Call Centers with Delay Information: Models and Insights

Abstract : In this paper, we analyze a call center with impatient customers. We study how informing customers about their anticipated delays affects performance. Customers react by balking upon hearing the delay announcement and may subsequently renege, particularly if the realized waiting time exceeds the delay that has originally been announced to them. The balking and reneging from such a system are a function of the delay announcement. Modeling the call center as an M/M/s + M queue with endogenized customer reactions to announcements, we analytically characterize performance measures for this model. The analysis allows us to explore the role announcing different percentiles of the waiting time distribution, i.e., announcement coverage, plays on subsequent performance in terms of balking and reneging. Through a numerical study, we explore when informing customers about delays is beneficial and what the optimal coverage should be in these announcements. We show how managers of a call center with delay announcements can control the trade-off between balking and reneging through their choice of announcements to be made.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, March 20, 2012 - 10:22:15 AM
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Oualid Jouini, Zeynep Aksin, Yves Dallery. Call Centers with Delay Information: Models and Insights. Manufacturing and Service Operations Management, INFORMS, 2011, Vol. 13 (N° 4), p. 534-548. ⟨10.1287/msom.1110.0339⟩. ⟨hal-00680769⟩



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