Understanding Links

Introduction to Links

Links are similar to tags in Front except that they are designed to connect conversations to items in external systems, such as feature requests, bugs, loans, shipments, itineraries etc.

Each Link has both a name and an external URL that points to the item in the external system — for example a conversation about a particular order might have a Link with the name “ORD-1234” and URL “https://example.com/ORD-1234”.

Once a Link is added to a conversation, any user who has access to the conversation in Front will see it attached similar to a tag. User's can also click on the Link to easily open the associated URL, or see all the conversations that share the same Link.

Every Link also has a unique Front-specific URL (e.g. `https://app.frontapp.com/open/top_123`) that allows users to see all the conversations in Front that have the same Link attached. You can store this Front-specific URL in your external system to provide easy access to all related conversations in Front.
Links are also unique across an entire Front instance — only one Link can exist for a particular URL, unlike Tags which can be duplicated with the same name across multiple Teams.

Key benefits and use cases 

Where Tags are great for classifying or categorizing conversations, Links are better for connecting conversations in Front to items in your CRM, project management, or tracking systems. Once a Link is attached to a conversation, there are three key benefits:

  1. It’s easy for agents to see what orders/tasks/shipments/etc. are relevant to a particular conversation, and they can access the external item in your system simply by clicking on the Link in Front. You can also attach multiple Links to the same conversations, so agents can see all of the orders/tasks/shipments/etc. related to the same conversation
  2. It’s easy for agents to see all of the conversations related to the same Link, either by clicking the “Related conversations” item from the Link dropdown, or using the Front-specific URL (e.g. “https://app.frontapp.com/open/top_123”). You can store this URL in your external system to make it easy to navigate to Front to see all related conversations.
  3. Links establish a connection between conversations in Front and your external system, so changes to the linked item can trigger updates in Front. For example, if a conversation is linked to an order ORD-1234, a change in the status of that order could trigger the conversation in Front to re-open or reassign

Example use cases

  • For project management, attaching feature requests or bug reports to conversations, so that when the feature or bug is resolved the conversation in Front can reopen
  • For logistics, attaching shipment IDs from a TMS to their related conversations in Front, so agents can easily check the status of a shipment and see all shipments related to a customer
  • For e-commerce, attaching order IDs to related conversations in Front, so agents can understand the current status of an order or more easily process returns and refunds
  • For travel and hospitality, attaching itineraries or maintenance work orders to customer inquiries, so agents can keep more easily keep customers in the loop about changes or updates
  • For financial services, attaching loan applications or customer profiles so agents have the full context of the customers they are working with

Creating and syncing links

Links can be created in two primary ways: 

Using the tags dropdown

Front supports direct Link integrations with Jira, Asana, Trello, and Github. Any Front admin can install these integrations, at which point it’s easy to attach new Jira/Asana/Trello/Github links through the Tags dropdown:

Selecting the "Link" option in the dropdown allows to add new Links by pasting any URL:

 

If there are other Link integrations you’d like to see supported in Front, feel free to let us know at api@frontapp.com.

Using the API or Zapier

Using our API or Zapier integration, you can create Links for any external system that you might be using and attach or remove them from conversations. You can also fetch all of the conversations related to a particular Link or automatically update conversations when the status of a Link changes in another system. Most integrations take less than a week of developer time to build.

Our developer documentation has in depth guides for building Links integrations, whether you're just looking to build something for your own team or want to publish an integration for all Front customers.

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