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Front Pros and Cons: Analysis Of A Popular Customer Support Software

Email has been with us for a long time. Today, over 70% of consumers prefer email as their means of communication with companies they do business with, while 80% of content marketers use email marketing. Significant as these numbers are in both ends of the commercial and marketing spectrum, the fact remains that email since then is a one on one communication tool. From an organizational and corporate perspective, wouldn’t you want it to be more of a collaborative mechanism? Something like a shared inbox where everyone in a team can discuss, suggest, comment, and access content. Front makes all that and more possible, and in the most efficient and productive manner. In this article we’ll take a detailed look at Front pros and cons to give you a better understanding of what this customer support software is capable of.

Front is a cloud-based solution designed to assist teams in efficiently managing their email inbox. It consolidates all communication under the same roof by gathering internal and external messages into a unified inbox. Having a single location for sales and support emails, SMS, chat and notifications from social media allows you to improve internal team cooperation, which redounds to enhanced customer satisfaction and client communication.

Front is billed as the answer to the email of the future, which will become a multi-user tool that will eliminate “CC” and “BCC” and morph into a smart sharing mechanism powered by AI technology, and learning from users’ actions. The software is paving the way for that future with features built to combine and connect all communication from inside and outside the organization in order to extend better service and support to customers. Moreover, the platform integrates with several third-party apps to help save time by doing away with the need to use various systems and services. Front works with dozen of apps and platforms for extensive flexibility, ensuring uninterrupted operation and performance.

Those using Gmail and Outlook will find it easy to navigate around Front since it’s built like other email clients, but with much better user interface and a whole lot more intuitive features like automation and analytics. Of course, its biggest attraction is enhanced collaboration to keep your team synchronized behind the scenes. You can assign the right tasks to the right team member, exchange messages and internal conversations, and follow progress without chaotic replies, drafts, and CCs. What your customers see is a systematic and fluid response and support for their issues and concerns.

Front is a highly-ranked property management application and is currently our number one email management software. It netted a high 8.8/10 SmartScore in our quality tests and garnered a 94% user satisfaction rating in our in-depth review. As you can see, based on our ranking and review, Front is well regarded because of its functionalities and capabilities.

Some of Front’s key features include:

  • Unified inbox
  • Auto reminders
  • Auto responders
  • Multi-channel management
  • Real-time analytics
  • CRM integration
  • Social media integration
  • Real-time notifications
  • Collaborative workspace
  • Activity audit and tracking
  • Email tracking
  • Rules-based workflow
  • Search function
  • Native mobile apps
  • Custom integrations
  • Open API
  • Email tracking
  • Security & authentication
  • Contact database
  • Database integration
  • Tags & Keywords

We have gone over the details of the Front platform and have come up with comprehensive information on its benefits and downsides.

Pros and Cons of Front

Front requires no steep learning curve as it operates like any other email client. However, Front is no ordinary email tool and you can do and accomplish so much more with its many functionalities. We go over the benefits you can derive from using this hybrid communications, help desk and customer software platform. So, without further ado let’s take a look at all the major Front pros and cons. For even more details, feel free to check out our Front review here.

Centralized Communication

You get to have all your communication channels in one place. With the multi-channel inbox, you can manage your inbox as a team and add up as many channels as you require such as email, SMS, Twitter or Facebook Messenger. The platform adapts to your channel without ticket numbers or visible formatting and allows you to assign internal dialog around external communication, which customers cannot see. This behind-the-scene message organization and system foster personal interaction and enables you to treat your customers as people, not numbered entities.

Built for Collaboration

Backend collaboration allows role assignment for clear ownership of every conversation so no message slips through and goes unattended. Also, you can coordinate next steps with in-line comments and @mentions without having more unnecessary emails. Collaboration and productivity are further enhanced through seamless integration with dozens of external software and services for more organized and timely responses, and the availability of mobile apps for managing private and shared conversations from anywhere.

Multi-Channel Management

You can manage all channels in one location. Whether they are incoming messages, from e-mail, social media chats, notifications, texts and even voice messages, they can be directed to Front. You can select team members automatically and manually to handle every query and message. For example, a sales agent to handle customer sales issue, an HR staff to handle job inquries, and so forth. The system guarantees that you have the proper knowledgeable person to address messages and queries related to their field of expertise, and not just anyone to answer any message or inquiry that comes in from your different channels. This helps teams collaborate better and shorten response time while keeping replies in their proper context.

Powerful Automation

Front automates actions after conversations meet predefined criteria, while automatic reminders ensure that no conversation goes unanswered. There is also collision detection to help prevent situations in which more than one team member respond to the same conversation. This feature allows you to see when your teammates are typing in real-time so that they can work together on responses and avoid duplicate replies. You can act on messages automatically using tags and keywords to trigger rule-based workflows, and set up custom reminders to help you stay on top of every conversation and facilitate follow-ups. There are also message templates and canned responses to save time and answer common questions with one click.

Analytics and Reporting

Advanced analytics and complete visibility into team inboxes help in making better and more informed decisions. The built-in analytics tools allow effective monitoring of performance and automatically tracks various KPIs and metrics, including messages handled per user, time-to-reply, and hourly messages handled. Reports can easily be exported for even deeper analysis of information, something most traditional email clients don’t offer.

Full-Featured Mobile Apps

A unique benefit that Front users can truly appreciate is the availability of mobile apps with complete features and functionality. Collaboration, productivity and efficiency are improved many times over with the native iOS and Android apps that come with all the features available on the web and desktop apps. These mobile apps help get the job done from anywhere and anytime.

Custom Integrations

As of last count, Front integrates with 40 third-party apps and services including the leading ones like Asana, Salesforce, Intercom, Github, Trello, Slack, Pipedrive, Shopify, Hubspot, Office 365, Dropbox, Facebook Messenger, and Google Drive, among others. Comprehensive integration provides you the capability to do tasks and processes such as CRM, ecommerce, cloud storage, marketing, messaging, payment and invoicing, and many others without leaving the confines of the Front platform. Likewise, an open API allows development of custom integrations to cater to specific business requirements.

Flexible Pricing

The Front app comes in a flexible, budget-friendly pricing scheme. Its three pricing tiers go as low as $19 per user/month for the Light Plan and as high as $59 per user/month for the Enterprise plan, depending on the number of channels, integrations and other features. Interested users can also subscribe for a no-commitment test drive of the system, or contact sales support for assistance. You can also head over to the Front pricing page for more details.

Downsides

There isn’t much not to like about Front. It seems that for every issue a user reports, the Front customer support team is always there – fast and responsive – to fix and resolve anything. However, Front could amp up on another area most useful to customers – that of having a more comprehensive knowledge base or resource center than what it has right now on its website.

Christopher Robinson

By Christopher Robinson

Christopher Robinson is a senior productivity research analyst who specializes in optimizing online collaboration and project management using Scrum and agile approaches. In his work, he always emphasizes the need for distributed work training and the formation of efficient work habits. His work was mentioned in various business publications, including Entrepreneur and InfoQ. He’s a strong proponent of the GTD model. He has been cooperating with the FinancesOnline team for 5 years now, and his publications always focus on practical aspects of productivity tools that can have an actual, transformative impact on a company.

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