Chatbot technology has had an undeniable impact on digital transformation of organizations; customer experience management, in particular. When we talk about conversational AI solutions and other AI-based applications for augmenting customer and employee experience, chatbots emerge as a front-runner.
According to Gartner, 70% of white-collar workers will engage with conversational platforms on a regular basis in the next three years. The research firm’s 2019 CIO Survey revealed that chatbots are the main AI-based application used by the participating companies. Therefore, we can see increased investment in chatbot development and deployment.
“There has been a more than 160% increase in client interest around implementing chatbots and associated technologies in 2018 from previous years. This increase has been driven by customer service, knowledge management and user support,” shared Van Baker, VP Analyst at Gartner.
However, in the earlier stages, chatbots used to have limited capabilities and deliver standard responses. With the advancements in AI and machine learning, chatbots have become more powerful and incorporated new features that helped improve user experience. And one of these latest features that is taking user experience to the next level is sentiment analysis.
Sentiment analysis helps a chatbot to understand the emotions and state of mind of the users by analyzing their input text or voice. This analysis enables chatbots to better steer conversations and deliver the right responses. Sentiment analysis is also playing a key role in driving user adoption for enterprise chatbots.
Let’s deep dive!
Sentiment analysis is a sub field of machine learning and natural language processing that deals with extracting thoughts, opinions, or sentiments from voice or textual data. It is currently widely used in marketing and customer service functions to analyse customer data from surveys, social media and reviews. This not only enables businesses to understand the impact of their products/services but also to tweak their strategies as per the end consumers’ opinions.
In the context of chatbots, sentiment analysis helps in developing the bot’s emotional intelligence.
While machine learning helps to personalize the chatbot’s performance by harnessing historical customer data, NLP helps to evaluate and interpret the information sent by the customer in real-time.
These two features collectively help chatbots to deliver relevant responses and conduct meaningful conversations. Sentiment analysis takes this a step further by enabling bots to understand human moods and emotions.
Let’s break down how sentiment analysis in chatbots works:
It first identifies sentiment types and gauges if the emotions displayed in the conversation are positive, negative, neutral or objective. The technology detects emotions like anger, happiness, disgust, fear, sadness, curiosity, positivity and other range of emotions.
NLP and AI work in tandem to measures the intensity of the emotions and assign a numerical score to each of the core emotions.
After detection and classification, sentiment analysis presents the final output that enables chatbot to steer the conversation in the right direction. For example, for a text with a high positive score (joy + happiness), the digital assistant can use that as an opportunity for product recommendation or sales conversion. And in the case of a high negative score (sad + anger), the chatbot can escalate the complaint and transfer the call to a live support agent.
Be it banking, insurance, hospitality, healthcare, travel or eCommerce, all customer-facing industries can benefit from sophisticated new-age chatbots that are integrated with sentiment analysis.
Take, American cosmetics brand CoverGirl, for instance. The company developed an influencer chatbot enabled by sentiment analysis, which helped them to improve mobile commerce performance. 91% of the conversations via the chatbot earned positive sentiment, and on an average 17 messages were exchanged per conversation that reflects high engagement rate. In addition, 48% of those conversations led to coupon delivery and the coupons’ click through-rate was an impressive 51%.
The above example illustrates the effectiveness of sentiment analysis-powered chatbots in stimulating conversations, identifying customers’ intentions, providing relevant answers and delivering a meaningful customer experience.
Listed below are a few of the benefits of using a sentiment analysis enabled chatbot to augment customer experience.
Emotions heavily influence a person’s decision making process. How a customer is feeling determines the length and the nature of the relationship with the brand. Make use of this technology to understand how customers are feeling about your brand and communicate effectively at any stage of the customer lifecycle.
It is important to understand the impact of timely escalation of issues to human agents when it comes to customer service chatbots. In the absence of sentiment analysis, chatbots would not be able to sense the tone of the aggrieved customer. But a digital assistant with emotional intelligence will help businesses to deal with displeased customers in an efficient manner. If the customer sounds frustrated or angry, the bot can easily hand off the conversation to a human agent.
Learn more: Human Hand-off in Service Desk Bots
The basic intent of sentiment analysis is to personalize and modify a chatbot’s responses to match the customer’s mood. This will enable businesses to build engaging conversations with customers at a very early stage and create a delightful customer experience.
The biggest benefit of using sentiment analysis is that it provides unique and powerful consumer insights. The conversations of an emotionally intelligent chatbot can act as a treasure trove of accurate data, which can be used to measure effectiveness of products/service, design future strategies, segment the customer base and devise strong brand positioning.
As exemplified by CoverGirl’s influencer bot, chatbots can assist companies in product discovery, recommendation and upselling their products & services to existing customers. It can also improve new customer acquisition metrics by retaining the interest of a new visitor by analyzing his/her sentiments.
As stated above, emotions influence decision-making. Sentiment analysis help chatbots to adapt to the users’ mood and respond accurately, effectively and in the right way. By deploying and investing in this technology, companies can not only improve customer experience but also allow human agents to focus on productive issues.
If you’d like to learn more about the role of sentiment analysis in chatbots, please feel free to get in touch with one of our AI chatbot consultants for a personalized consultation. You may also be interested in exploring our enterprise chatbot builder platform (BotCore) which helps organizations build, deploy, train and manage AI chatbots.