The identification of inbound call center agents' competencies that are related to callers' repurchase intentions

Manuel C.F. Pontes, Colleen O.Brien Kelly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

21 Scopus citations


Increasingly, inbound call centers are being employed to manage customer complaints and maintain customer loyalty. The purpose of this research is to identify the customer relationship management and oral communication competencies of inbound call center agents that have a significant influence on callers' repurchase intentions. Previous research has typically obtained customers' retrospective evaluations of their experience with customer service employees. Unfortunately, a caller's memory for specific agent behaviors is likely to fade with delay. As a result, retrospective ratings of behaviors are likely to be inferred from the caller's overall perceptions of the service experience. Therefore, an expert supervisoŕ's on-line observational measures of agent competencies were used for the present study. Callers' repurchase intentions were determined by a mail survey. Results showed that several specific agent competencies were related to callers' repurchase intentions. For example, results showed that personalization of the call, the offer of additional services, an optimal rate of speech, and the absence of vocalized pauses were all significantly related to higher caller repurchase intentions. These results add to the literature on the effects of employee behaviors on customer loyalty and show that the behavior of inbound call center agents can have a significant influence on customers' relationships with the firm.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)41-49
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Interactive Marketing
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 2000


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Business and International Management
  • Marketing

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