Artificial intelligence (AI) is advancing our daily lives in the ways we connect with others and freeing us from repetitive tasks. Still, many forms of AI lack the ability to mimic or respond to human behaviors. But emotional intelligence technology has reached a level where it can help enhance our natural abilities and assist with new challenges.
The ability of emotional intelligence in technology to support us to communicate and understand each other on an empathetic level is enhancing our uniquely human abilities across business and customer experience. This ability to boost human performance can be most readily seen in customer service agent interactions with technology advances in:
- Analyzing conversation patterns
- Determining the quality of an interaction
- Providing real-time guidance to agents so that they can display empathy, build rapport, and create valuable emotional connections
Using modern AI emotional intelligence tools enables companies to improve the conversational skills of their service teams, respond to customers empathetically, and deliver superior interactions and CX. Businesses can see how technology and human emotions can affect human performance in delivering optimum customer experiences in five different ways.
1. Makes Conversations More Emotionally Intelligent
Businesses can take advantage of emotional intelligence technology and its unique ability to augment individual human strengths to become better and more productive through emotion identification. Now that this technology can identify our emotions, and the other qualities that make us uniquely human, it can help us strengthen them as well.
2. Supports Agent Conversations
Millions of call center agents handle countless calls where they must effectively communicate and build a connection with someone with whom they have no prior relationship. The stress this causes because of customer frustrations and agitation make it difficult for the average human to maintain a high degree of productive and empathetic exchange with the customer. This becomes more difficult while attempting to navigate systems, enter data, and comply with company policies.
An agent’s professional success and the quality of customer interactions at a company often depend on their ability to understand and use emotional information. Organizations that did not focus on emotional intelligence had “significant consequences, including low productivity, lukewarm innovation, and an uninspired workforce,” according to a Harvard Business Review Analytic Services report.
Emotional intelligence in technology can now enhance our innate emotional intelligence and ability to empathetically maneuver a conversation. This is particularly necessary when call center agents become fatigued or distracted and lose their edge after the stress of challenging days of active listening and caring thoughtful responses.
The repetition and continuous demand for compassion can be draining, leading to cognitive overload, emotional fatigue, and burnout. Emotional intelligence technology that analyzes and interprets behavior to provide real-time guidance helps lessen the burden on frontline workers. It also provides managers and executives with performance data and customer insights to better support employee training, performance improvement, and personalized guidance for long-term development.
3. Augments Rather Than Replaces Human Judgement
While artificial intelligence has traditionally sought to replace humans in the conversational loop as with chatbots, emotional intelligence seeks to augment human judgement. This artificial intelligence vs emotional intelligence comparison shows that the latter can provide deeper insights into human behavior and allow a human to confirm or deny its accuracy. Besides supporting humans in each interaction, it provides feedback into the system to become more accurate for a given context over time.
AI emotional intelligence uses data sets for voice analysis to evaluate the behaviors that result in better interactions. Recently, it was impossible to accurately identify which behaviors did, in fact, improve the quality of a conversation. The simple step of identifying effective behaviors is crucial for ensuring continuous improvement of emotional intelligence on a large scale. The insights generated help organizations to focus their energy on the elements of interactions that will lead to the largest impact.
4. Improves Customer Experience
Emotional experience is the most important factor in determining customer loyalty, according to longstanding Forrester Research. Artificial intelligence emotion recognition technology provides the means to measure and improve EI on a large scale. Because they base this software on behavioral science, it can perform previously unachievable analysis on voice interactions that can improve customer experience (CX).
Our voices contain incredibly rich data, and how we converse with one another provides a myriad of insights into how we are feeling about an interaction. Software can now analyze and process voice signals through behavioral models that support better CX. It does this by identifying the patterns that show up in an interaction which are linked to positive or negative emotional outcomes.
This allows businesses to measure and improve the quality of their customer interactions by providing guidance to agents as an interaction is occurring. The agent can then use their own conversational skills to adjust their speaking style and improve the outcome of the interaction and the customer experience.
Focusing on and improving emotional intelligence (EI) across an organization will lead to a marked improvement in employee performance and customer experience. Companies that can successfully measure and improve EI will find they have a unique competitive advantage over their peers.
5. Fosters Long-Term Emotional Intelligence Growth in Humans
Unfortunately, not everyone is born with top-notch conversational soft skills and high emotional intelligence, so these skills must be cultivated. Emotional intelligence in technology provides the foundation for company strategies that foster and train long-term emotional intelligence in their organization. Businesses who can capitalize on this skillset and integrate it into their call center teams will have a substantial advantage over their competitors.
It is no simple task, however, to develop emotional intelligence across a large organization. Companies must find ways to identify, measure, and improve EI on a massive scale. This is a challenging task and one that, without recent advancements in technology, has been all but impossible.
The Impact of Emotional Intelligence Technology
Integrating technology and human emotions has moved beyond science fiction to practical application in business and the socio-economic landscape. But the success of this emotional intelligence technology requires careful collaboration across several disciplines, including:
- Behavioral science
- Data science
- Machine learning
- Software development
Today, some of the world’s leading insurance, healthcare, and financial companies are combining these skills to create a fundamental thesis about human behavior and train a system for deployment to a given population.
It’s a major challenge to acquire the right data sets and successfully leverage them to train and improve the algorithms that make human-aware technology possible. Regulations come into play when we discuss the access to and use of data for a given context.
Today, there are a select few companies, including Cogito, that have access to large enough data sources to train systems successfully. These anonymized data sets ensure regulatory compliance to privacy rights. Customers use the Cogito Dialog system in call centers to analyze over 200 different vocal, non-verbal signals and provide behavioral guidance to frontline agents within that same conversation.
74% of executives and 58% of non-supervisory employees believe EI will become a “must-have” skill for business competitiveness in the digital age, according to Capgemini research. By mining the value of emotional intelligence in technology, entire companies, call centers, and individual agents can increase customer satisfaction and company productivity.