operational determinants of customer satiosfaction in the call center

Operational - The current issue and full text archive of this journal is available at http/www.emerald-library.com Operational determinants of

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Caller satisfaction 131 International Journal of Service Industry Management, Vol. 11 No. 2, 2000, pp. 131-141. # MCB University Press, 0956-4233 Operational determinants of caller satisfaction in the call center Richard A. Feinberg, Ik-Suk Kim and Leigh Hokama Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana, USA Ko de Ruyter and Cherie Keen Maastricht University, Maastricht, The Netherlands Keywords Performance measures, Customer service, Customer satisfaction, Call centres Abstract There has been, and will be, a spectacular growth in the number of call centers on both sides of the Atlantic. So far, however, empirical evidence is lacking as to the operational determinants of caller satisfaction in call centers, despite the multitude of call performance metrics registered in many call centers. Undertakes an empirical assessment of the relationship between caller satisfaction and a number of critical variables. The results are astonishing. Of all the critical operational determinants only ‘‘percentage of calls closed on first contact’’ and ‘‘average abandonment’’ have a significant, albeit weak, influence on caller satisfaction. Concludes, therefore, with a call for more research into reliable and valid predictors of caller satisfaction. Introduction Probably the most urgent questions facing most businesses that believe they care about their customers (after they have what the customer wants) revolve around: . ‘‘What is great service?’’ . ‘‘How can we provide it?’’ . ‘‘How do we get better?’’ Many companies have reached the conclusion that the relationship with the customer should not end at the store door. These companies believe that customer access after the sale adds value to the transaction (Marsico, 1996). Customer call centers have emerged as a leading weapon on this customer satisfaction battlefront (Anton, 1997; Dawson, 1998; Aksin and Harker, 1999). Call centers allow a company to build, maintain, and manage customer relationships by solving problems and resolving complaints quickly, having information, answering questions, and being available usually 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days of the year (Prahabkar et al. , 1997). Indeed, it appears that customers now expect and demand telephone access to companies and manufacturers (Cowles and Crosby, 1990; Dabholkar, 1994). Companies that have call centers as a focus of their customer satisfaction strategy may look like they really care more (and maybe even actually care more), differentiate themselves from the competition, and thus are in a better competitive position than a business only available at a store between 8. 00 a.m. The current issue and full text archive of this journal is available at http://www.emerald-library.com
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IJSIM 11,2 132 and 9.00 p.m. Call centers allow companies to achieve the promise established in the 1970s by the ground-breaking customer satisfaction research by TARP (1979) and supported by the growing customer satisfaction empirical and
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Operational - The current issue and full text archive of this journal is available at http/www.emerald-library.com Operational determinants of

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