The Effect of Service Employee Accent on Service Quality Perception: an Exploratory Study

In many of the developed western countries a large part of the service workforce is made up of immigrants with cultures and accents different from their adopted country. Moreover, with the propensity of firms outsourcing their customer service departments to foreign call centres customers are often exposed to accents that differ from their own. This paper reports on an exploratory study designed to uncover the attitudes and perceptions of Australians to service personnel with accents different from their own. The findings revealed that hearing a service provider with a foreign accent in a call centre appears to evoke a negative predisposition to accents such as Indian or Filipino, reduce the customers’ level of tolerance and influence customers’ service quality perception. These findings were not a common factor when customers dealt with service personnel face-to-face.


Sally Rao Hill and Alastair Tombs (2011) ,"The Effect of Service Employee Accent on Service Quality Perception: an Exploratory Study", in AP - Asia-Pacific Advances in Consumer Research Volume 9, eds. Zhihong Yi, Jing Jian Xiao, and June Cotte and Linda Price, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 38-40.


Sally Rao Hill, The University of Adelaide, Australia
Alastair Tombs, The University of Queensland, Australia


AP - Asia-Pacific Advances in Consumer Research Volume 9 | 2011

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