Spending more time with the customer: service-providers’ behavioral discretion and call-center operations
The purpose of the present study was to examine service providers’ behavioral discretion regarding length of service time, and the variables that affect their discretion. Our sample consisted of 225 call center employees. They responded to questionnaires concerning burnout, leader–member exchange (LMX), and perceived service climate. Operational data regarding employees’ average call duration in the subsequent 3 months served as proxy of their behavioral discretion. We found that higher service climate and LMX predicted longer call duration, while higher levels of burnout were associated with shorter call duration. Service climate mediated the relationship of LMX with call duration.