16:48 14 February 2017
Call centre staff builds rapport with their callers using many techniques including using their first name at least a couple of times throughout the duration of the call. A study says that such strategy works and that it is the quickest way to win customers over without jeopardising call duration targets by inviting the customer in potentially call-prolonging pleasantries'.
However, a new research says that the strategy does not really work because people can find it ‘cringey’. Author Anna Kristina Hultgren, an Open University linguistics lecturer, said: 'You may be used to a Starbucks barista asking for your name, but here it has a business-related function - to distinguish customers' drinks orders from one another. In call centres, the purpose is purely to build rapport. In both contexts, it can feel cringey.'
She added: 'Given that society constantly changes, politeness conventions will too. In fact, the overuse of naming documented in this study may already be on its way out.
'Companies are now increasingly beginning to rely on apps and online chat for their service interaction, moving away from the voice-based interactions of call centres, as even they are beginning to be too costly.'