Call centre communication : an analysis of interpersonal meaning

Pao Yue-kong Library Electronic Theses Database

Call centre communication : an analysis of interpersonal meaning

 

Author: Wan, Yau Ni
Title: Call centre communication : an analysis of interpersonal meaning
Degree: Ph.D.
Year: 2012
Subject: Conversation analysis.
Interpersonal communication.
Linguistic analysis (Linguistics)
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Department: Dept. of English
Pages: ix, 472 p. : ill. ; 30 cm.
Language: English
InnoPac Record: http://library.polyu.edu.hk/record=b2530131
URI: http://theses.lib.polyu.edu.hk/handle/200/6730
Abstract: A call centre telephone interaction requires the Customer Service Representative (CSR) to maintain a good interpersonal interaction with the customer. The present study was motivated by concerns relating to complaints and lack of effective training materials in the call centre industry. The aim is to find typical interpersonal features which are used by the CSR and the customer to make meanings at points of negotiation in the call centre conversations. The theoretical framework draws on Systemic Functional Linguistics (SFL), and in particular the present study applies research related to the semantics of exchange structure (Halliday, 1985, 1994), register variables (Martin, 1992, 1999), generic analysis (Martin & Rose, 2008), voice quality (van Leeuwen, 1999), Appraisal items (Martin & White, 2005), in particular, Graduation resources (Hood, 2006; Hood & Forey, 2008). The present study consists of a multimodal analysis of the spoken interaction itself and paralinguistic voice quality features of transcribed conversations. In Phase I, 100 English calls from the Call Centre Communication Corpus Research were studied to formulate the research questions, to determine the sample size and to plan the data collection procedure for the main study. In Phase II, 20 representative calls with complex negotiation were selected and transcribed among about 2000 calls of English conversations from an insurance call centre in the Philippines. Information from non-participant observation and interviews with call centre managers, supervisors and CSRs during call centre visits in Guangzhou, Hong Kong and the Philippines were used to understand the call centre industry from an insider's perspective. The outcomes of this study are twofold: 1) an attempt is made to contribute to applied linguistic knowledge; and 2) this in-depth analysis is to support the training and linguistic service offered by the call centre industry. The findings from the present study offer insights into the world of the global phenomenon of call centre discourse.

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