Operations, Information and Decisions Papers

Document Type

Journal Article

Date of this Version

2003

Publication Source

manufacturing & Service Operations Management

Volume

5

Issue

2

Start Page

79

Last Page

141

DOI

10.1287/msom.5.2.79.16071

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.

Keywords

telephone call center, contact center, teleservices, telequeues, capacity management, staffing, hiring, workforce management systems, ACD reports, queueing, abandonment, Erlang C, Erlang B, Erlang A, QED regime, time-varying queues, call routing, skills-based routing, forecasting, data mining

 

Date Posted: 27 November 2017

This document has been peer reviewed.