Use load balancing rules to automatically balance your team’s workload

Overview

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 team 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 or random group assignment rules. Load balancing rules will automatically assign conversations to the teammate in the group who has the fewest open assigned team conversations.

Assignment limits for each teammate

There will be a Load Balancing tab in each Team’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 Teams, their load balance limits are specific to each Team. The maximum limit for each teammate per Team is 100, so a teammate who is part of multiple teams 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 Team A with limit of 4 and Team B with limit of 5. During a busy time for both Teams, 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, even if you have a certain rule order for your load balancing rules, assigning 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.
  • Rules will not assign conversations to teammates who are marked as Out of Office.

Instructions

Step 1

Click the gear icon on the top right of Front and into the Company settings tab. Go to Rules under the Team section. You must be a Team Admin to set up load balancing rules and limits.

Step 2 

Click into the Load Balancing tab to set up the limits for your teammates.

Step 3

Click Add assignment limit.

Step 4

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.

Step 5

Click back to the Team Rules tab of the settings and click Add a team rule.

Step 6

Set up your rule conditions. For your THEN conditions, add the action Assign to teammate(s), 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.


FAQ

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.

Do private conversations count?

No, private conversations do not count against the load balance limit, since they are not in a Team space.

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, Assign randomly, 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.


Pricing

This feature is available on the Prime plan or above. Some legacy plans with different names may also have this feature.

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