Shared Inboxes Part 1: Common Pitfalls and Their Cure

Nick Carpenter

In this three-part series, Esker’s Nick Carpenter discusses the pitfalls with shared inboxes. 

Inboxes. Sometimes it seems like you may never make it through all the emails you get. And coming back after a vacation? Welp, there goes your entire day.

And that’s just your personal inbox. Now think about the black hole that is a shared inbox. Many teams rely on them to provide customer service, receive invoices and orders, respond to inquiries, etc. That got me to thinking…with our customers fielding so many different types of emails in a shared inbox, what do my coworker’s inboxes look like? So, I asked them.

Here’s a peek into some Esker inboxes:

  • “Just jumping this email to the top of your inbox, wanted to make sure you saw it.”
  • “How do I set up email on my phone?”
  • “Have you taken a look at this document yet?”
  • “What’s the status on this contract?”
  • “Please send me more information on _________.”
  • “Can you please apply this to my account?”
  • “Has this been finished yet?”

Lots of questions, but they’re all going to a single person. Not the case for a shared inbox, which is just one reason why it complicates things.

Pitfalls of shared inboxes

  • Loss of context. Zero background material on the customer leaves staff scrambling to find information from prior interactions.
  • Team member overlap. With multiple people accessing the same email account, expecting another person to respond or double-responding is not uncommon and can lead to confusion.
  • Inefficiency. No insight into who has responded to what and whether something has been followed up with, complicates things, creating a time-sucking process.
  • Lack of transparency. Except for a short subject line, staff have absolutely no idea what emails contain and whether they’re urgent or not — urgent items can easily be overlooked.

Processes may be put in place that helps curb these problems, but they do not solve them and ultimately lead to an even more complex system. So how about making things simple with a solution that features automated email triaging?

Esker: Sorting Out Shared Inboxes

Rather than spending hours organizing and responding to emails from a shared inbox each day, the right tool will bring visibility and efficiency to an otherwise chaotic system.

Enter Esker’s AI-driven Customer Inquiries automation solution. This email triage tool was built specifically to categorize documents like invoices and orders from requests and questions. Pulled directly from the shared inbox, the email’s subject line and body copy are scanned and sorted into different queues to be handled.

Users are able to access every email from the Esker platform and view key information at a glance, such as:

  • Date and time email was sent
  • Subject line
  • Whether the email has been viewed
  • Last date and time the email was opened
  • If the email has been validated and by whom
  • Sender address

Companies can even set a custom threshold for answering emails to ensure policies dictating communication response times are upheld. All of this leads to:

  • Greater visibility
  • Document traceability
  • Staff accountability
  • Priority email management
  • Faster processing
  • Reporting capabilities

Learn more about Esker’s Customer Inquiries tool by watching this short video

Make sure to check out Part 2 & 3 where I will be discussing customer inquiries functionality.

Author Bio

Nick Carpenter

Nick Carpenter is a business development manager with Esker where he focuses on helping folks to leverage AI-powered solutions to drive greater efficiency throughout their O2C process. Starting his career at Esker as a sales demand representative, he understands the unique challenges different companies face and how to overcome them.

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