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Telephone Call Centers: Tutorial, Review, and Research Prospects

Author

Listed:
  • Noah Gans

    () (The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104)

  • Ger Koole

    () (Vrije Universiteit, De Boelelaan 1081a, 1081 HV Amsterdam, The Netherlands)

  • Avishai Mandelbaum

    () (Industrial Engineering and Management, Technion, Haifa 32000, Israel)

Abstract

Telephone call centers are an integral part of many businesses, and their economic role is significant and growing. They are also fascinating sociotechnical systems in which the behavior of customers and employees is closely intertwined with physical performance measures. In these environments traditional operational models are of great value---and at the same time fundamentally limited---in their ability to characterize system performance. We review the state of research on telephone call centers. We begin with a tutorial on how call centers function and proceed to survey academic research devoted to the management of their operations. We then outline important problems that have not been addressed and identify promising directions for future research.

Suggested Citation

  • Noah Gans & Ger Koole & Avishai Mandelbaum, 2003. "Telephone Call Centers: Tutorial, Review, and Research Prospects," Manufacturing & Service Operations Management, INFORMS, vol. 5(2), pages 79-141, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:inm:ormsom:v:5:y:2003:i:2:p:79-141
    as

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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1287/msom.5.2.79.16071
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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