How do Delay Announcements Impact Customer Behavior: Experimental Study

Students

Wharton

Faculty

Professor of Operations, Information and Decisions

Project Summary

PURM granted me a wonderful opportunity this summer to work under Professor Gad Allon of the OID department. Professor Allon and his colleagues have been researching delay announcements which we encounter on a day-to-day basis, and my partner and I were fortunate enough to assist him with his work.

Our research focused on exactly how delay-announcements affect customer perception ā€” whether they can make rational decisions regarding reneging ā€” and how certain elements can elicit an intended behavior. We started by creating an online survey through Qualtrics that accurately simulates a delay announcement that participants would face in their daily lives. Once we got it working, we conducted experiments on MTurk to both adjust the various elements of the survey for more realistic responses and understand how customers made decisions based on the limited information given.

Although I have had some previous research experience, all of them were focused on computer science and finding/analyzing algorithms. Naturally, my experience this summer working on a project that is in a field that I had no prior knowledge of was both daunting and exciting. Fortunately enough, I could still put my skills as a CIS student into use by coding javascript programs that would be embedded in the surveys we sent out to participants.

The thing I enjoyed the most about my experience was the discussions we had about the results we got. Since our main goal for the 10 weeks was to be able to create an accurate simulation that elicits intended behaviors, the continuous tweaking and improvements we made after every meeting and the sharing of ideas that came with it were interactions that piqued my interest and motivated me to think.

All in all, I think I might have found my passion in the Wharton side of my undergraduate career. Coming into Penn, I had no idea what I wanted to pursue as my Wharton concentration, yet after this summer, OID has become a strong candidate. Iā€™m also looking forward to continuing this research throughout the semester and finishing strong.