|M.Sc Student||Altman Daniel|
|Subject||Modeling Employee Behavioral Reactions to Emotions|
Expressed by Customers: A Non-obtrusive
Examination of Customer Service
|Department||Department of Industrial Engineering and Management||Supervisors||Professor Anat Rafaeli|
|Dr. Galit Yom-Tov|
Service delivery relies on interactions with customers, which can be done through various contact channels including face-to-face, call centers, internet chats, and social networks (e.g. Twitter). The operation of customer contact centers is highly complex and must balance service quality with an efficient use of resources. A critical issue in this context, about which little is understood, is the influence of the behavior of customers, namely customer emotion expression, on employee efficiency. In the current research we use chat-interaction data provided by LivePerson Inc. (https://www.liveperson.com). Our analyses show intriguing findings: (a) employees respond more quickly to customers who express mild positive emotion or mixed emotion, (b) employees respond more slowly to customers who express highly negative or positive emotion, (c) expression of positive or negative emotion by customers moderates the impact of workload on employee speed of performance. In a second study, we examine the direction of these effects. In order to do so, we developed a sampling method in which customer messages are randomly selected and consequent employee responses are recorded, thus allowing us to examine the causal relationship between customer emotion and employee responses. Results show that increased positive emotion of customers led to quicker employee responses in consequent messages. Contributions to theory and practice are discussed and suggestions to future research are made.