Why Not to Use a Shared Mailbox for Your Customer Support

Many businesses implement a shared mailbox in the early stages of their existence to manage their customer service emails. A shared mailbox is an email account that gives multiple users access at the same time to view and send emails. It can initially serve as an easy way to set up and tackle all your customer service emails before you have a dedicated customer service department. Shared mailboxes can work well for a while but will eventually end up having some serious limitations once you start receiving a higher volume of customer emails.

Pitfalls of a shared mailbox

Here are some of the issues you will begin to run into once your shared mailbox starts to get too overwhelming:

Once you start experiencing the limitations of using a shared mailbox for customer service purposes, it’s time to consider switching to an alternative that is more tailored to specifically managing customer support. Implementing new customer service software, also known as a help desk, can help you better manage your customer service and use your time more efficiently.

Email in a help desk

Switching to a help desk to manage your customer service can resolve almost all of the limitations of a shared mailbox with the exception of one (which we will get into later). The main difference between managing your customer service email through a help desk instead of a shared mailbox is that a help desk organizes the status of customer emails and makes it easier to keep track of customer issues and resolve them in a timely manner.

Among many other things, here are the main advantages of switching to a help desk to manage your email support:

All of these aspects of email in a help desk help reps work more efficiently, saving them time and effort while also providing better support to customers. Some help desks also have the ability to display order information based on the customer’s phone number or email right inside the platform. This is ideal for reps when handling customer conversations so they have all the relevant information in front of them instantly. Now, there is one last piece of the puzzle that shared mailboxes and help desks are still failing at…

Where help desks & shared mailboxes are still failing

Although help desks make managing email easier, there are still some major issues that occur whether you are using a shared mailbox or a help desk. When an email comes into a help desk, it’s usually assigned a ticket number and then is either manually assigned to an agent or remains unresolved until a rep chooses to answer it. As you can imagine, when a customer service rep has the ability to choose which email they will handle next, it often leads to cherry picking. The easiest emails get answered first and many customers are left waiting too long for assistance. When designing Dixa, we wanted to make email instant and give customer service reps the opportunity to surprise customers with quick support on email.

The solution: automatic routing for email

To eliminate cherry picking and time wasted sorting through tickets, we decided to route emails directly to agents in Dixa. By treating an email like a phone call, emails are routed to a queue of agents equipped to handle the email and offered to them through a notification to accept or reject. Offers can be distributed to available agents equally as they come in or distributed based on their skills. This ensures that all emails, no matter the complexity, get the attention they deserve from the start. Automatic routing also eliminates the step of manually assigning a ticket to an agent as well as forcing agents to constantly check their inboxes for new emails. It also minimizes the number of clicks necessary to open, reply and close a conversation. We found routing emails in this way helps agents become more efficient and drastically reduces response time (AWT).

The next step…

If you find yourself running into issues managing your email support or simply want to provide your customers with a better email experience, implementing software that routes emails directly to reps is a good place to start. Keep in mind, if you plan to grow your business and maintain excellent customer service every step of the way, it’s vital to switch software before your shared mailbox gets out of control. Waiting too long can lead to poor customer service and damage any existing customer relationships. Lastly, implementing email support software that automatically routes emails directly to agents instead of ticket inboxes will save your support team and your customers time.

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