What to expect with the new Contacts in Front

Overview

An upcoming update to Contacts in Front will reduce the prevalence of duplicated contacts by replacing Team-based contacts with a unified Company-wide contact record. As an existing customer who had the old Team-based contacts, this article will explain how we will transition you to the new Company-based contacts.


Changes to Contacts

Before

In the legacy Contacts system, there were two kinds of contacts: Team contacts would be created from conversations in team inboxes, and Private contacts would be created from conversations in private inboxes. This system results in duplicate contact records for same contact, because each Team and Teammate get their own separate contact record when they communicate with a given person like johndoe@example.com.

After

The new Contacts consolidates these duplicates into a single shared contact record. By default, a contact is only visible to teammates or Teams that have conversations with that contact. From there, users can mark a contact as a Company Contact to make it visible to all teammates in Front, or create a separate Private Contact that’s only visible to them. 

This ensures that: 

  • Separate Teams share a unified contact record instead of having separate copies of the same contact
  • Sensitive contacts that only one Team or teammate is communicating with are not leaked to other Teams that aren’t talking to that contact
  • Users can still create Private contacts that are separate from shared company-wide contacts for contact information they prefer to keep private

Transition

Private contacts

Any private contacts with manually entered information like a name, description, or note will remain private contacts and are not merged with team contacts that have the same email address. This ensures that sensitive contact information is not leaked.

If you have one Team:

Private contacts that were automatically created by Front and don’t have any manually entered properties other than an email address are merged with team contacts if there are team contacts containing the same email address. This reduces duplicate contacts.

The new Front Contacts will reduce duplicate contacts between private inboxes and team inboxes. In the legacy contacts system, duplicate contacts would be created when a contact like johndoe@example.com was emailed from both a private inbox and a shared inbox. In the new contacts system, only a single shared contact would be created by default, and users have the option to create a Private Contact from there.

If you have multiple Teams:

Contacts from different Teams with the same email, phone, Front Chat ID, Twitter handle, or Facebook ID will be merged into a single company-wide contact. The following logic is used to merge properties from multiple contacts: 

Field

Merge result

Name

To choose the merged contact name we prioritize in the following order: manually edited names take priority over auto-created names, the name from a team contact takes priority over the name from a private contact, then pick the most recently updated contact

Description

The descriptions from multiple contacts are combined, separated by a newline.

Custom fields

Non-empty custom field values are chosen over empty values. If there are multiple non-empty values, the value from the most recently updated contact is chosen

All other fields

All other properties like links, contact groups, and notes are simply combined on the new contact.


Timeline

The new Front Contacts will be gradually rolled out to all customers throughout February and March 2021.


FAQ

If a contact emails one of our inboxes in a sensitive Team like HR, will users outside of the HR team be able to see that contact?

No. By default, a contact is only visible to teammates or Teams that have conversations with that contact. For example if the HR team and Recruiting team are both emailing johndoe@example.com, that contact would be visible in the Contacts Manager and composer autocomplete to members of those teams but not others.

Users can add any contact to Company Contacts to share it with the entire company, or create a separate Private Contact to manage contact information privately. 

How will I know that I’ve been transitioned to the new Contacts?

Once you’ve been migrated the new Contacts, you’ll see a “Company Contacts” section in the Contacts Manager, instead of Team-based contacts sections.

I have more questions!

Please contact us - we’re happy to help!

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