Best custom plugin workflows

  • 27 June 2023
  • 3 replies

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Winners in this category

We built Front to be a flexible communication hub that you can adapt to your team’s unique needs. With rules, integrations, and our API combined, the sky’s the limit. You can build your own automations to do things like moving messages to other inboxes, auto-replying, or triggering alerts. You can integrate other software into Front. You can even create custom apps and channels that live directly in your inbox.

Over the years, we’ve realized: our customers are incredibly creative. Often, you build Front workflows that we could never even have thought of on our own. That’s what prompted our first-ever Front workflow competition in 2021: Flow & Tell. Our main goal? Let’s celebrate the magic you’re creating in Front and share it with the world to see.

The rules of Flow & Tell

It’s important to note that there were so many awe-inspiring workflows submitted that judging this contest was not an easy process. There were three axes we looked at for each submission:

  • Efficiency: How have you increased productivity, moved faster, or saved time?

  • Creativity: How unique or outside-the-box is this workflow? Has anyone done it before or are you blazing a new trail?

  • Business value: How powerful and impactful is this workflow on your customers?

Without further ado, we’re excited to share with you the winners of our first-ever Flow & Tell competition in the custom plugin category.

We encourage you to comment on these workflows or add your own ideas for how you would customize similar ones.

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Best plugin: Simpson Spence Young’s intelligent brokerage app

Simpson Spence Young (SSY) is the world’s largest independent ship broker. All 400+ employees use Front to collaborate on communications with shippers and clients looking to move goods.

The workflow

SSY created a Front plugin to simplify two critical shipping processes: filing—submitting data on imports, and fixtures—another name for contracts and negotiations for chartering a ship. Their plugin allows brokers to trade with the latest data and save hours each week on manual work. How do they do it? Automatically syncing data between their bespoke ship broking app and Front.

Why it’s great

Through their plugin, SSY’s brokers always have up-to-date information at their fingertips. And, they’re saving time since tedious work is taken care of automatically. Historically they would have printed and physically filed papers in the office; they now can search through files digitally. A bonus? They’ve reduced their carbon footprint since they’re printing less paper.

How it works

  1. Through their Front plugin, they can automatically extract data like ship positions, cargoes, and fixtures from new messages.

  2. With this data, their internal ship broking app is updated automatically.

  3. Their plugin also allows them to create or amend Front groups of contacts, saving both to Front contacts and their internal address book.

  4. It also provides a bookmarking system, where it records the last 10 messages read and the option the save a message permanently until removed.

  5. It remembers the message and the view the user was on when switching inboxes, so they can pick up right where they left off.

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Best plugin: Curtsy’s retail powerhouse plugin

Retail technology platform Curtsy is at the forefront of the secondhand clothing industry, allowing customers to buy and sell online with ease. The entire staff relies on Front to manage support across multiple platforms: in-app message, text, or email.

The workflow

The Curtsy team crafted a plugin that pulls customer information from their database and displays it in Front based on the conversation the rep is viewing. Since implementing it, they’ve seen some fantastic results: a dramatic reduction in response times, a boost in accuracy, and high customer satisfaction.

Why it’s great

This plugin allows agents to maximize their time without sacrificing customer satisfaction. Now, agents have instant access to each user’s account, instead of manually looking up information. This means they can refund, correct issues, and track down account details instantly. It also prevents any lost conversations or inaccurate replies while establishing trust with every customer.

Curtsy’s plugin allows them to access their customer database directly in their inbox—so they can refund, look up orders, and more without switching tabs.

How it works

  1. When an agent opens a Front conversation, the plugin uses customer information to identify their unique ID in the database and pull relevant data into their Front app.

  2. Agents can see when the customer joined, user stats, selling and buying information, and even have multiple ways to respond back to the customer: in-app message, text, or email.

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This content was originally published by Emily Hackeling on our blog.