The whole point of a shared inbox is usually to ensure an entire team has eyes on the same thing - inbound comments from customers. Those comments can't afford to fall through the cracks, but is a shared email inbox really the best place to coordinate a team around customer service & communications? Well, no. Not even close.
Coordinating a team around any project is best done by collaboration software that has project management and real-time communication tools built in. If your team has already evolved beyond the inbox and is using collaboration software for internal communications, why take a step backward when coordinating customer service? And why hop between multiple apps when it's so costly and so easily avoidable?
To be clear, we're not suggesting you get rid of shared inboxes altogether. Let them collect those inbound customer emails, but then forward them into Samepage so your team can attach assignable tasks, collaborate on responses, and track activity in real time, in one place. Here's how we do it.
1. Forward emails to a zap
If you're not yet familiar with zaps, let us introduce Zapier, a free service that connects other apps (and your inbox) to Samepage. It's the easiest thing in the world to set up, even if you're not a tech nerd.
- Go to zapier.com and sign up (1 minute)
- Click "MAKE A ZAP!" and then click "Email" as your trigger app (30 seconds)
- Name your Zapier inbox (10 seconds)
- Set up your shared inbox to forward to your new Zapier inbox address (2-ish minutes for your email administrator)
- Send a test email to your shared inbox (30 seconds)
Zapier will receive the forwarded test email and guide you to the "Action" step. When asked to choose an Action App, type Samepage and select it when you see it.
2. Convert emails to pages, tasks & comments
After selecting Samepage as your Action app, you'll be presented with 4 choices.
Depending on which option you choose, Zapier will guide you through the final steps, but here's what we recommend:
- Choose "Create Team Page"
- Connect to your Samepage account with Zapier's simple 2-step process
- Select the team where you'd like your new page to appear
- Name the page with something unique from the email you received, perhaps the "From" email address or the subject. You can access these bits of information with the button just to the right of the empty "Page Name" field.
- In the "Page Content" field, select "Body Plain" using the button to the right of the field
- Add a message in the "Chat Message" field to notify the rest of the team about the newly created page
When you're done setting up, it should look something like this:
Follow one or two more quick steps in Zapier and you're done!
Now each email is easily accessible as a page - a living document in Samepage. Feel free to add and assign tasks, chat with your team alongside the email content via text or video, or even chat in real time with your customer!
That's right - you can invite your customer to the page as a Guest (which is free), and you can use the page to chat with them via text or video. Now your page has become an easy-to-locate, easy-to-share record of your conversation with the customer. No broken or confusing email strings, just a simple page that's easy to find, easy to read.
Here at Samepage, we take it one step further. Before creating the page, we have Zapier make a quick stop at SalesForce to gather customer details. We use those details in combination with the email to create a page complete with everything the support team needs. We'll cover more about this in a future blog post.
Of course, this is just one example of how useful it can be to bring emails out of the inbox and into Samepage. Zapier allows you to create an unlimited number of zaps, inboxes, and filters, so there are plenty of possibilities for turning emails into content in Samepage:
- Assign follow-up tasks to website form submissions
- Post chat messages to Engineering from automated server monitor emails
- Assign tasks from emails about approaching bill deadlines to Accounting
- Create pages from email applications to your partner program
- Post chat messages to the Sales team about missed calls & voicemails
- Post links to automated marketing reports in the Marketing team chat
Enjoy zapping away and spending more time getting the job done, less time hopping between apps!