Listening to the voice of the customer has been embraced in marketing theory and practice for a long time. However, the wide scale implementation of call centers has only recently enabled managers to take this adage to the next level. At the same time, it is acknowledged that the evaluation of service delivery often depends on the so-called "service encounter", or the time of interaction between the service firm and customer. Extensive research has been conducted in the field of traditional face-to-face encounters, but no attempt has yet been made to categorize customer expectations with regard to employee behavior during voice-to-voice encounters. Therefore, the aim of this study is to develop a measurement instrument that identifies key customer expectation dimensions with regard to call center representative (CCR) behavior. Based on the services marketing literature, 13 potential attributes were empirically tested on an effective sample of 206 respondents. This resulted in a model consisting of four different sub-scales that were labeled "adaptiveness", "assurance", "empathy", and "authority". The results of the validity- and reliability-testing confirm the solidity of the measurement instrument.
International Journal of Service Industry Management – Emerald Publishing
Published: May 1, 2000
Keywords: Customer requirements; Service quality; Call centres; Customer satisfaction
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