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How to Achieve Seamless Email Collaboration for Teams: The Ultimate Guide

Learn how to achieve a seamless email collaboration for teams. Discover how to help your team collaborate on email more effectively.


Last updated: December 21, 2023

9 mins read

Is your team struggling to make email “work“? Are you wondering how to achieve seamless email collaboration for your team?

It goes without saying – Email collaboration can be a real pain, particularly with a larger team. And it’s not just how you collaborate with email that’s the problem. What tools you use will affect it, too.

Well, hence this guide. Below, you’ll find advice on how to help your team collaborate on emails better and suggestions for the best tools to use.

Let’s go.

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Typical problems with email collaboration in a team

Let’s start with the big one – Even after all this time, email still lacks collaborative features.

In fact, there are little to no collaboration features within any email software.

The result? Multiple problems arise when a team member tries to collaborate via email. Here are some common team collaboration problems with email:

Email overload

Email overload occurs when team members receive an excessive number of emails on a daily basis. This can lead to a cluttered inbox, making it challenging to prioritize and respond to essential customer queries in a timely manner.

This results in…

Email overload results in ineffective query management. Customer support teams that use email to manage support tickets find it challenging to effectively assign, prioritize, and track the status of support tickets’ status. As a result, some customer inquiries may go unnoticed or unresolved, leading to customer dissatisfaction and decreased efficiency.

Lack of organization

Email threads can become disorganized and difficult to manage, especially when multiple team members are involved in ongoing discussions. Without a clear structure or system in place, it can be hard to find specific information, attachments, or decisions within the email chain. This lack of organization can waste time searching for important details and hinder effective team collaboration.

This results in…

Lack of organization results in customer frustration. Customers experience frustration when they receive inconsistent or incomplete responses. They may need to repeat information or explain their issues multiple times, leading to a poor customer experience.

Limited team collaboration on complex cases

Complex customer issues often require input from multiple team members with specialized expertise. Collaborating on such cases via email can be inefficient and ineffective. The lack of real-time communication and team collaboration tools makes it challenging to quickly share insights and reach a consensus on the best course of action.

This results in…

This can lead to prolonged resolution times. When a quick response from a service team can improve the customer experience of 71% of customers, a good resolution time is needed. When a complex issue is not resolved on time, the customers may perceive the customer support team as unresponsive or incapable of addressing their issues promptly.

Lack of Knowledge Sharing and Training

Effective collaboration within customer support teams involves sharing knowledge and best practices. Email collaboration does not facilitate easy knowledge sharing or onboarding new team members. Important insights and training materials can get buried in email threads, making it difficult for new agents to access the information they need to provide quality support.

This results in…

Lack of knowledge sharing and training amongst team members results in inconsistency in customer service. Without proper training and access to shared knowledge resources, team members may exhibit varying levels of expertise, leading to some agents providing accurate and helpful assistance, while others may offer incomplete or inaccurate responses. This inconsistency can extend to communication styles, project management, and adherence to company policies, leaving customers frustrated and uncertain about the reliability of the support process.

Team email collaboration can be messy, but these tips help

Here are some tips to help your team collaborate better on email:

#1. Set clear roles

Sorting out the email collaboration mess begins with setting clear roles for team members. This is a fundamental step in ensuring efficient and effective support. When team members have defined roles and responsibilities, it reduces confusion and duplication of efforts.

Setting clear roles also helps effective issue escalation. This way, complex issues are handled by the appropriate individuals or teams, reducing the risk of mishandling or delays in resolving critical customer concerns.

How to do it

  • Identify team members: Identify the team members who will handle email communication.

  • Define specific inboxes: Designate distinct email inboxes for various types of inquiries or customer segments

  • Assign responsibilities: Clearly define which team members are responsible for monitoring each designated inbox.

  • Create documentation: Develop comprehensive documentation or guidelines outlining the roles and expectations for each team member within the email communication process.

#2. Set and monitor response time targets.

