Over the last two decades, call centres have become the preferred method for most large businesses to communicate with their customers. The February issue of Management science is a special issue focusing on the management of call centres. The twelve articles presented in this issue cover workforce management, including forecasting and staff scheduling, as well as forms of training and outsourcing. Milner & Olsen present an interesting paper on the use of service-level agreements in call centres, arguing that sometimes these targets can be counterintuitive, as firms maximize performance by providing poor customer service to particular types of calls. Soyer & Tarimcilar look at the problem of quantifying, over time, the effects of marketing campaigns on call centres. Campaigns can dramatically alter demand patterns for sales-orientated call centres, yet there appears to be little or no literature on this impact. Jouini, Dallery & Nait-Abdallah provide an analysis of a French telecom provider who are using small independent teams, each with their own customers, rather than one large pool. Although this decrease in scale does result in a loss of efficiency, this has been far outweighed by staff motivation and retention benefits.
The February issue of Management Science can be found in the journals collection located in the library basement.
Alternatively, current staff, students and faculty can use Article Finder (available via Portal) to find out which of our databases provides full-text access to this journal.
Picture from Creative Commons: Flickr: Kingfal