The Effect of Choice and Announcement Duration on the Estimation of Telephone Hold Time

The Effect of Choice and Announcement Duration on the Estimation of Telephone Hold Time

Philip Kortum (Rice University, USA), Randolph G. Bias (The University of Texas at Austin, USA), Benjamin A. Knott (U. S. Air Force Research Laboratory, USA) and Robert G. Bushey (AT&T Laboratories, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-87828-991-9.ch160
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Abstract

If a caller is placed on hold when they call a business, about half will hang up before the call is answered. Of those that hang up, only half of those will call back (Staino, 1994). Optimizing the on-hold experience has the potential to reduce hang-ups and make being put on hold more palatable to the caller. The current study assessed the influence of the opportunity to make a music choice and the length of pre-music announcement duration on perceived on-hold durations and customer satisfaction. Subjective assessments of on-hold times were significantly shorter with longer announcements, but satisfaction did not change. The chance to choose music improved satisfaction, but did not significantly reduce subjective time estimates. To test if multiple withinsubject trials might have led to prospective time judgments, a between-subjects design replication was conducted, with each participant estimating only one time interval. A similar pattern of results was obtained.

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