cool feature of Outpost is the ability to write notes to your team. Suppose an email comes in from a client requesting assistance. You can quickly assign the email to a team member with a note attached that says “Do you have time to take care of this?” and include any further instruction. What we like about this is that the notes are attached to the relevant email, but are only visible to your internal team. It’s neat because you can carry on real-time conversations and collaborate without ever leaving the email. It creates a clear communication history that everyone can see. It also eliminates long forwarded email chains which can cause confusion and result in someone dropping the ball.
The history tab is also especially useful. Click the tab and the entire audit history of that email is revealed. You can see if the email was viewed, responded to, deleted, or archived and by who. Everyone assigned to that particular inbox can see the complete email chain and history, allowing for full visibility. No more digging for information or wondering if your team members responded to that client email.
Quickly and easily toggle between inboxes
If you’re trying to manage multiple email addresses, you know the pain of logging in and out of different accounts. It eats up time and is altogether inconvenient. With Outpost, you have a central hub for all your inboxes. You can connect your personal email, shared client inboxes, and other internal emails to Outpost. Then, easily toggle between them without ever having to re-enter your credentials. It’s incredible how much time this saves.
Added bonus: you can create a separate email signature for each inbox AND each team member can create their own personalized email signature. Oh, and you can connect an unlimited number of inboxes without an added charge. Love it.
Outstanding customer service
First off, everyone that signs up with Outpost gets a free live onboarding call. On the call, they help you set up your account, get familiarized with their features, and answer any questions you may have. It was our team’s first time working together in a shared inbox, so our experience was accompanied by a lot of questions. We can honestly say that the team at Outpost went above and beyond to get our questions answered as clearly and as quickly as possible. It was impressive to witness their approach to customer service. What’s nice is that you can contact their Customer Advocacy Team by phone, email, or live chat and you speak with humans who really do want to help you. If you’re not signed up yet and just want to get a little more information, you can book a customized demo of Outpost where they can show you how their software can fulfill your unique needs.
As you can see, Outpost has designed a shared inbox system full of robust features that facilitate seamless team collaboration. Utilizing Outpost for our shared inboxes has definitely saved us time and helped to increase our efficiency. They’re always open to feedback and suggestions so we can’t wait to see what new features they come up with next!