Cognitive and Emotional Load Influence Response Time of Service Agents: A Large Scale Analysis of Chat Service Conversations

AbstractWe highlight two psychological aspects of the load in service work -- cognitive load (amount of information customers present) and emotional load (emotions customers present), and examine their effects on response time of service agents, in service conversations conducted using text-based chats. Using operational data of 145,995 chat service conversations, we show that cognitive load and emotional load increase agent response time both between and within service conversations. Our analyses unpack common assumptions that number of customers is identical to amount of work load, and shed light on customer-agent dynamics both between and within service conversations. In using operational data for studying text-based service communication, which is rapidly expanding and insufficiently studied, we open up exciting opportunities for further research.

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