Email collision alerts notify you that someone else on your team has already started an email response so you can avoid confusion on your team—and more importantly—for your customer.
When your customers email you with a question or an issue, presenting a clear, quick, and unified response is important. If your team has ever made the mistake of sending duplicate, conflicting responses to the same message, you know the consequences first hand. Not only is it confusing and potentially off-putting for your customer, but it can also be costly for your business.
For one thing, it gives the impression that the company isn’t well-managed or efficient. The customer won’t know which response to believe, which can lead to more questions and extend the time it takes to resolve their issue. Worst-case, your customer decides your business isn’t worth the risk, and switches to a competitor.
Using a shared inbox tool as part of your customer service arsenal can help. A team inbox makes it possible for multiple users to view and send emails at the same time—without stepping on each other’s toes. Collision alerts are a simple notification that let you know you should tap the breaks.
Avoid duplicate work
With Outpost, it’s possible to collaborate on a single email draft, and collision alerts are the indicator that make the whole system work. As soon as your colleague saves and leaves the draft in question, someone else can jump in if necessary. The draft essentially locked to editing until it’s saved and closed, so you’re never in danger of the dreaded double response.
Outpost also makes it easy to view the conversation history between a customer and other members of your team. The internal notes feature makes it easier to have “offline” conversations about how to respond with your team—without the risk of sensitive information making its way to your customer’s inbox.
Outpost’s assignments features can help too. Administrators have the option to assign each incoming conversation to a specific member of your team. You can also use routing rules to set up automatic assignments. Even though emails are coming into the same inbox, you can delegate who responds to them, and then see the history of who responded, what they said, and when.
Collision alerts can help in this case when an email is assigned to one person on your team, but someone else needs to get into a draft to make sure your customer gets the best response. You’re not left guessing about whether your colleague’s edits are still in progress.
Speed up response times
Ultimately, collision alerts are part of a suite of team inbox features that were built to help your team speed up response times—one of the key predictors of customer satisfaction. The longer your customers have to wait for you to respond, the less satisfied they’re likely to be.
Again, the history feature in Outpost shows the chronology of when an email was worked on, what they said, and when it was sent. With an email response history attached right to an individual email, plus internal notes, anyone on your team can jump and take over seamlessly and quickly, since they have access to the full context of a customer’s communication.
On the macro-level, using analytics to understand time-related trends can help you increase customer satisfaction overall.
Increase collaboration and reduce neglect
You know your team wants to avoid the email black hole where everyone else thinks someone else is responding, so no one responds at all. Collision alerts allow team members to see in real-time when a team member is already responding to an email, or if no one else has responded yet.
When your whole team can see a client’s conversation history and “freshness” or how long it’s taken to respond, instances of neglect go down. Especially if that email message has been assigned to a specific team member for a response, and you’ve used internal notes to share pertinent information about the message sender’s previous interactions with your company.
Handling your team’s inboxes gracefully—putting systems into place to ensure timely, accurate responses will help you increase customer satisfaction. You might also find that it boosts morale, as you team experiences fewer of those embarrassing “gotcha” moments.
Having the right tools in place make it a lot more likely that your team will be able to decrease their response times, increase customer satisfaction, and have plenty of time to deal with more complex customer service challenges—without stepping on anyone’s toes.