Reported studies on call centers emphasize efficiency and control, with possible implications for service priorities, customer orientation and service quality. However, there is little empirical research to test assumptions from the customer’s perspective. This study aimed to establish whether customers expected (predicted) low levels of service from a call center, how this level compared to the minimum level they considered adequate, and whether the perceived customer orientation of the call center was related to service quality expectations. Data were collected in Australia from two sources: end consumers (n = 289) of an insurance provider, and business customers (n = 325) of a bank. Key findings were similar for both samples. First, customers had very high levels of adequate (minimum) expectations, and adequate expectations behaved independently from predicted (forecast) expectations. Second, customer orientation was associated with predicted expectations but not adequate expectations. The paper concludes with suggestions for future research and managerial implications.
Journal of Services Marketing Vol. 18, Issue 1, p. 60-78