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Joel Makhluf

You may think artificial intelligence is about smarter machines, but in truth, it’s about better humans.

We humans make decisions on the basis of emotions. We love and leave brands based on our experiences.

Our emotionality will ensure that human beings remain key assets in the workplace, even as companies deploy AI technology to revolutionize the modern enterprise.  Emotions demand interactions with other people.

When we call customer service centers, we want to talk to people who can solve our technical or complex problems, but if we don’t trust the agent—if we don’t establish an emotional connection — we might hesitate to follow their advice or even call back in to speak to a different agent and voice the same problem.

But making emotional connections can be hard!

  • On a daily basis, agents are constantly required to build a relationship on demand—to make a connection with a customer whom they’ve never met before and will probably never talk to again.
  • In the absence of other methods of communication (such as eye contact, body language and touch), voice alone becomes the only way a customer service agent can display emotional intelligence.
  • Agents are hard-pressed to be patient and understanding all day long, even all week long—especially when customers, on the other end of the call, are commonly upset and frustrated.
  • Agents have their hands full simply manipulating the screens and fields necessary to do their jobs, leaving little mental bandwidth for other functions.

Here’s Where Artificial Intelligence Can Help

At Cogito, we’ve developed AI that reads and understands the non-verbal behavior expressed through our voices. This non-verbal communication was dubbed “honest signals,” by MIT Professor Dr. Sandy Pentland because, by understanding behaviors such as timing, tone, and pitch, for example, we can get an authentic view into emotions and intentions.  In a conversation, both participants initiate, detect, interpret, and react to each other’s honest signals in what some may call a conversational dance.

All of this nuanced, behavioral complexity is distilled by Cogito’s AI technology into intuitive notifications an agent can utilize effortlessly in the moment. If the customer is sounding agitated, a notification on the screen will cue the agent that more empathy is needed. Or if the agent is talking faster or flatter than usual, a notification will provide the appropriate feedback to speak more slowly or with more energy. Agents gain valuable information to guide their communication right there, in real time, when it matters the most.

Make or Break Moments

Agents respond well to the Cogito live, in-call guidance because they are naturally empathetic, helpful people who aspire to do better – for their customers, their company, and themselves. Not only are agents rewarded when they hit their numbers, but they realize greater satisfaction from work. The objective, non-judgmental feedback provided by Cogito helps agents achieve both individual and companywide goals.

When customer service agents take a call, it can be a make-or-break moment for your brand.

  • Forrester notes that in 95% of industries, emotion is a customer’s top decision driver.
  • Temkin discovered that customers who had good emotional experiences were 12 times more likely to recommend the brand to a friend.


It’s also a make-or-break moment for your bottom line. McKinsey found that positive emotional experiences increased a brand’s share of the customer’s wallet—among 87 percent of customers! Whereas negative experiences motivated 72 percent of people to switch loyalties.

In summary, emotional connections over the phone can be hard to establish on demand. Fortunately, we’ve identified five simple ways to ensure more emotionally-connected voice conversations. Learn all five in our next blog post.

Download Your Free Ebook, The Cogito Guide to Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence—the ability to use emotions in the service of better decisions—is a latent asset in your organization. Learn how to unleash it in this free ebook.

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