Preventing an Email War/Email Loop

Last Updated -

What is an Email War or Email Loop?
An email war/email loop occurs when two auto responders send emails back and forth to each other, possibly infinitely, causing countless time in cleanup and wasted resources. 

How could this affect my Desk.com site?
If the proper precautions are not taken, you could come into work on Monday morning and find that you have 1000 "Out of Office Replies" from one of your clients. And they would have 1000 Auto Acknowledgements from Desk.com and probably be pretty upset. One of your agents could spend a lot of time doing clean up, your reports could be skewed and it could be a logistical headache for the Support team.

What can I do to avoid this scenario?
By default, Desk.com comes with an email rule located at Admin->Cases->Rules->Inbound Interactions named "Send Email Acknowledgement"

This rule contains a condition "Hours Since Last Auto Acknowledgement Sent Greater Than Or Equal To 24". This will only allow one auto acknowledgement to be sent to any particular email address within a 24 hour period, thereby preventing the email war/email loop scenario. You should always use this condition in any rules that send an Auto Acknowledgement Email.

What if I have a customer that submits multiple cases in one day?
When the rule condition is on, it prevents  more than one auto acknowledgement to be sent to an email address, regardless of the number of cases that came in. For example, a customer submits 5 tickets in one day. The first one would get the auto acknowledgement, the remaining four would not.  There is unfortunately no way to avoid this.

Can I reduce the "Hours Since ..."  number from 24?
Yes, it can be reduced, but it is not recommended. The lower the number the more susceptible your site becomes to the email war/email loop scenario. We only recommend using "Hours Since Last Auto Acknowledgement Sent Greater Than Or Equal To 24" .

How can I test my auto acknowledgements rules to see if they are running properly?
You might run into a scenario where you want to test your auto acknowledgements, to make sure the rules are firing correctly or to check the look and feel of the template. During these periods, you can remove the condition   "Hours Since Last Auto Acknowledgement Sent Greater Than Or Equal To 24" , however you become susceptible to the email war/email loop scenario during this time period.  Once you have completed your testing, you should make sure that you put the condition back.

The email war/email loop scenario can cause havoc for your support department. Using the "Hours Since Last Auto Acknowledgement Sent Greater Than Or Equal To 24" condition in your auto acknowledgement rules will insure that you do not fall victim to it when using Desk.com.