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Rethinking Customer Expectations of Service Quality: Are Call Centres Different?

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journal contribution
posted on 07.06.2017, 02:42 by Dean, Alison M
Reported studies on call centres emphasize efficiency and control, with possible implications for service priorities, customer orientation and service quality. However, there is little empirical research to test assumptions from the customer's perspective. This study aimed to establish whether customers expected (predicted) low levels of service from a call centre, how this level compared to the minimum level they considered adequate, and whether the perceived customer orientation of the call centre was related to service quality expectations. Data were collected from customers (N=289) of a large insurance provider. Key findings were that customers had very high levels of adequate (minimum) expectations and that adequate expectations behaved independently from predicted (forecast) expectations. Secondly, customer orientation was associated with predicted expectations but not adequate expectations. The paper concludes with suggestions for future research and managerial implications.


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Department of Management