Pension helpdesk calls: A repair mechanism in the client communication of financial institutions

Louise Nell, Leo Lentz, Henk Pander Maat, Tom Koole


This paper analyzes the role of helpdesk calls in the client communication package of pension funds. Our audio-corpus of 77 helpdesk calls contained 104 client questions. These show that clients seem to call the helpdesk in order to repair a comprehension problem, to find specific information they missed, to repair incorrect information or an administrative failure. In terms of Media Synchronicity Theory, helpdesk calls are most often used to repair unsuccessful conveyance processes by providing extra information, rectifying information or by addressing misunderstandings. Overall, the helpdesk is only used for straightforward inquiries and problems, not for financial advice.


Pension communication; Multi-channel package; Helpdesk calls; Media synchronicity theory; Comprehension; Reason for calling


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Studies in Communication Sciences | ISSN: 1424-4896