We think of text messages like letters being sent to personal mailboxes. Only the phone owner has a key to that mailbox. This is great for private communication between friends, family, significant others, etc. But it’s a nightmare for businesses.
Your average on-demand business has a middleman between the customer and themselves. This could be a driver, flower delivery guy, bike messenger, or house cleaner. To keep all three parties in touch, companies like Uber, HomeJoy, AirBnB use text messaging. When the company contacts the middleman (or vendor) they have to do it on a 1 to 1 basis. One employee, contacts one vendor, and the conversation is contained. Front wants to flip the 1 on 1 model on its head.
The Front app works as a layer on top of your SMS platform that allows you to collaborate and share SMS conversations. When someone sends a text to your Twilio powered number, Front captures it and gives you the ability to assign action items to the text, tag team mates, create a deliverable calendar, and follow the conversations.
Front’s design is complex when businesses need it to be, and dead simple for the folks on the other side of the phone. The UX doesn’t change for vendors who are used to sending texts to one number, expecting replies from one person. They can send the same SMS to the same number and expect the same response.
For businesses like HomeJoy, the app is an invaluable resource for wrangling and organizing all their inbound messaging. Complex tools like conversation tracking, task assignment help HomeJoy streamline their communication with contractors.
Despite being a lean team of three, Front is shipping fast. Earlier this year they launched a collaborative email platform, and a Twitter integration that lets teams collaborate and plan tweets. You can learn more about Front here