Why do we recommend you set your users’ “Max Messages” limit to between three and five messages?
A busy inbox can have a pile of messages arriving in a short time. Particularly in workplaces where your customers don’t necessarily keep the same hours as you do, you may find that when you get in in the morning or after the weekend there is a large number of messages waiting to be processed.
There are a couple of implications for this. Without a max messages limit set on individual users’ mailboxes, Response would use its Round-Robin (or load-balanced, if that’s what you use) algorithm to distribute the whole stack of messages to users as they log on. This can mean, for example, that if a couple of users log on before everyone else, they get the whole backlog of email dumped in their “my messages” folder and there is nothing to distribute to other users.
Aside from the practical considerations of ensuring equitable distribution between agents, though, there is a significant body of research surrounding the psychology of “to-do” lists and their effect on efficiency; a number of messages sitting in “my messages” is, after all, a “to-do” list for agents. If the list is too long, it is easy to feel overwhelmed by the size of the task, and procrastination often results. A small, manageable number of tasks leads to a greater likelihood that they will all be accomplished in reasonable time.
These two factors combine to inform Emailtopia’s tried and tested advice. Keeping your Max Messages limit to at least three emails will help to ensure that agents are not left waiting for new tasks – as it’s likely that at least some of those messages may be quick and simple to reply to (indeed, that’s the whole point of Response’s rules, standard replies, and other productivity features!). On the other hand, setting the Max Messages limit no higher than five will help make certain that there is an equitable distribution among active agents, there is no huge backlog at the beginning of a workday or work week, and there is no risk that the first person to log in in the morning gets the entire overnight supply of unassigned messages dropped in their My Messages folder!