If there is one word that is dominating today’s workforce, it’s collaboration.
The convergence of several technologies is making it possible for everyone, within and outside of the organization, to come together seamlessly across devices and platforms in disparate geographical locations to address any issue instantly.
As a collaboration tool, Hiver addresses one channel: email. The company makes your Gmail account impressively more efficient than originally designed.
Whether we realize it or not, email has been a collaborative tool since its inception. The problem is, once the group gets too large to manage, email shows its flaw. Even with the best email clients, inboxes get cluttered and finding information quickly and efficiently can be a task in itself.
Put simply, Hiver lets you and your team work on customer support, sales and projects right from your Gmail, turning it into a powerful collaboration tool.
So How Does Hiver Work?
The answer to that question is, simply. After using the app for more than two weeks, I found it easy to learn and use. And what is more, the people I interacted with also found it easy and unobtrusive. It seamlessly becomes part of Gmail, making it seem as if it was put in there by Google.
As Niraj Ranjan, Co-Founder/CEO at Hiver told Small Business Trends in an email interview, “The key difference between Hiver and other customer-support/productivity/collaboration tools is that Hiver works right out of Gmail. There’s hardly anything to learn if you want to use Hiver, and no new tool/UI to get used to.”
Shared Gmail Labels
Hiver takes advantage of one of Gmail’s most useful features, called labels, between users. Any shared labels that are attached to an email can be copied to teammates’ Inboxes instantly. This makes it possible to assign tasks and track their status all within your Gmail account.
If a customer sends you an email with a new request, you can label the email as task and share it with the person that is handling the account or someone new. When the task is finished, he or she can label it as done, and you would be notified immediately in your email.
As seen on this page, you can assign email as tasks, share Gmail labels with your entire team and get notified when there are new tasks.
Hiver also lets you share the email of your clients with the entire team, so any past and future correspondence under that label will be shared automatically with them. This is a feature many managers will be happy to see, especially in businesses where there are copious amount of revisions by clients.
Shared notes is available inside an email thread. Any time you need to add something to a task or make an observation, you can write a note and it will show up in your team’s mailboxes. It is like a chat box that makes important points, without the back and forth.
You can write note on emails and share them with everyone or specific individuals.
You can share you Google Contact groups between Gmail or Google App users, and sync them between Gmail accounts. If you want to share the contact, all you have to do is add it to Gmail Shared Contact Group and it will sync to their Gmail.
This also extends to adding the email of new clients so the contact information can be available to everyone with whom the list has been shared.
When you share contacts, the changes sync in seconds. This also includes the notes and custom fields.
According to Ranjan, Collision Detection is a unique feature that is currently not available in another product. Having multiple agents responding to a single email can be irritating to the intended recipient. With this feature, if you are responding to an email which someone else on the team is also responding, you get an alert.
As you can see in the highlighted yellow box, this feature actually lets you know while someone is in the process of responding to an email.
Some of the additional features of Hiver include:
- Email Templates — After writing an email once, you can use the template any time, or even share them with your team.
- Send Emails Later — You can schedule emails to be sent any time in the future. You can see what is going to be sent in Gmail Drafts.
- Email Reminders/Snooze — You can put emails back to your inbox at any date in the future. This lets you easily set reminders for upcoming tasks.
How Much is it Going to Cost You?
Considering the level of efficiency Hiver introduces into your business, the cost probably delivers one of the best ROIs out there. The company offers Free, Starter, Plus and Enterprise tiers, starting at zero dollars and going all the way up to only $18 for the Enterprise version. The difference in the tiers is the number of shared labels, emails and contacts you are able to use as well as email snooze, templates and notes. However, the Collision Detection feature is only available on the Plus and Enterprise versions.
Small Businesses and Hiver
A common theme among business owners is the many different hats they have to wear, which makes it an ideal environment for using tools that deliver as promised at a price point that won’t break the bank. Hiver uses a technology virtually everyone has used, but it makes it infinitely better by bringing your team together efficiently and cheaply.
The CEO of Hiver concluded by saying, “What we know for sure is that a lot of small companies start doing customer support from email, and move out of it as their team grows as it’s hard to manage a multi-agent team and large number of tickets over Gmail. What Hiver lets them do is build an efficient workflow to let multiple agents handle a large ticket volume right from Gmail itself.”
The purpose of collaboration is to bring people together, but if it is not efficient it defeats the purpose. Hiver uses a technology which is relied on by organizations big and small around the world. Email is an essential tool, and the company has made it more relevant than ever with its solution. Hiver has a product that works as promised, is easy to implement and extremely affordable.
Take a tour of the Hiver company website, give the free version a spin, and share how it has improved your business.