Multiple people can read, respond, initiate, and most importantly collaborate on text messages that are received from outside the organization. All users assigned to a Shared Inbox see all inbound and outbound conversations. Crowdsourcing responses from a single number enables more productive and valuable communication with external customers using their preferred method of communication, so you never miss a message.
Shared Inboxes display in a user’s messages under the Inbox’s label. The message preview and timestamp displayed for the inbox are from the last message received within the Inbox from any thread.
Selecting the Shared Inbox opens a list of all threads within the Shared Inbox sorted from newest to oldest, and listed by the external recipient of the message for easy reference. The name of the Shared Inbox is listed at the top of the list of conversations with a back but to easily return to the previous list of all messages and Shared Inboxes.
Note: Searching within a Shared Inbox is limited to searching through the last message each thread within the inbox has received. It will not search ALL messages from within each thread of a Shared Inbox.
Creating a New Conversation from a Shared Inbox
A user of a Shared Inbox can create a new conversation to follow up and reach out to an external number from a Shared Inbox.
To create a new conversation from a Shared Inbox:
- Navigate to the messages view
Select Start a conversation
Note: If a user has no default DID assigned and only one shared inbox assigned, Desktop will automatically select the shared inbox as the From when they attempt to create a thread to any external Short Message Service (SMS) number.
In the From field, select the dropdown next to the default from field (your name)
Select the name of the Shared Inbox you’d like to send the message from.
Note: If a user has no default phone number assigned and only one shared inbox assigned, Desktop will automatically select the shared inbox as the From when they attempt to create a thread to any external SMS number.
- Fill in the To field with an external number that supports SMS messaging and the body of the message. The new thread is added to the thread list for that Shared Inbox.
If another user of the Shared Inbox is viewing a thread, their name is displayed below the text box of the thread for easy collaboration across the team.
If someone else in the thread is typing, an animated typing indicator will display over the user’s name so that there is indication that someone is already in the process of responding to the thread.
Note: On desktop, typing presence will also display within the Thread list for easy recognition that someone is typing the thread.
Internal Messages and Mentions
Users of a shared inbox can collaborate privately, inline with other members of the Shared Inbox with internal messages and mentions. To initiate an Internal Message, click the eye icon in the text entry window. The box around the text entry field will become highlighted, as well as the message in the history field. Internal messages are also initiated when another user is called out in a Mention (below).
Mentions can be created from the Desktop or iOS interface by typing an @ and selecting the username from the pop-up menu that creates. Further typing following the @ sign will trim down the receiver list. When a user is mentioned, three things happen:
- The message becomes internal, as in it will be shared with the Shared Inbox group, but won’t go to the external contact.
- The mentioned user’s name is highlighted in the message, increasing visibility for that person.
- If the mentioned user has muted the thread, the message will create a notification for the mentioned user despite the muted thread setting.
Mute Threads and Notifications
Only the Administrator can change who is a member of a Shared Inbox group, but a member has some control over notifications they receive. Pulling up the options screen from a thread on any interface will give the option of muting that thread.
While muted the user will get no notifications when messages are sent to or from that thread, unless they are identified by a Mention. (See above)
Users can change the priority of threads. When a thread is created, it has no priority setting. One of four predefined priorities can be applied: Urgent, High, Medium, or Low. This status, with a color coordinated background, will appear in front of the number in the thread list and in the thread title at the top of the screen. The thread priority is set from the thread options menu in the upper right of the screen.
Note: Notice that the two mobile launches allow for returning to no priority. The Desktop does not allow for removing priority once a priority has been set.
Deleting a Thread
All users have permission to delete threads. When a thread is deleted it is hidden for the user in the thread list of the Shared Inbox. Any future messages to that number will put the message thread back in the list, with the full message history.