Teams handling high message volume can automatically distribute work amongst teammates with the load balancing feature. That way, customers get the quickest responses, and each teammate has a set limit so they don’t get overwhelmed.
Load balancing is a specific type of auto-assignment rule, which allows you to set assignment limits for each teammate. Load balancing rules automatically assign inbound conversations to the teammate with the fewest open assigned shared conversations until they reach their limit.
During busy times when all teammates have reached their load balance limits, load balancing rules will automatically pause and resume assigning as teammates have bandwidth.
How it works
Load balancing option in rules
Load balancing is an alternative to using round-robin assignment rules. Load balancing rules will automatically assign conversations to the teammate in the group who has the fewest open assigned shared conversations.
Customers can also assign conversations within a teammate group:
Assignment limits for each teammate
There will be a Load balancing tab in each workspace's rule settings where admins can set assignment limits for auto-assignment rules. If all teammates are at their limit, assignment rules will pause. Once any teammate in the group is below their limit again, the assignment rule will resume.
If a user is a member of multiple workspaces, their load balance limits are specific to each workspace. The maximum limit for each teammate per workspace is 100, so a teammate who is part of multiple workspaces could potentially have more than 100 load-balanced assignments. 100 is also the default load balance limit if you do not set a specific limit for the teammate in the rule, but the limit does not apply to other rule assignment types.
Example: Joe is a member of workspace A with limit of 4 and workspace B with limit of 5. During a busy time for both workspaces, he could have up to 9 conversations assigned to him at any time.
Rule assignment method
The load balance rule will assign conversations based on the following logic:
If everyone is at capacity, Front will not assign more conversations and will pause.
If any teammate goes below capacity, then Front will start assigning again starting with the oldest unreplied conversation from the queue of highest ordered loading balancing rule that targets that teammate.
If multiple load balancing rules target a teammate, the queue of the highest ordered rule must be exhausted before Front will assign from a lower ordered rule.
If multiple teammates are below capacity, then Front assigns first to the teammate with the least number of assigned conversations.
If anyone has capacity, Front’s rule engine will assign conversations until everyone is at capacity again. If the rule engine checks and no teammate has capacity, no assignment will happen. The next try from the rule engine will happen when an archive action frees capacity for a teammate, or when an out of office teammate becomes Available status again.
If a conversation no longer meets the rule conditions at the time of assignment, it will still be assigned. Front’s rules engine does not re-assess rule conditions when a conversation reaches the front of a load balancing assignment queue. They are assessed at the time of the triggering event only (when an inbound message is received, conversation is unassigned, etc.).
Rules will not assign conversations to teammates who are marked as Out of Office.
Click the gear icon on the top right of Front and into the Company settings tab. Select Rules from the left menu, then select the Load balancing tab. You must be a workspace admin to set up load balancing rules and limits.
Click Add assignment limit to set up the limits for your teammates.
Choose a conversation assignment limit number and select the teammates that this limit should apply to. Click Save. If different teammates will have different limits, click Add assignment limit again to add another conversation limit number and select teammates.
Click the Shared rules tab in your rule settings, then click Add a rule. Select the Assign to teammate template from the rule library, or Create from scratch.
In this example, we'll select the Assign to teammate template.
The template will automatically select triggers, conditions, and actions to get you started. You can further customize your rule by clicking More options.
For the Assign to teammate(s) action, select the teammates who should receive assignments under this rule, and choose Load balancing. These teammates will be capped at the conversation limit that you set in the load balancing settings.
Click Create rule.
Different rules for different inboxes?
Yes, you can have different load balance rules for different inboxes. You can create separate rules and order them by priority in the rule list. For instance, you can have one rule that load balances chats to teammates, and another rule ordered below that load balances emails. The chat rule will always run first to assign to anyone with capacity, then move on to the email rule - up to the assignment limit that you've defined for each teammate.
What conversations count towards a teammate's load balance limit
All conversations assigned to teammates from shared inboxes will count towards a teammate's limits. Let's say teammate A has a limit set to 5 conversations and you have a load balance rule set on your Support Inbox. However, teammate A has been automatically/manually assigned 5 conversations from a different inbox, the Finance inbox. New messages that are received in the Support Inbox will not be assigned to teammate A because she has already reached her conversation limit of 5. Only after that teammate's assigned conversation dips below 5, their limit, will the load balancing rule assign conversations to them.
Do personal conversations count?
No, personal conversations do not count against the load balance limit, since they are not associated with a workspace.
Can I be over the limit?
Yes, you can end up having more assigned conversations than your load balance limit. If you are at the limit, the rule engine will stop assigning to you, but other parameters could still affect your count of assigned conversations. A new message reopening an archived conversation where you were the assignee or a teammate manually assigning a conversation to you are two examples that could make you go over your assignment limit.
Do other rules use the limit?
No, other rule assignment actions do not use the load balance limit. Load balancing applies only to the Load balancing option in the rule action, not other assignment rule types. In other words, assignment rules that are Assign to teammate and Assign round-robin do not fall within the load balancing limit.
What if I don’t set a limit?
If you use the Assign in group load balancing action in a rule but do not set any load balance limits for teammates, then the load balancing rule will still assign to teammates with the least number of assigned conversations first. The difference in this case is that the assigning will continue until it hits a hard cap of 100 conversations.
Will it reassign?
Yes, if a conversation is unassigned because the assignee is Unavailable, the rule will re-assign this rule again if your load balancing rule has an Assignee is removed trigger.
Does it trigger sequential rules?
Yes, load balancing rules that assign conversations will trigger sequential rules with an Assignee is changed trigger.
This feature is available on the Growth plan or above. Some legacy plans may also have this feature.