AMA

Rules AMA: automate routine tasks

  • 23 January 2024
  • 24 replies
  • 513 views

Userlevel 4
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Did you know you could use rules to categorize messages, route them to the right team members, resolve issues faster, power analytics, and more? Your team’s productivity will skyrocket once you understand which manual tasks you can take off their plates and allow them to focus on the most important work 🧠 

If you want to learn more about how rules can help your team multiply their efficiency, you’re in luck: Front Product Manager @Baptiste is here to answer all your questions about rules and automation.

Here are some additional resources to help you get started: 

📣 Now, ask away! Whether you’re just getting set up, or you have a deeper technical question you’d like answered – we’re here to help (and we’ll be adding some rules FAQs below that we’ve gotten from customers). Baptiste will answer all questions on Thursday, February 22. Questions posted after that date will be answered as well, so don’t be shy!

 


24 replies

Userlevel 2
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I see there’s a new UI in rules. What’s new in this update?

Userlevel 2
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I’ve never used rules before. What are easy rules I can use to get started?

Userlevel 4
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Need A Newsletter Workflow Solution

One of the types of emails many of us get a ton of is “Newsletters.”  Front does a great job with tags and rules triaging important emails.  I am looking for tips on how to best handle these newsletter emails.

When I used Outlook, I had a rule that would route newsletter emails to a folder for later reading.  Obviously, with Front, we don’t have folders anymore.  The rule-driven workflow I would like as an alternative would be to Tag incoming newsletters, based on sender, then ‘Snooze’ them for a week.  If I don’t read them and manually archive / delete them within a week, I want to purge every message with the ‘Newsletter’ tag that’s > 1wk old.

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Is it possible to create an SLA rule to have a custom SLA IF tagged with a certain tag (say 24 hours) - otherwise, apply a default SLA (say, 48 hours). Or would these have to be broken out into separate rules?

Userlevel 2
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Regarding CSAT, our customers send in purchcase orders to Front. It would be cumbersome to send out a survey on every thread. Can we set up rules on how to apply survey rules to non-PO threads and randomly apply to a % of PO threads?

Userlevel 2
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I like the create a draft feature. Can I do it backwards? Trigger a rule once a template is used?

Userlevel 2
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Can these rules also be used for Chat?

Userlevel 2
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Can the auto-assignment be based on the team members who have previously interacted with a conversation? For instance, if the person who has most recently responded is out of office, could a person who has previously responded be prioritised? Or is it purely based on the number of conversations?

Userlevel 2
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When a draft is created, can it be a linked conversation?

Userlevel 2
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How to deactivate the SLA for just one team member (so as not to have a breach SLA that affects the whole group or the project)

Userlevel 2
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Is there a good rule/feature for if a agent is overwhelmed by round robin and needs to unassign cases?

Userlevel 2
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Do you need a specific front plan for any of these features or is it available on all plans?

Badge +2

I’ve never used rules before. What are easy rules I can use to get started?

If you’re brand new to rules, some great start rules we suggest that will help make your work much easier are:

1. Tagging:
You can automatically tag your conversations based on the content of messages, sender, and more. We even have a feature called
rules sets that allows you to manage all of these different rules in one rule to save you time clicking into multiple rules to manage them. Here’s an example of a rule using a rule set:

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You would build the first rule, and if it’s compatible as a rule set, you’ll see the rule set option at the top right of the screen, which you can click to convert your rule into the table format above.

 

2. Assigning:

One of the best features of Front is that you can work with your team seamlessly, and to help you do that, you can automate assigning conversations so that you’re not spending the time manually doing this action for your team. Here’s a common rule that will load-balance (makes sure all teammates are capped at how many they can get assigned) the assignments to your teammates:

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In the example above, I’m showing the assignments being load balanced out to a teammate group, but you can also choose the list of exact teammates you want to include – teammate groups just makes it much easier to manage the group as a whole. 

 

3. Reply time goal (or SLA):
Front has built-in features to help your team reply to your customers as quickly as possible, which you can set up with as an
SLA rule:

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You can see that the rule can have the official SLA breach time, as well as a warning ahead of time to help you handle the breach before it happens, and various actions you can take when those times hit.

 

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Is it possible to create an SLA rule to have a custom SLA IF tagged with a certain tag (say 24 hours) - otherwise, apply a default SLA (say, 48 hours). Or would these have to be broken out into separate rules?

You can achieve this with two separate SLA rules. If multiple SLA rules apply to a conversation, Front will always default to the most urgent one.   Learn more about setting up SLA rules here https://help.front.com/en/articles/2107

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Regarding CSAT, our customers send in purchcase orders to Front. It would be cumbersome to send out a survey on every thread. Can we set up rules on how to apply survey rules to non-PO threads and randomly apply to a % of PO threads?

Unfortunately, we don’t support randomized CSAT surveys this way. If you’d like to ensure that customers don’t receive too many CSAT requests, you can set this up with dynamic variables using the “last time CSAT was sent” custom field on contacts. Using the Update conversation custom field [last time CSAT was sent] rule action, you can record when you last sent a CSAT survey on the contact itself. You can then use that condition in rules to make sure you don’t send a survey to the same contact within a certain period of time.

