For most businesses it is not realistic for a customer service rep to know all there is to known about every customer. Specialization can be a key to successfully managing complex customer relationships. Account managers are a great way to maintain and strengthen these relationships. Having a familiar face and consistent contact to turn to for assistance, someone that is an expert on your customer’s unique needs, can improve your business and make it easier to navigate any times of instability.

In the context of email, account managers are usually contacted directly using their personal business email address. However, this creates several limitations.

Siloed ownership

There is no visibility into conversations as the messages are siloed in their personal account.

The Good: No triage needed; email only has 1 destination: the rep’s personal inbox.

The compromise: Trading lack of visibility for “personalized feel” of contacting a rep’s email directly.

The Bad: Visibility is a critical component to ensuring quality assurance when your team is communicating with customers.

Rigid workflow

Emails siloed in personal accounts force the customer to change their behaviour if their account manager is sick, on vacation or otherwise out of the office.

The Good: Zilch!

The Compromise: A rep’s out of Office automatic reply can let your customer know who to contact instead. However, these are typically only used during scheduled absences like holidays and not in the event of an emergency or sick day. This becomes impractical as well if you are splitting this rep’s work among more than one rep while they are away.

The Bad: The inflexibility to adapt the email workflow of a rep creates the possibility for your customer to be under-served if they do not know who to contact instead of their account manager. The customer must also take time to send a new email to the “backup” rep.

Lost history

If an account manager leaves the organization their personal email conversations are not available for anyone taking over the account.

The Good: Zilch!

The Compromise: Double Zilch!

The Bad: Staff turnover can create turbulent times, it’s hard enough to manage a transition period without the new hire having no insight into the account history to pick up where things left off.

Account Reps and Team Inboxes are compatible

Using a shared mailbox with Emailgistics can eliminate the limitations of account managers communicating with their personal business email address without weakening the relationship with the customer.

Emailgistics team inboxes provide the best of both worlds with rules to route customer emails to a shared mailbox address to specific team members, including contingencies for messages to be routed to a backup team member if the customers primary account manager is unavailable. Customer’s incoming emails and the account manager’s replies are all visible in the shared mailbox folders and can be archived to view later.

Looking for even more ways to organize and automate your Outlook team inbox? Check out our 5-minute demo video.