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Queue Now or Queue Later: An Empirical Study of Callers’ Redial Behaviors

Abstract

Queues are an inherent outcome of many service systems. Because waiting in queue is typically perceived as negative, customers may choose either to not enter a queue if the length is too long (balk) or exit a queue prior to receiving service (renege). Balking and reneging have been extensively studied both analytically and empirically in both visible and invisible queues. However, models of queueing systems which only account for balking and reneging may ignore the impact of customers who choose to return to queue later. For example, amusement park customers often traverse the park searching for an attraction to ride. Upon observing a long queue for an attraction, some customers may balk but choose to return later when the queue is shorter. Another example is customer support in a call center. Callers waiting in a phone queue may choose to renege in order to redial at a more convenient time.


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