How Call Center Location Impacts Expectations of Service from Reputable vs. Lesser Known Firms

(with Neeraj Bharadwaj and Wayne D. Hoyer)


Journal of Retailing




Businesses are increasingly turning to call service centers located abroad to provide customer support. Although the country-of-origin literature as well as other reports may lead one to believe that consumers will expect offshore call centers to deliver poorer service, call center location is simply one cue which consumers can utilize to form expectations. This research investigates how two factors (location and reputation) impact a consumer's expectations regarding an upcoming service encounter. We employ information integration theory to examine how these two cues are combined. Results from two experiments demonstrate that call center location does not impact pre-encounter expectations if the firm is reputable. If, however, the firm is less known, consumers anticipate being less satisfied if they believe the call center is located in a nation dissimilar to the U.S. (e.g., India or the Philippines) versus in the U.S. or similar to the U.S. (e.g., England). Belief about training provided by the firm is shown to be the key mediator.


Public Relations and Advertising

Recommended Citation

Roggeveen, Anne L., Neeraj Bharadwaj, and Wayne D. Hoyer. 2007. “How call center location impacts expectations of service from reputable versus lesser known firms.” Journal of Retailing 83, no. 4: 403-410.

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