Emotional intelligence is an essential skill in the customer service functions with the productivity and efficiency of the role is directly tied to the quality of conversations. 

SwissCognitiveThe personal dynamics of emotionally cognisant customer service agents play an important role in empathetically resolving any queries or concerns, impacting customer churn and increasing brand loyalty by leaving customers with a positive impression of an organisation.

However, rapid adoption of automation technology within customer-facing roles presents new challenges to organisations that want to harness its benefits, without impacting the service that it delivers to its customers. A hybrid workforce

Already helping many companies increase customer service availability, reduce wait times and improve resolution rates, Gartner has predicted that a quarter of all customer service operations will use artificial intelligence (AI)-powered virtual assistants by 2020. In many organisations, this has resulted in the creation of a hybrid workforce of human and digital agents.

While some organisations are still using basic chatbots, businesses that prioritise giving high quality customer service are opting for more sophisticated digital colleagues, that can respond to more complex and nuanced requests. In addition to handling simple customer queries directly, they can also act as a whisper agent to human customer service representatives to help them provide faster and more accurate responses. For instance, at insurance firm Allstate , virtual colleague Amelia has collaborated with live agents on more than three million calls. Employees are able to access her knowledge to augment their own.

The same concept can also be applied in a store, with digital colleagues at a supermarket trained on a variety of food preparation inquiries. So, if a customer were to ask about options for seasoning meat, while the store worker might not have their own recommendation, the digital colleague could support them in providing assistance.

A common view of emotional intelligence

However, as digital colleagues play a greater role in customer-facing workplaces, a key challenge for businesses is to ensure that both human and digital agents are delivering the same emotionally cognisant service. While the leading digital colleagues can understand and react to customers’ emotional state, how can this be productively combined with human experience and intelligence to deliver a truly superior and consistent service?[…]

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