Every business should encourage customers to contact them with questions, concerns, feedback, or complaints. But if you invite customers to contact you via email, it’s important to have a system in place to manage these incoming requests.
You may think that setting up a standard Gmail inbox for your customer service team is sufficient, but things can quickly turn chaotic as more and more emails start to come through. This is why many companies rely on a Gmail business shared mailbox to manage their customer support requests.
Using a Gmail business shared mailbox might seem like a good solution if you’re already using Gmail as an email service provider. However, Gmail’s shared mailbox tool was not designed with the needs of a customer support team in mind.
What are the problems with using a Gmail account for business shared inbox? Is there a better alternative available? Here’s what you need to know to manage your customer support requests with ease:
The Gmail business shared mailbox is far from perfect. Some of its many limitations include:
Google’s collaborative inbox is not designed to automate some of the manual, repetitive tasks involved in managing customer support requests.
One of the most repetitive tasks is assigning emails to team members. Every time a new email comes in, someone must review it and determine who to assign it to. If it’s an ongoing conversation, they will need to assign it to the person who has been working on it already. But if it’s a new conversation, they will need to choose someone who has the time to handle the task as soon as possible.
Doing this for every new email is time-consuming, but there’s no way to automate it in Google’s collaborative inbox. As a result, your team may spend a lot of their time on low-skill tasks that could be automated.
Duplicating efforts is one of the biggest issues that teams encounter when sharing an inbox. This occurs when more than one person on your team responds to a customer support request because they aren’t aware that someone else is already working on it. Duplicating efforts is a huge waste of your team’s time. It can also confuse customers, who may not be sure why they are receiving more than one email in response to their initial request.
To avoid this problem, your team needs to use a shared inbox that offers transparency into what everyone is working on. Unfortunately, the Google collaborative inbox is not designed with a collision detection feature that would prevent duplicated efforts. In a Google collaborative inbox, there’s no way to see when someone has already responded to a request or is in the process of responding to it.
The Gmail collaborative inbox is also not designed with any reporting features. This means you will not have access to the data you need to determine how well your team is managing customer support requests.
Why is this a problem? Without this data, there’s no way for you to keep track of how many incoming customer support requests your team receives on a daily or weekly basis. You need to know this so you know when it’s appropriate to hire additional customer support help.
You also won’t see how long it takes for your team to respond to an incoming request. As a result, you may not realize that your team is struggling to manage the volume of requests or that one member of your team is taking much longer to respond than everyone else.
Not having this information makes it harder for you to identify problems and opportunities that could improve your customer support team.
Even though it’s called a collaborative inbox, it is not designed with many of the features your team needs to successfully collaborate on customer support requests.
For example, you can assign tasks to other members of your team inside a Google collaborative inbox. However, you cannot share notes with your team. This makes it harder for you to provide background information or follow up on the status of a specific task.
So if you are escalating a task to a manager, for instance, there’s no way for you to tell your manager that the reason you are assigning the task to them is because it is a serious issue that needs to be addressed immediately.
Businesses often choose Gmail as an email service provider because it has a simple user interface and is incredibly easy to use. However, the Google collaborative inbox does not have the same simple, clean layout as a Gmail inbox.
Many people find it difficult to search for conversations, locate specific tasks, and keep track of the status of tasks in a Google collaborative inbox. So even though your team is already familiar with Gmail, they will need help understanding how to use the Gmail collaborative inbox.
Because of its limitations, the Google collaborative inbox is not ideal for managing customer support requests. But there is another solution. Keeping is the best alternative to a Google Groups for business collaborative inbox.
Unlike other tools, Keeping works directly inside Gmail, so you won’t need to learn how to use a new program to share an inbox. It was also built specifically for teams that do more than just provide customer support, so it includes all of the features you need to manage requests, including:
Don’t take our word for it. See why Keeping is the best alternative to a Gmail business shared mailbox by starting your free trial today. No credit card is required to sign up.