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Numbers or apologies? Customer reactions to telephone waiting time fillers.

Research paper by Nira N Munichor, Anat A Rafaeli

Indexed on: 21 Mar '07Published on: 21 Mar '07Published in: The Journal of applied psychology



Abstract

The authors examined the effect of time perception and sense of progress in telephone queues on caller reactions to 3 telephone waiting time fillers: music, apologies, and information about location in the queue. In Study 1, conducted on 123 real calls, call abandonment was lowest, and call evaluations were most positive with information about location in the queue as the time filler. In Study 2, conducted with 83 participants who experienced a simulated telephone wait experience, sense of progress in the queue rather than perceived waiting time mediated the relationship between telephone waiting time filler and caller reactions. The findings provide insight for the management and design of telephone queues, as well as theoretical insight into critical cognitive processes that underlie telephone waiting, opening up an important new research agenda.