To enhance customer service and satisfaction, it’s crucial to set and monitor response time targets for various types of customer inquiries. Prompt responses often lead to quicker issue resolution, reducing the chances of problems escalating into more significant challenges for both customers and your team.

Setting response time targets also fosters a culture of communication and accountability within the team. Consistently meeting response time targets can enhance your company’s reputation and position in the market.

How to do it

  • Categorize inquiries: Begin by categorizing customer inquiries into different types based on complexity, urgency, or nature. For instance, separate routine inquiries from critical issues or escalations.

  • Define response time goals: Establish clear response time goals for each category of inquiries.

  • Implement automation: Utilize email automation tools or ticketing systems to help prioritize and track response times.

  • Monitor performance: Regularly review and analyze your team’s response time performance.

#3. Standardize responses for common queries

Your customer service team is flooded with emails daily, asking similar questions, leading to repetitive tasks. It can be overwhelming and time-consuming to craft adequate responses to each one. This is where standardized email responses come to the rescue.

Standardized responses ensure that your customers get the same level of service every time.
With these templates, your team can tackle routine inquiries faster. Plus, it frees up more time to focus on those trickier cases.

How to do it

  • Spot the common questions: Start by identifying those questions or issues that keep popping up in your inbox.

  • Build templates: Create email templates tailored to those common inquiries. Make them customizable so your team can personalize them with specific details when needed.

  • Get the green light: Before using these templates, have them reviewed and approved by the right people within your organization.

  • Keep them handy: Store your templates where everyone on the team can easily access them. Whether it’s a shared drive or collaborative inbox, ensure they’re just a click away.

#4. Use email tags and labels

Email tags and labels make team collaboration the easiest it can be. When your team can see which emails belong to their expertise at a glance, it streamlines the process of assigning emails. Tags and labels allow you to instantly spot high-priority emails. Whether it’s a critical issue or a VIP customer, you can give these emails top priority and improve customer relationships.

How to do it

  • Identify Categories: Start by identifying the main categories or types of customer inquiries you receive. These could be related to product issues, billing inquiries, technical support, or general questions.

  • Create Relevant Tags: Set up a consistent and clear tagging system that aligns with your identified categories.

  • Educate Your Team: Ensure your customer service team is well-versed in the tagging system. Provide training and guidelines on when and how to apply tags and labels to incoming emails.

#5. Make handovers context-rich

Ticket handovers are an essential part of internal communication. When handing off tickets, provide detailed summaries of the issue, previous interactions, and relevant notes for a smooth transition. When a team member takes over a ticket, they must be armed with the necessary information that keeps them on the same page with the customers.

By documenting previous interactions and issue details, your team can accumulate valuable knowledge over time and maintain accountability.

How to do it

  • Comprehensive Ticket Summaries: When handing off a ticket, provide a detailed summary of the customer’s issue. Include information such as the problem’s history, steps taken, and relevant customer feedback.

  • Previous Interactions: Document the previous interactions between the customer and your team. This should include emails, chat logs, or notes from phone conversations.

  • Relevant Notes: Include any internal notes or comments made by team members during the ticket’s handling.

  • Clear Action Items: Specify the ticket’s current status and any pending actions that need attention. Make it clear what the next steps should be, ensuring a smooth transition for the incoming team member.

#6. Use collaborative notes

Collaborative notes facilitate communication within the team by allowing members to exchange insights and information with centralized communication channels. Encouraging team members to incorporate collaborative notes or comments within email communications can significantly enhance teamwork and knowledge sharing.

Team members can use notes to provide additional context or data, aiding in informed decision-making when handling customer inquiries. Team communication can happen more efficiently without the need for additional meetings or extensive back-and-forth communications.

How to do it

  • Choose an Internal Commenting System: Consider using an email collaboration tool that supports internal comments or notes within email threads.

  • Clarify the Purpose: Clearly communicate to your team the purpose of collaborative notes. Emphasize that these notes are intended for internal use only, allowing team members to share insights, suggestions, or additional context without directly involving the customer.

