Explaining Front inboxes, empty inboxes, and channels

Overview

The Front platform brings with it a new way of working that allows teams to create and build out custom workspaces using Front inboxes. Here's what you need to know:


What's an inbox?

First, leave behind the traditional concept of what an inbox means to you. Historically, an inbox is used to represent a single mailbox where you manage your emails. 

At Front, we've borrowed the concept of an inbox because it is familiar, but broadened out the application. A Front inbox should be thought of as an organizational container or space. When you create a new inbox in Front, you create a new place in your Front workspace.

A bit more about how it works: a Front inbox can be empty, it can hold a channel, or it can hold multiple channels.


What's a channel?

Plainly speaking, a channel represents the communication medium that people use get in touch with you.

A channel can be an email address, SMS, Facebook business page, Twitter handle, live chat client, etc. 


Real-world use cases

Here's a real-world example of how the support team at ACME, Inc. uses inboxes in Front.

Inboxes with one channel

When starting out, the ACME support team manages all communication with their customers through support@acme.com. This is the only communication channel they need to manage, so they create a single Support Inbox and add their support@ channel into it.

Inboxes with multiple channels

As the business grows, the support team is realizing that their customers want to reach out to them via Facebook and Twitter and so they decide to add those channels into Front.

The support team realizes that their customer's expectations through these channels are different compared to when they reach out via email, so they decide to create a Social Media Inbox and add both the Twitter and Facebook channels to it. This allows them to consolidate the two channels into one inbox, making it easier for the team to manage.

Empty inboxes

As the support team grew more, members on the team start to specialize in specific types of requests and technical capabilities, and realize they need some way to escalate conversations. The team decides to create a Tier 2 Support empty inbox that will be managed by more senior support agents.

Because Tier 2 Support is an empty inbox with no channels, no new conversations will flow into the inbox. Instead, when a conversation goes into the Support Inbox and an agent needs assistance from a senior support agent, they'll move it to the Tier 2 Support inbox to escalate the inquiry.

 

If you have any questions about inboxes or channels, feel free to reach out to us!

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