|M.Sc Student||Weiss Liad|
|Subject||Distance from or Progress toward Receiving a Telephone|
Service? Customer Reactions to Telephone Waiting
|Department||Department of Industrial Engineering and Management||Supervisor||Professor Anat Rafaeli|
|Full Thesis text|
Through an experimental simulation of telephone waiting we examined customers' reactions to different telephone Voice Response Unit messages, which provided information about the customer's position in the queue. Our between subject experimental design held the duration of the wait constant, and created two queue lengths (large and small) and two update frequencies (high and low). This design enabled the examination of two orientations of queues: Progress oriented queue--or long queue that progresses fast--and proximity oriented queue--or short queue that progresses slow. Customer's reactions were measured in terms of satisfaction level and queue persistence (as opposed to abandonment) rate. The findings demonstrate that, a progress (proximity) oriented queue leads to a high (low) satisfaction level from the wait on one hand, through affecting callers' sense of progress, while it leads to a worse (better) queue persistence on the other hand, through affecting sense of goal proximity. Furthermore, queue orientation, which affected sense of progress and satisfaction under high frequency updates, did not have an effect under low frequency updates, indicating on the moderating effect of update frequency on the relationship between queue orientation and caller sense of progress. Integration of our findings with current literature concerning physical waiting environment has led us to propose the term--Auditory waiting environment--which enables to examine the waiting situation from a multidimensional perspective. This term widens the perception of message as time filler, a term which has commonly defined the role of a message. Findings of a following experiment, which included contacting participants of the first experiment two days after participating in it for a report of their retrospective satisfaction, have supported the original findings. This support helped in establishing the preeminence of the auditory waiting environment design to achieve a valid improvement of customer satisfaction.