The Mediating Effects of Brand Music and Waiting Time Updates on Customers: Satisfaction with a Telephone Service when Put on Hold

G. Peevers, F. McInnes, H. Morton, A. Matthews, Mervyn Jack

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to deliver empirical data comparing the effects of music with the effects of providing waiting time information on customers who are kept on hold when telephoning their bank. It aims to discover if either has a more positive impact on their affective responses (satisfaction), and to discern if these effects are measurably different to a telephone call without music, or waiting time information, and for different durations of wait.

Design/methodology/approach – The methodology is an empirical study using bank customers as participants. Questionnaires and user observations techniques are employed to collect quantitative data which are analysed using repeated measures ANOVAs.

Findings – Overall the presence of updates, or music, has a positive influence on satisfaction when compared to just a ringing tone, but for a waiting time of one minute music has no influence on satisfaction. The acceptable waiting time threshold plays a very critical influence on satisfaction with the service. A waiting time above this results in larger differences being observed in the responses to the four treatments, with music and updates both having greater influence. In general, the presence of music and updates are also shown to reduce the overestimation of perceived waiting time.

Originality/value – This paper reports findings from an existing UK telephone banking service with 197 customers in three different locations. Implications from the findings provide insights for telephone service managers when choosing between adopting music or updates for managing on-hold periods.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)202-217
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Journal of Bank Marketing
Volume27
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2009

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