The Use Of Automated Telephone Interfaces With Customers By Local Organizations: Best Practices And Exploratory Investigation Of Usage

Main Article Content

Stephen B. Castleberry
Patricia A. Merrier
Tony Lewis

Keywords

Automated telephone, best practices, call center, customer interaction, voice mail, telephone system, answering machine, customer satisfaction

Abstract

Automated telephone systems (ATS) have been criticized by customers as a frustrating way to interact with an organization.  This study seeks to discover ATS best practices, assess how many local organizations (as opposed to 1-800 call centers) are utilizing various ATSs, and determine which ATS best practices these local organizations are adopting.  A list of 35 best practices were found.  An exploratory examination of 400 organizations in a mid-sized mid-western city revealed that very few use an advanced ATS, with 51% using a simple answering machine. The adoption of best practices by these organizations was quite varied.  Managerial recommendations as well as future research suggestions are offered.

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