The purpose of this paper is to investigate what factors influence the gap between caller's perception of how long they think they waited and how long they actually waited on hold and to determine what call managers can do to reduce this gap called estimation error.
A field experiment was conducted with a corporation's call center.
The findings were: the higher the estimation error of callers, the less satisfied they are; music increases estimation error, unless callers can choose the music; waiting information reduces estimation error; callers with urgent issues have more estimation error and they overestimate more; and females have higher estimation error and they overestimate more than males.
Limitations are one call center in one context. Implications are identification of antecedents of overestimation.
The paper provides guidelines for call center managers for reducing estimation error and increasing caller satisfaction. It discusses the need for understanding callers and measuring items that are important to them.
The study investigates an under researched variable called estimation error. Study also provides information about some of the causes for why consumers overestimate or underestimate their waiting time. Study provides guidelines from an actual call center and discusses variables that managers can easily use to decrease estimation error and overestimation.
Whiting, A. and Donthu, N. (2009), "Closing the gap between perceived and actual waiting times in a call center: results from a field study", Journal of Services Marketing, Vol. 23 No. 5, pp. 279-288. https://doi.org/10.1108/08876040910973396Download as .RIS
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