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I like the create a draft feature. Can I do it backwards? Trigger a rule once a template is used?

Great question, and we’ve also thought about this and decided against it from a product perspective. The reason is that once a message template is used, the content can be easily modified, or even replaced by another template, which would make the rule very volatile and easily broken. Thus, we want the end result of the rule to leverage the content of the message.

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Can these rules also be used for Chat?

Front rules can be used for any chat channel you have, be it our native Front chat or other integrations. They will work exactly the same. Note that certain conditions might not make a lot of sense. “CC contains sales@front.com” won’t work because there is no “cc” in chat for instance.

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Can the auto-assignment be based on the team members who have previously interacted with a conversation? For instance, if the person who has most recently responded is out of office, could a person who has previously responded be prioritised? Or is it purely based on the number of conversations?

You can create auto-assignment based on previous assignee by leveraging a series of rules.

  1. Go to Settings > Company > Custom Fields > Conversations and hit “Add conversation custom field”. Create a new field named “Last assignee” of type “Teammate”. 
  2. Create a rule #1 that will record the assignee in that new field whenever an assignment happens. First create a dynamic variable called “Assignee” that contains (you guessed it) the assignee of the conversation. Then create the following rule “When assignee is changed to [Any teammate] If Inbox is in [inboxes of your choice] Then update custom field value set [conversation] custom field [Last assignee] value to [Assignee]”. 
  3. Whenever you create an assign rule and you want to try and assign to the last assignee first, do the following:
    1. Create a dynamic variable “Last assignee” that contains (guessed it again) the “Last assignee” field of the conversation.
    2. Add an action “Assign to [Last assignee]” using the dynamic variable you just created. Add this assign action first in your rule.
    3. Add the other actions you need (for instance an “Assign to [Support team] using [load balancing]). A rule with two distinct assign actions will try the first one. If the first assign action successfully assigns to the last assignee, the  second action won’t  reassign (because rules don’t replace current assignee). If the first assign action cannot assign (because the teammate is OOO for instance), the second assign action will take over.
    4. Don’t forget to add a final action to your assign rule to  update custom field value set [conversation] custom field [Last assignee] value to [Assignee], just like in the previous rule.
Badge +2

When a draft is created, can it be a linked conversation?

This is not available in Front at this time, but we welcome your suggestions! Please submit your idea to https://community.front.com/ideas.

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How to deactivate the SLA for just one team member (so as not to have a breach SLA that affects the whole group or the project)

You can deactivate the SLA for just one teammate by using the “assignee is” condition. The SLA timer will still run (in case the assignee is changed), but Front will not apply an SLA breach when the timer runs out. 

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Is there a good rule/feature for if a agent is overwhelmed by round robin and needs to unassign cases?

We recommend setting assignment limits for each teammate so no one gets overwhelmed. You can do this by selecting the Load Balancing tab in each workspace’s rule settings. If all teammates are at their limit, assignment rules will pause. Once any teammate is below their limit again, the assignment rule will resume. 

Learn more here: https://help.front.com/en/articles/2121 

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Do you need a specific front plan for any of these features or is it available on all plans?

  1. Rules are available on all plans, but certain rules (load balancing rules, response time SLA rules, required tagging rules, and rules using customer data) are only available on Growth and above. 

Check out https://front.com/pricing#compare-plans under the “Rules & workflow automation” section to compare plans.

Badge +2

Need A Newsletter Workflow Solution

One of the types of emails many of us get a ton of is “Newsletters.”  Front does a great job with tags and rules triaging important emails.  I am looking for tips on how to best handle these newsletter emails.

When I used Outlook, I had a rule that would route newsletter emails to a folder for later reading.  Obviously, with Front, we don’t have folders anymore.  The rule-driven workflow I would like as an alternative would be to Tag incoming newsletters, based on sender, then ‘Snooze’ them for a week.  If I don’t read them and manually archive / delete them within a week, I want to purge every message with the ‘Newsletter’ tag that’s > 1wk old.

Yes, you can replicate this workflow in Front, using tags as a folder (only works with individual workspace). You’d build an individual rule that adds the tag, like Newsletter, and also removes the Inbox tag. The Inbox tag is what determines whether the email shows up in your inbox, so once it’s removed, it’ll only show when you look in the tag, thus functioning as a folder. 

Note that I’ve skipped in my rule the conditions for determining which emails to capture, so you’d fill that in based on the sender, email address, body/subject content, etc.

For the second part of your workflow where you want to snooze and automatically purge/archive – you can’t snooze with a rule but you can auto-archive with a second rule that runs sequentially after the rule above:

 

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I see there’s a new UI in rules. What’s new in this update?

We’ve launched a completely updated Rules experience to make it even easier for you to streamline workflows, organize messages, and reduce your email volume. 

The release includes a new templates library, redesigned rule editor (coming very soon), and a simplified templates and rule list. 

 

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