The power of AI: chatbots are learning to understand your emotions

Freshworks Australia

By Andrew Phillips, VP ANZ, Freshworks
Thursday, 27 June, 2024

The power of AI: chatbots are learning to understand your emotions

Chatbots are stepping into a new era, transforming from simple automated responders into sophisticated, empathetic assistants. For years, chatbots have been tools to alleviate the burden on contact centre agents and customer service teams. Yet, they often added to customer frustration rather than easing it. Who hasn’t felt the exasperation of not being able to reach a human agent, only to be met by a chatbot that couldn’t grasp the issue at hand?

These early chatbots were limited, responding only to specific inputs and failing to adapt to unexpected scenarios. For the past decade, the evolution of chatbot technology has been slow. But now, a revolution is underway.

The advancement of chatbots

With the advent of generative AI, chatbots have undergone a significant transformation. Equipped with advanced natural language processing (NLP), they can now excel at understanding user queries and analysing customer sentiment without bias. Finally, AI-powered chatbots are delivering the personalised and effective customer experiences they were always meant to provide.

Not every interaction requires deep emotional analysis, but for some customers, this capability can turn a potential nightmare into a positive experience. Picture a customer inquiring about a delayed or cancelled order. In such situations, AI-powered chatbots can detect frustration and respond appropriately — perhaps by offering a discount, processing a repeat order or initiating a refund. This level of responsive service, previously requiring human intervention, can now be handled efficiently by chatbots, reducing delays and improving customer satisfaction.

AI chatbots: not a replacement, but a partner

While AI chatbots aren’t set to replace human agents, they complement them perfectly. In a world where customers expect 24x7 support, chatbots provide instant responses, recognising the emotions behind user queries and acting accordingly. They handle simple questions swiftly, leaving human agents free to tackle more complex issues.

Beyond customer support, sentiment analysis through AI chatbots offers valuable insights into customer behaviour and brand performance. By leveraging real-time data, businesses gain an accurate picture of customer experiences, enabling service teams to optimise processes and enhance the overall customer journey.

According to Gartner, businesses that go beyond mediocre service to deliver value-driven interactions see an 86% increase in customer repurchase rates and a 97% boost in positive word-of-mouth. Now, more than ever, it’s crucial for businesses to ensure they are walking the talk and providing top-notch service.

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