|Title||Le travail émotionnel du client: La structure séquentielle des émotions dans les usages problématiques d'un serveur vocal|
|Tag(s)||emotion, emotion work, interaction rituals, man–machine interaction, phone, sequence organization, sequential analysis, services|
|Journal||Social Science Information|
Recent developments in the service sector have led sociologists to suggest that customers are increasingly encouraged to ‘work' for service organizations. This article develops the hypothesis that the clients who work in this service sector may experience an emotional dimension to their work. In support of this hypothesis, a revision of the notion of ‘emotion work' is proposed on the basis of a study on the problematic usages of a phone interface service supplied by a telecommunications operator. The study made use of a group of genuine calls that were transcribed and coded; utterances were described objectively regarding pitch and intensity; finally, a statistical method for detecting sequential patterns was applied. The results suggest that clients respond emotionally to usability problems, and that their emotions unfold according to a recurrent sequential structure. Goffman's ‘remedial interchange' provides the point of reference for the interpretation, which leads to the suggestion that the emotional patterns revealed are of a social origin, though not socially situated.