Blog Home

Workplace

What is the Best Way to Share A Gmail Inbox?

Keeping Staff | August 1st, 2021

Many businesses instruct their customers to contact them via email for questions, comments, concerns, and other types of support requests. These requests are typically sent to generic email addresses such as support@yourcompany.com or help@yourcompany.com. Managing these requests is a lot of work for one person, so multiple people are usually tasked with monitoring and responding to these customer support emails. 

But can you share an inbox in Gmail? Yes. In fact, there are four different ways to manage a shared inbox.

It’s important to learn more about each of these options before deciding which one is right for your business. So what is the best way to share a Gmail inbox? Here’s what you need to know:

Use Keeping

Keeping is a customer support tool and help desk that is designed for teams that do more than provide customer support. This is the best shared inbox app for Gmail because it turns every email into an assignable help desk ticket that can be sent to other members of your team.

Keeping help desk

Pros and cons of using Keeping

There are countless benefits to using Keeping to share a Gmail inbox. Even though it is a third party tool, it works directly inside Gmail. This means your team won’t need to learn how to use a new tool in order to use Keeping. They also won’t need to open another program or window to take advantage of Keeping’s features.

Keeping is designed with all of the features you need to effectively manage your customer support requests, including:

  • Task assignment: You can assign emails to different members of your team to ensure every request is handled as quickly as possible.
  • Collision detection: Keeping will tell you when someone else is already working on a request to prevent duplicated efforts.
  • Automation: You can use “if/then” logic to automate certain tasks, including task assignment and task prioritization. 
  • Reporting: Pull reports to see important metrics, including first response time and volume of incoming requests.
  • Templates: Create response templates that your team can insert into emails with one click of the mouse. This eliminates the need to manually type out responses to frequently asked questions.
  • Shared notes: Your team can share notes with one another to provide more information or context about specific email conversations.

In addition to all these features, Keeping is incredibly cost-effective, easy to learn, and helps keep teams organized and provide optimal support to their customers.

Share your password

Another option to share a Gmail inbox is to give your login information to other members of your team. Anyone with your login information will be able to sign into the shared account to read and respond to emails.

Pros and cons of sharing your password

The main advantage of this option is its simplicity. All you need to do is create an account and share your password with your team to use this option. You also won’t need to train anyone if you choose this option since everyone on your team already knows how to use a standard Gmail inbox.

However, there are a number of downsides to this option. First, this option does not provide your team with the features they need to collaborate on customer support requests. Although they will be able to read and respond to emails, they won’t be able to assign tasks, communicate with one another, or see what someone else has worked on.

You also might get locked out of your account on a regular basis. You are allowed to log into a Gmail account from multiple locations. However, Google may temporarily lock you out of your account if it detects too many logins within a certain amount of time. This is even more likely to occur if your team members are logging into the shared account from different locations. 

If this happens, Google may assume that an unauthorized user is trying to get into your account. You cannot access your inbox while you are locked out, which means you won’t be able to respond to customer requests. Plus, you will need to change your password after every lockout.

Sharing your password with someone else is also a security risk. If you share your password, you are not only sharing access to your Gmail inbox, but also to any other account that uses the same login credentials. This means you could inadvertently give your team access to your personal accounts by sharing your password.

The more people you share your password with, the more likely it is that your password could end up in a data breach. If you don’t want your data falling into the wrong hands, it’s important to keep your password to yourself.

The bottom line? This option may sound appealing because it’s so easy to set up, but the cons far outweigh the pros of sharing your password.

Use a Google collaborative inbox

The third option is using a Google collaborative inbox. This option allows members of a Google group to access, read, and respond to emails in a shared inbox. 

Any Google Group can be turned into a Google collaborative inbox. To set up a collaborative inbox, follow these steps:

  1. Sign into Google Groups and click on the name of the group.
  2. Go to the Group settings page.
  3. Select “Collaborative Inbox” under “Enable additional Google Group features.”
  4. Go back to the Group settings page to adjust the permissions for each user that is a member of the group.

It’s important to note you can only create a collaborative inbox if you are the owner or manager of the group.

Pros and cons of using a Google collaborative inbox

The main benefit of a Google collaborative inbox is you can invite multiple members of your team to read and respond to emails from one email address without sharing your login information with them. 

Google collaborative inbox is also designed with several features that can make managing customer support requests easier. For example, this tool allows you to assign email conversations to different members of your team so you can make sure everyone is handling their fair share of customer support requests.

However, there are drawbacks to using a Google collaborative inbox. First, the Google collaborative inbox layout is very different from the traditional Gmail inbox layout. It’s not nearly as user-friendly, so it may take some time for your team to adjust and learn how to use it properly.

It’s also not designed with all of the features you need to effectively manage customer support requests. For example, there’s no way to tell if someone else has already responded or is actively working on a response to a customer support request. As a result, multiple people on your team may work on the same request without realizing that it’s already been handled.

It also lacks reporting, automation, and communication features that your team needs to improve the efficiency of responding to customer support requests.

Set up mailbox delegation

The final option is using mailbox delegation to share a Gmail inbox. Delegating simply means you are giving another user access to your Gmail inbox. This person will be able to read and respond to your emails. However, they will not be able to perform certain actions such as changing your password or chatting with others via Google Hangouts.

To add a delegate to your inbox, follow these steps:

  1. Click on your Gmail settings. Go to the Accounts and Import tab.
  2. Click “Add another account” under the “Grant access to your account” section.
  3. Enter the email address of the person you are giving access to.
  4. Click “Next Step” and then “Send Email.” This will send an email to the person you are giving access to. They will need to confirm that they want to serve as a delegate once they receive this email. Then, they will have access to your account.

You can add up to 10 delegates to your Gmail account.

Pros and cons of setting up mailbox delegation

Just like a collaborative inbox, mailbox delegation does not require you to share your password with other members of your team. This is the main benefit of this option.

Unlike the collaborative inbox, this option does not offer any additional collaborative features such as task assignment or status updates. 

Furthermore, if a delegate responds to one of your emails, their response will be sent from their email address, not yours. This may confuse customers who aren’t sure why someone else is responding to a request they sent to your customer support email address. This can also make it incredibly difficult to keep track of which requests have already been handled and which still need to be addressed.

This option is not ideal for customer support teams. However, it may be effective for executives who want their assistants to be able to read and respond to emails on their behalf.

The first three options are all provided by Google. None of them are designed specifically for teams who need to manage customer support requests. Fortunately, there is another option available

See why Keeping is the best shared inbox for Gmail by starting your free trial today.