Can AI teach us to become more emotionally intelligent?
The debate over whether AI will replace humans in the workforce often boils down to two practical explanations: AI will replace humans for most repetitive and manual tasks, while humans will excel in soft skills such as creative communication and relationship building. While some of this is true – humans and machines will play to each of their trump cards – it probably oversimplifies the role of AI in our professional lives. We believe that AI will help humans do better human work, including helping us improve our emotional intelligence, soft skills, and interpersonal communication skills.
Taking advantage of advances in emotion detection, natural language processing (NLP) and computer vision, and combining them with psychology and linguistics, AI algorithms have improved to detect, analyze and process tone, pitch, facial expression, eye contact, body language, and dozens of other verbal and nonverbal communication characteristics influence communication.
By letting AI mine your customers’ conversations, whether voice, video or text, AI can take complex and often confusing data and find effective communication patterns that are not apparent to the naked eye. . The potential applications of these technologies go beyond sales and customer success. Many professional roles requiring strong communication skills, including leadership, public speaking, product management, virtual therapy, teaching, language learning, and bedside driving will benefit from AI which measures emotional intelligence. Indeed, by 2026, the combined size of the emotion sensing and conversational AI market is expected to reach over $55 billion.
Succeed with emotional intelligence and AI
As Peter Salvoy and John Mayer first defined emotional intelligence defined as “a type of social intelligence involving the ability to monitor one’s own emotions and others, to discriminate between them, and to use this information to guide thought and actions,” “researchers and companies have tried to demystify the art of being a “people person.” Data has proven that emotional intelligence is a powerful predictor of career success.
A study conducted at Yale found that emotional intelligence helps us make better decisions at work. Another Harvard study found that emotional intelligence was more useful than IQ in predicting team success. And a 10-year study on Google called Project Oxygen showed that emotional intelligence matters more to his success as a manager than IQ or technical competence. Main takeaway: Emotional intelligence is just as important as any “hard skill” and investing in it helps individuals and teams succeed at work.
A professional seeking to improve their emotional intelligence must juggle working on their own self-awareness and emotional self-management, while matching the emotional state of the clients they are talking to. It’s not just the context of the current interaction and reading of the situation, but also the history with that person and their shared goals. AI can help make this process easier for customer reps: it not only gives you clues about the emotional profile of the customer on the other line, but lets you simulate with them.
This kind of insight is especially important in the high-stakes world of customer success, where the customer success manager (CSM) of the customer base (CSM) manages $2-5 million in annual recurring revenue (rounded up) and is often based outside the United States for their understanding. The cultural and interpersonal nuances of American customers are critical to success.
A company that has recognized it’s earned is a leading Bay Area-based customer success platform that incorporates EQ analysis into their hiring and onboarding, and is currently piloting with the one of their customer success teams located in India.
Gainsight uses Gong and Zoom to record calls between their India-based CSMs and America-based clients, then feeds the data into a conversational intelligence platform to analyze and understand learning styles, emotional responses, and behaviors. personality profiles of their customers. This data then feeds into a training simulator to help other CSMs prepare for upcoming calls with customers in the region. By refining their delivery in a personalized way and meeting customers on their emotional level, CSMs can accelerate a win-win program with customers.
AI and emotional intelligence in action
Sales data analytics company, Gong, analyzes interactions between sellers and customers to help sales professionals communicate better and close more deals. GONG LEVERAGE MACHINE LEARNING (ML) and NLP To indicate customer emails and video calls, as well as qualitative insights from quantitative customer data to create better pitches and adopt more persuasive language and empathetic. Gong is not a small startup that proselytes the promises of AI. It was very recently valued at $7.25 billion and its client list includes companies like Accenture, LinkedIn, Service Titan, Slack, Paypal, Zillow and many more.
In early 2020, as the pandemic forced global lockdowns, Zillow began using Gong to help its sales professionals transition from in-person to virtual sales. Zillow created a video tour and paired it with Gong followers to monitor which keyphrases helped close more deals. Zillow also used Gong’s Whisper product, which ranks sales team members based on their performance, to determine how their key performers communicate and pitch differently than the rest of the team, allowing managers to institutionalize these best practices.
Another example is BenchSci, which helps pharmaceutical companies and scientists advance their clinical trials. A key aspect for VP of Customer Success Mike Egan is for his team to be proactive with customers to give them exactly the right support at the right time to turn them into their platform evangelists. Since pharmaceutical companies cannot record online meetings due to privacy and security concerns, BenchSci worked with an AI conversational intelligence platform to capture signals from emails, support tickets and surveys. The platform can run personality and behavioral analyzes on the emotional state of the customer and allow the customer service representative to better reflect it and respond to customer service tickets.
The AI feedback loop
Since customer interactions are so critical, the field of customer success has been fertile by establishing a 360-degree AI feedback loop: insights into customers’ emotional state are provided before, during, and after a customer interaction. In this section, we break down each step of the customer journey and how AI can help improve emotional intelligence.
Before a customer interaction:
Customer success managers should have an environment to train and practice before talking to customers, especially when they can classify the conversation. Is it a renewal? A customer cancellation? An upgrade request?
If you’ve spoken to a customer before, Cyrano.ai has patented technology that analyzes previous conversations to create a profile of the customer. This profile could include the client’s communication style, identifiable priorities or goals, and even their levels of engagement exhibited in the last conversation. If you look at the emotional moments of the call and how they drive motivation, you can change your presentation to your customer’s personality type and see how they respond.
During a customer interaction:
Customer service and customer success managers can get real-time feedback and guidance to better close a deal, handle objections, or empathize with unhappy customers in real time. Cresta, for example, uses AI to give call center workers real-time feedback via text prompts, so they know to tell customers in the most common situations. If a customer has an objection, the technology displays a step-by-step prompt to help sales reps overcome it. A dissatisfied customer? The technology surfaces key phrases or words to calm the customer.
EarthLink, a publicly listed internet service provider (ISP), used Cresta to modernize its contact center operations, helping its agents communicate with more empathy. In the first month of using Cresta, Earthlink reported experiencing an 11% reduction in average handle time (AHT) and a 124% improvement in VAS conversion rate, which is a success. of any measure.
After a customer interaction:
BADGES Post-customer interaction is where the real power is, as the AI can read past conversations with the customer and provide feedback for improvement. Like a virtuous cycle, the more AI is used, the better the feedback becomes.
Reciprocity, a conduct risk and compliance platform at San Francisco headquarters, enables exactly this scenario for their CSM team as part of their technical stack. Although their client meetings are recorded in Gong, they analyze these calls with a conversational and emotional intelligence platform, which not only provides a personality profile of their client’s stakeholders based on past conversations, but uses generation Natural Languages (NLG) to advise the CSMS on how to work with specific people. The software can also match CSMS to customer stakeholders based on their similarity in personality and communication style, reducing friction in the purchase or referral process and enabling customer-focused individuals to communicate more authentically and effectively.
Businesses are smart to explore AI solutions that can help make their teams smarter and better communicators. Indeed, AI can improve our emotional intelligence by making us feel more aware and helping us manage key work relationships. Improving our emotional intelligence and communication skills makes us more efficient, productive and empathetic. Although the technology is far from perfect, it is getting smarter every day as platforms increase in data, scale and sophistication. The technology is in place to make our teams smarter and more efficient and more efficient and more profitable.