  • Highlight the Value: Showcase the benefits of collaborative notes, such as improved information sharing, faster issue resolution, and better-informed team members.

  • Provide Training and Guidelines: Offer training sessions or guidelines on how to use collaborative notes effectively.

Signs your email collaboration software isn’t actually promoting collaboration

Effective email collaboration software should enhance teamwork, communication, and productivity. However, there are signs that your email collaboration software may not be promoting collaboration as effectively as it should:

Lack of Real-Time Collaboration Features

If your email collaboration software lacks real-time features like instant messaging, live chat, or collaborative document editing, it may hinder spontaneous and quick communication between team members.

Limited Integration Capabilities

Collaboration often requires seamless integration with other tools and apps. If your email software doesn’t integrate well with your project management, calendar, or CRM software, it can hinder the flow of information and collaboration.

Inefficient Search and Organization

Difficulty in searching for emails or organizing them into relevant folders and categories can lead to information silos and hinder collaboration. Your software should offer robust search and organizational features.

Overwhelming Email Overload

Do you see emails piling up within your software? If yes, your shared inbox may lack email sorting features like ticket assignment or tags and labels. It can lead to overwhelmed team members who struggle to prioritize and respond to critical messages.

Poor User Adoption

If team members resist using the software, effective team collaboration cannot be done. If the software is complex or lacks intuitive design, team members may struggle to learn how to use it effectively. This can lead to frustration and reluctance to engage with the tool, further impeding collaboration efforts.

Difficulty in Sharing and Collaboration on Files

If your team cannot easily share files within the same account, it can slow down collaboration processes. Your team collaboration tool should make it smooth to share files, not difficult!

Introducing Keeping: A game-changer for email collaboration tool

Keeping is a centralized system for all your email communication, allowing team members to access and collaborate on emails from a single collaborative inbox. No more bouncing between inboxes, forwarding messages, or losing track of important threads. With Keeping, everyone is on the same page.

Key email collaboration features

Keeping has great collaboration features that a small team like yours can use. Here are some of them:

Collision detection

Collision detection is a feature designed to prevent multiple customer service agents from simultaneously working on the same customer inquiry or support ticket. With this feature, no two agents work on the same issue, bringing efficiency. Collision detection also boosts productivity in the team’s email collaboration, ensuring that customers receive timely responses.

collision detection in Keeping

Private notes

Private notes is the compact personal inbox for your team. Private notes let your support agents share ideas, message and communicate outside of client communication. These notes enable team members to collaborate, provide context to customer messages, or share insights about customer requests privately, ensuring sensitive information remains secure within the team members.

private notes in Keeping

Ticket assignment

Team collaboration would not be possible without ticket assignment. Using tools like Google collaborative inbox makes ticket assignment a hassle but that’s not the case with Keeping. Assigning tickets is just a click away. Entire team can assign emails to the most suitable agent for the issue. By creating an automated workflow within the Keeping shared inbox this ticket assignment can also be automated.

Assignment in Keeping

Tags and labels

Keeping team collaboration tool comes with priority and status tags. Agents have the flexibility to assign custom priority tags (urgent or not) and to modify the status (resolved or unresolved) for every ticket. These features ensure that support teams can prioritize their attention on the most pressing matters and offer timely assistance to customers.

Tags and Labels in Keeping

Shared templates

Remember we talked about creating standardized responses? This is where our shared email templates feature comes in. The shared email templates feature is a functionality that allows teams to create, save, and share predefined templates for various types of responses, messages, or actions for effective collaboration.

Email templates in Keeping

Keeping is a great solution for growing teams looking to supercharge their Google collaborative inbox. Simply, install the Keeping chrome extension and get a single inbox that the entire team can use to deliver exceptional customer support.


Sanjana Sankhyan is a freelance writer who specializes in delivering data-driven blog posts for B2B SaaS brands. She helps businesses attract more audience and sales with her writing. If not writing, you’ll find her helping other freelancers improve their work. Find her on LinkedIn or Twitter.

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