In the present day, an overflowing inbox is one of the biggest triggers for mental stress.
When you’re managing group email aliases like support@ or sales@, I’m sure you know exactly what I’m talking about.
There’s always a bunch of people who manage group email addresses and it turns chaotic quickly.
- You’ll have an endless string of email forwards.
- Your teammates get cc’d in emails they do not need. Everyone’s inboxes get clogged.
- You’ll find it extremely difficult to build accountability in your team.
- Your team members will never be on the same page about what’s going on.
But, the good thing is that it’s not the end 0f the world and all of this can be solved with the right practices.
Let’s dive in to see how you can manage group emails like a champ.
1. Eliminate forwards and Cc’s
On a typical workday, an average person spends 3 hours inside their inboxes, according to Adobe’s 2018 Consumer Email Survey.
Now that’s a huge number there! Irrespective of the process you manage, you’d want your team to spend as little time as possible in their inboxes.
But, distribution lists make the inbox clutter situation only worse.
In Gmail, the only way of managing group emails is distribution lists such as Google Groups.
But, they are notorious for clogging inboxes all around:
- Every time an email arrives in the group email address, a copy of it is created for everyone on your team. What this means is that everyone in your team receives the same email in their inboxes.
- If someone wants to assign an email to another person on the team, the only option they have is forwarding it over.
- When your teammate finishes the task, they again send the email back to the group email address. That’s a lot of emails.
Your team’s definitely going to have a hard time managing their inboxes. Which in turn means you keep customers or prospects waiting for long. And that can never be a good thing eh!
Well, all of this changes when you start using Hiver.
Hiver lets you turn your email addresses into shared inboxes. Everyone on your team has access to those emails in the shared inbox as opposed to their personal inboxes.
Want to delegate an email to a teammate? All you need is two clicks from the Gmail sidebar and the email gets assigned to them.
You do not have to forward emails or CC anyone. Your team’s inboxes get the much-needed breather.
2. Leak-proof your inbox
When you’re managing sales or support using the group email address, the cost of an email-you-failed-to-attend is huge. You’re either making your customers unhappy or losing out on a potential new client. And who wants that!
But, distribution groups fail miserably at making individuals accountable. As a result, your team will never be on the same page about who is supposed to work on what.
Every time a new email arrives, there’s a good possibility that everyone assumes someone else has started working on it — and the email goes completely unattended!
And it’s not that difficult to lose an email in the sea of email threads that most group inboxes are.
With Hiver, you’ll never lose an email again.
Emails are neatly stacked under categories and you can quickly access emails that have not been assigned to anyone.
See ‘Unassigned’ in the picture? That’s where all the new emails stack up.
Another way to ensure emails do not go unattended is to automate assignment based on conditions.
You can set up a round-robin assignment — every new email gets assigned to your teammates in a rotation.
3. Give every email a designated owner
When an email arrives in Google Groups, there is no way to assign a clear owner to them.
What this means for you: nobody is accountable to work on an email and it can lead to a lot of frightening situations:
- Two of your teammates might start working on the same email.
- More than one person replies to an email. Even worse when the replies conflict with each other.
- You will have a hard time knowing the owner and status of emails. Tracking tasks becomes a huge hassle.
Ideally, you’d want to assign every email to an individual the moment it arrives.
And Hiver lets you do just that.
- Every email has a clear owner.
- Everyone on the team knows who is responsible for an email.
There is no way two people on your team will overlap.
If two people still end up working on the same email by a freak coincidence, Collision Alerts steps in to ensure that your team does not send duplicate replies.
Want to know the status of an email? Every email inside a Hiver shared inbox is tagged with the owner and the status. Tracking tasks is instantaneous.
4. Foster increased team collaboration
When you use a distribution list like Google Groups, your team is going to have a hard time collaborating with each other.
What happens when two of your teammates have to discuss an email-based task? They write more emails to discuss it and goes on to become an unwieldy thread. It’s a sure-shot way of cluttering inboxes and confusing your team.
Not just that, when you discuss the solution on the same thread as the original email, there is a good chance some of your internal chatter will leak outside the company.
It’s not one bit pleasant when a customer can see the discussion that went into solving their problem. It looks outright unprofessional.
You can easily end up in embarrassing situations too. What if someone got caught saying something like “these guys are not a big account.”
With Hiver’s Notes, your team communicates with each other without having to write emails. Notes are chat messages that appear right next to the email thread you’re discussing.
- When you don’t have to write emails for internal conversations, you do away with that extra clutter.
- You will not have to spend time building context when the Notes remain right next to the email thread.
- Want to retrace steps you took to solve a problem when a similar situation arises? Notes remain next to the thread forever.
- Oh, and your internal chatter will definitely not leak outside the company.
5. Go Data-driven
When you have a team managing sales or support emails, time is of critical importance. Every small improvement you bring about will make a big difference.
And like they say: You can only improve what you can measure.
When you use a distribution list, you will not know how is your team doing at managing emails.
The only data you have is the number of emails received and sent.
With Hiver, you’ll know what’s working and what needs tweaking. You’ll have answers to:
- How long does your team generally take to reply to an email?
- What is the busiest time of the day?
- Which type of queries is the most persistent?
- Which team member needs coaching?
When you know how your team does at managing emails, you have just the right arsenal to improve.