Since explaining how these notions apply to the

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Unformatted text preview: quality in terms of quantity), predictability (as little variation as possible) and control (of workers' activities by means of technology). Since explaining how these notions apply to the speci®c case of the call centre is also a useful way of describing the workings of call centres to readers who may not be familiar with them, I will examine them brie¯y in turn. Eciency is maximized in call centres by designing interactional routines so that they consist of the fewest moves needed to complete a given transaction successfully. For example, in the directory assistance centre, the standard routine for processing a request for a phone number has the `core' moves `which name please', `which town', `which address'. This re¯ects the fact that the software used to retrieve phone numbers needs all and only the answers to these questions (preferably in the order just given) to trigger a search. It is also speci®ed in the manual that operators must repeat back to the customer the answer s/he gives to each `core' question. This might appear inecient, since it doubles the number of...
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