Updates from CHICAGO BOOTH


Tired of waiting on hold?
By Phran Novelli – Past research into call-center operations treated caller patience as a constant, unchanged by how well call centers routed or prioritized calls. Such assumptions made it simpler to analyze the data and apply it in the design of call centers. But the assumptions ultimately failed to provide a reasonable picture of people’s willingness to wait on hold, which could be at the root of poorly run call centers.

Each caller put on hold must decide whether to abandon a call or continue to wait, and the researchers model wait or quit decisions and estimate callers’ patience using data on waiting and abandonment times.

To test their theory, and compare it to older models, the researchers applied four scenarios that simulated changes in call-service discipline. Those included a first-come, first-served policy, in which calls are answered in the order they are received; a static policy, in which the highest priority calls are answered first; and two “threshold” policy scenarios, which both adjust call-handling priority based on one of two preset time thresholds for how long callers have to wait.

The results reveal that the older models’ assumptions were at times off substantially. more> http://tinyurl.com/oc4egw4

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