Nobody likes waiting on hold to talk to customer support, but for some reason, waiting for an email reply can be even more frustrating.
Angrily smashing that “reply” button before you get a response might feel satisfying in the moment, but it actually decreases your chances of a timely resolution.
Most companies that use ticket-based support manage their queue with a FIFO strategy. In other words, like every automated phone message lady tells you, tickets are processed in the order they’re received. Unlike a phone queue, however, email support lets you update your ticket with a reply before someone gets back to you — and the timestamp of your last reply is usually what determines your spot in line.
This is why obsessively replying to yourself while waiting for a support agent to get back to you is so counterproductive: every unanswered reply updates the timestamp, pushing your message right back to the bottom of the queue. Creating new tickets in the hopes of getting noticed is an equally bad strategy.
It forces support workers to merge all of your angry emails into a single cluttered, difficult to understand ticket—and since they all have minimum metrics to hit, support agents are strongly motivated to skip the train wrecks in favour of simple tickets that won’t tank their numbers for the day.
With that said, not all companies use a straight-up FIFO system to manage their ticket queues, and most support software allows users to categorise incoming tickets however they like.
Regardless of the other criteria at play, though, spamming a support system with endless replies — or duplicate tickets — is never in your best interest. Not only will it probably get you a longer wait, but it also makes life harder for the people trying to help you. In general, the fewer messages it takes to explain your issue, the easier it will be for someone else to follow along and figure out a fix.
Of course, there are legitimate reasons to preemptively update a ticket: maybe you forgot a key piece of information, or figured out how to resolve the issue on your own. Just remember that there’s a living, breathing, likely overworked person on the other end.
As Abby Armada, a seven-year veteran of tech startup support (and a personal friend) puts it: “Spamming a help desk does not endear your plight to the human beings who have to help you.” Keep that in mind, and everyone will be better off.