Use accounts in rules to automate conversations

Overview

Accounts within Front represent the companies or organizations that your team works with. Each account contains contacts, which are typically the individual people that your team communicates with from that account. If you haven’t already imported and set up your accounts within Front, you can learn how to do so in this guide.

After you’ve created or imported accounts within Front, you can use rules with your accounts to automate conversation assignment and routing. In this article, we’ll explain account features within rules and provide two example workflows that can guide your rule configuration.


Accounts rule conditions

Front's rule engine has a variety of different conditions that allow you to specify what type of conversations you want to filter for. The following conditions are tailored for account filtering and actioning.

Filter: Custom account field contains

This condition allows you to define criteria based on any custom account fields.

Action: Assign based on an account field

This action allows you to assign conversations based on a Teammate custom field on the account.

Action: Notify based on an account field

This action allows you to notify a teammate based on a Teammate custom field on the account.


Use cases

Assign automatically to account owners

Many teams assign ownership of certain accounts to specific team members. For example, account management teams typically have an Account Manager that’s assigned to a specific account. This ensures relationship continuity because your customers can maintain a personal relationship with a representative from your team. You may have additional team members assigned to specific accounts such as Project Manager, Billing Manager, Customer Success Manager, etc.

One common need is to assign new conversations from any contact within an account to the teammate in Front who owns that account. This ensures that a new inquiry from an account is always handled by the right teammate, even if the customer reaches out to a shared email inbox, such as support@ or sales@, or even a different team member.

Here’s how to automate this assignment using a rule in Front.

Step 1: Set up at least one teammate-type account custom field

In order for a rule in Front to assign a conversation based on an account, your accounts must have at least one teammate-type custom field such as Account Manager, Project Manager, etc. You can learn to how to set up custom fields here.

Step 2: Create or import your account data into Front

You can learn how to get started with setting up your account data here. Front provides a variety of options to start setting up account data; all explained here.

For the assignment rule to work, it’s important that you use the teammate-type custom field on your accounts from Step 1, such as Account Manager, to designate an owner for your various accounts.

Step 3: Create a Company or Team assignment rule

Team rules are rules that can be only applied to shared inboxes within a specific Team. Company rules can be applied to all shared inboxes and/or individual inboxes, available to company admins only.

In most cases, creating a team rule is sufficient for this workflow. There are two scenarios where you’ll want to use a company rule instead: 

  1. Your customers send emails to other teammates’ personal inboxes rather than their designated account owner’s personal inbox, so you want to reassign these conversations internally. This would be useful if, for example, someone from an account emails amysmith@example.com rather than johndoe@example.com, when John is the account manager, and you want to reassign the conversation in Amy Smith’s inbox to John Doe.
  2. You have multiple Teams in Front and want to create a rule that assigns conversations from shared inboxes in more than one team. You could create one company rule that applies to all the teams.

Step 4: Use the Assign to account custom field rule template

The video below walks through creating the assignment rule:

  • Navigate to Settings by clicking the gear icon on the top right of Front.
  • Choose the Rules tab in the left sidebar under the Company section or the section for a specific Team.
  • Click Add a team rule.
  • Click the Assign tab in the rule library and choose Assign to account custom field
  • Add a name for your rule, pick the inboxes that the rule should apply to and, choose the account field that conversations should be assigned to. 
  • You can use the More options buttons to add other conditions or actions to your rule. For example, you could add an additional action to also Notify a specific teammate.
  • Click Create rule.

 

That’s it! You’ve now created a rule that will automatically assign conversations to the right teammate on the account. As your account ownership changes and as your account list grows, you just have to keep your account data up-to-date in Front and your assignment rule will automate the rest. 

VIP service for certain accounts

Another common use case for service teams is to provide a specialized experience for certain customers. You may have accounts that are particularly sensitive or have higher service requirements because of their revenue or tier.

Account rules in Front make it easy to offer a differentiated customer experience for these accounts. In this example, we’ll set up a rule that moves conversations from high-paying customers to a special VIP inbox that the team will prioritize to provide quicker response times. You can adapt this example for other use cases.

Step 1: Set up the account custom fields 

You can learn to how to set up custom fields here. Here are a few example use cases and the account custom fields or indicators that you might use:

  • Revenue: If you want to provide specialized service for higher-paying customers, you could set up a Revenue custom field with the Number type. Your rule would then check the value of this Revenue field on the account before automating an action.
  • Tier: If you want to provide specialized service for customers of a certain tier, you could create a Tier custom field with the String type, which is for text. Your rule would then check if the Tier property contains certain text such as Gold, Silver, Bronze tiers, for example.
  • Region: If you want to provide specialized service for customers that are in a certain region, you could create a Region custom field with the String type, which is for text.

Step 2: Create or import your account data into Front

You can learn how to get started with setting up your account data here. Front provides a variety of options to start setting up account data; all explained here.

Step 3: Create a Company or Team assignment rule

Team rules are rules that can be only applied to shared inboxes within a specific Team. Company rules can be applied to all shared inboxes and/or individual inboxes, available to company admins only.

In most cases, creating a team rule is sufficient for this workflow. There are two scenarios where you’ll want to use a company rule instead: 

  1. Your accounts send emails to other teammates’ personal inboxes rather than their designated account owner’s personal inbox, so you want to reassign these conversations internally. This would be useful if, for example, an account emails amysmith@example.com rather than johndoe@example.com, when John is the account manager, and you want to reassign the conversation in Amy Smith’s inbox to John Doe.
  2. You have multiple Teams in Front and want to create a rule that assigns conversations from shared inboxes in more than one team. You could create one company rule that applies to all the teams.

Step 4: Use the Move based on account custom field rule template

The video below walks through creating the assignment rule:

  • Navigate to Settings by clicking the gear icon on the top right of Front.
  • Choose the Rules tab in the left sidebar under the Company section or the section for a specific Team.
  • Click Add a team rule.
  • Click the Move tab in the rule library and then choose Moved based on account custom field.
  • From the rule editor: add a name for your rule, pick the inboxes that the rule should apply to, and set up your conditions based on the account custom field. In the example below, we check whether the account’s Revenue is greater than 1000.
  • You can use the More options buttons to add other conditions or actions to your rule. For example, instead of moving the conversation to a VIP inbox, you could apply a VIP tag. 
  • Click Create rule.

 

That’s it! Now our team can monitor the Priority VIP inbox for conversations involving your highest-paying customers. As your account ownership changes and as your account list grows, you just have to keep your account data up-to-date in Front and your move rule will automate the rest. 


Pricing

This feature is available on the Prime plan or above

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