Humans in Queues: Modeling and Analysis of Customer Abandonments
This talk will cover a stream of research focusing on modeling and empirical analysis of abandonment in queues. The standard paradigm assumes abandonment times are random variables with a given distribution. This approach does not provide a natural link between system features and abandonments. Yet in many service systems, the waiting entities are humans and make decisions regarding abandonment in response to system features. Explicit modeling of decision making by humans in queues enables the characterization of the link between system features and customer patience in queues. We propose a model for abandonment by strategic customers in queues, and subsequently estimate the delay sensitivity parameters of these customers empirically using abandonment data from a call center. We illustrate how this approach can be used to study the effect of various system design decisions, including delay announcements in call centers.
Bio: Zeynep Akşin is a Professor of Operations Management at Koç University. Prior to joining Koç University in 2002, she was a faculty member at INSEAD. She was a visiting scholar at the Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University in 2008-2009. She holds a PhD and an M.S. in Operations Management from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, and a B.S. in Industrial Engineering from Middle East Technical University. Her research focuses on service operations management. Her research has been recognized with awards including a TÜBA Encouragement Award and an IBM Faculty Award. Dr. Akşin also serves as an Associate Editor for IIE Transactions.