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“How may I help you?” Questions, control and customer care in call centre telephone talk

Hultgren, Anna Kristina and Cameron, Deborah (2010). “How may I help you?” Questions, control and customer care in call centre telephone talk. In: Freed, Alice and Ehrlich, Susan eds. “Why Do You Ask?” The Function of Questions in Institutional Settings. New York: Oxford University Press, pp. 322–342.

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Abstract

This chapter is concerned with questions in telephone interaction between customers and service personnel (“agents”) in call centers. The call center industry distinguishes between “inbound” centers, where calls are initiated by customers, and “outbound” centers, where calls are initiated by agents. Agents in inbound centers generally deal with service requests, while agents in outbound centers more often make sales calls. here we examine only the inbound case (for a discussion of outbound telemarketing see Freed, chapter 14, this volume). Our data were collected at a Scottish call center belonging to a large insurance company (“Thistle Insurance”), where agents handle calls from both individual policyholders and independent financial advisers (IFAs) acting on behalf of policyholders. The corpus includes notes of observations made on site, interviews with Thistle personnel, written texts (documents that codify the center's operating procedures and standards, training materials, performance assessment criteria), and recordings of actual calls.

Item Type: Book Section
Copyright Holders: 2010 Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0-19-530689-9, 978-0-19-530689-7
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies (WELS) > Languages and Applied Linguistics > English Language & Applied Linguistics
Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies (WELS) > Languages and Applied Linguistics
Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies (WELS)
Research Group: Language & Literacies
Item ID: 36602
Depositing User: Anna Kristina Hultgren
Date Deposited: 22 Feb 2013 09:40
Last Modified: 12 Dec 2018 04:04
URI: http://oro.open.ac.uk/id/eprint/36602
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