Shared Inbox: What is it, Do We Really Need it, & What are it’s Benefits?

Benefits of shared inboxWhat’s the most important thing to you when it comes to customer support?

  • An available support agent?
  • Instant resolutions?
  • No waiting time?
  • Complete resolutions?
  • All of the above & more?

Well, there are a lot of expectations when it comes to customer support and it’s impossible for support agents to deliver delightful customer support to each customer.

It’s impossible without a shared inbox.

There are a number of help desk software options available on the market that come with a shared inbox that equips companies to streamline their entire customer support process.

But, before we dig into the details of a collaborative inbox, let’s cover the basics.

What is a Shared Inbox?

Shared inbox is a collaborative inbox that enables teams to manage, track, and respond to multiple emails on a single platform. 

Basically when a customer connects with a support agent, 

  • A ticket in the form of an email is generated in a shared inbox. 
  • The ticket is automatically assigned to an available agent
  • Agents can track, manage, and reassign tickets as required
  • Tickets are resolved instantly and accurately 

When it comes to team email management, this is a great solution for handling multiple customer support questions. 

That being said, let’s look at the benefits of using an inbox for teams for customer support. 

5 Key Benefits of Using a Shared Inbox

All in all, there are five key benefits of using a shared inbox. They are:

#1. Access Everything on One Platform

Doesn't it get on your nerves when you need to switch tools to access customer emails?

Well, not anymore!

With a shared inbox, you can collaborate all your customer-facing inboxes on one platform. With a collaborative email in place, you don’t have to log into multiple accounts to answer customer questions.
Shared inbox

You can access all your customer questions, requests, emails, and tickets on one platform. All you have to do is sync all your support accounts, and you’re good to go!

#2. Manage All Emails Efficiently

From startups to enterprises, there is always an issue of dealing with a lot of customer issues. Every company needs to have a help desk software that comes with a shared inbox, enabling easy team email management. 

For example, in case of ProProfs Help Desk, you can:

  • Set priorities and address urgent emails in-time
  • Add labels and categorize tickets as per department or issue type
  • Add filters and get customer information instantly

With additional features, it’s easy to manage all your customer-facing emails on one platform.

#3. Track Customer Emails From The Start

Did you know that about 80% of American customers agree that the most important aspect for positive customer support are:

  • Instant resolutions
  • Self-help options
  • Friendly customer support

Now, the only way you can reply to customers in time is when you track when the request came in. That’s where a shared inbox makes your life easy.

With a Gmail shared inbox, you can track:

  • When it was received by your agents
  • Who was it assigned to
  • What was the first response time
  • How long did it take them to resolve the issue

From start to finish, you can track everything in the entire customer support process effectively.

#4. Split Customer Issues Into Sub-Issues & Reassign to Relevant Teams

Every support agent is trained for a specific type of problem a customer faces. From IT issues to information-related queries, every type of customer support question has a specialization.

With the specialization, some agents are more knowledgeable and equipped to answer certain customer questions than others.

With a help desk software like ProProfs Help Desk, you can use a shared inbox to split customer emails into child tickets and assign them to different support agents. 

This way, you ensure:

  • Every part of the customer question is answered
  • Accurate resolution of the customer query 

#5. Keep All Teams in The Loop 

Another essential benefit of a Gmail collaborative inbox is the ability to keep all teams in the loop.

Emails With Collaborative InboxYou can drop private comments and ensure all your team members know:

  • When the customer email was received
  • Who was it initially assigned to
  • What work has been done on the ticket
  • What issues need to be solved by whom
  • When the issues are resolved 

With all this data, agents ensure transparency among all their support agents and faster ticket resolution.

Getting Started With a Shared Inbox: A Step by Step Guide 

Once you do your research and find a tool that best meets your requirements, the next step is to deploy it in your company. 

Getting started with a shared inbox software is extremely easy. Here’s a video that’ll help you understand how to set up a shared inbox.

>> Setting up a shared inbox involves two steps:

Step 1: Add Your Customer-Facing Inbox

Navigate to settings and click on inboxes.  You’ll get an option to add a new inbox. Click on the new inbox

proprofs help desk new inbox

Step 2: Import Your Customer Tickets 

You have two ways to import tickets:

  1. a) Connect External Email

If you already have a dedicated customer support email for your customer-facing emails, this method is the one for you. This process helps you to:

  • Streamline your customer support process 
  • Ensure that no ticket is lost, and all of them are retrieved in the inbox.

Connect external email

  • In the first text box, enter your existing customer-facing email. This is the email ID that your customer will see when you respond to their ticket.

Customer facing email

  • In the second text box, enter your name/department name. For e.g. For a Customer Support inbox, you can simply use the name 'Support.'

Customer support inbox

  • Once you have entered the existing email ID, an auto-generated email ID will appear in the third text box. Copy it and enable the automatic forwarding feature to your support ID. And voila! Your emails will now be directly forwarded to your new inbox and automatically turned into tickets.

Automatically turned into tickets

  1. b) Create new ProProfs Email

This is the ideal option if you don’t have one email dedicated to your customer-facing emails. With this, you can create an email address of your choice, provided the email address is available.

Create new proprofs emailEnter the name that the customers will see and create a custom email ID. The custom email ID will be used for further communication with your customer. Next, assign the inbox to its designated team and click 'Save'.

Take Control & Offer Delightful Customer Support With Collaborative Email!

Now that you know what is a shared inbox, what is the need for a shared inbox, and what are its benefits, it is essential to know which tool works best for your company.

Do your research, check out help desk tools that offer a shared inbox feature, and check the pricing plans. For example, ProProfs Help Desk offers affordable pricing plans, with a shared inbox feature, and a lot more!

Streamline your customer-facing emails with a robust shared inbox, easily!


Q1. What is the purpose of a shared inbox?

The purpose of a shared inbox is to have a dedicated email channel for customer requests, complaints, and queries. This way, it makes it easy for agents to answer all customer issues instantly and accurately. 

Q2. How do I use a shared inbox?

It’s easy! All you have to do is integrate your existing customer support email or create a new one, and you are good to go. You can check all your customer emails on one platform, categorize them as per your requirement, set priorities, and resolve them in time. 

Q3. What is a collaborative inbox?

A collaborative inbox is a tool that enables you to bring together all your customer-facing emails on one platform. So, instead of having to log in to multiple emails to answer different types of customer emails, you have one platform for all your customer-facing emails. 

Q4 How to create team inbox in help desk software?

Just add in an email address that you want to use, check it’s availability, and your customer-facing email platform is ready. Now, all you have to do is add team members to this platform and ensure all teams who are in the customer support process are a part of your team inbox.

Q5. How does a shared inbox work?

When a customer connects with a support agent, their request is created in the shared inbox as a ticket. This ticket is assigned to an available support agent automatically. Now, all customer emails will keep piling up in your shared inbox. So, to streamline the process and ensure all tickets are resolved in time, you can add labels, comments, and prioritizations to organize tickets.

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About the author

Jared is a customer support expert. He has been published in CrazyEgg, Foundr, and CXL. As a customer support executive at ProProfs, he has been instrumental in developing a complete customer support system that more than doubled customer satisfaction.

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