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Teaching A.I. About Anger Could Improve Your Customer Service Calls

By simulating anger, companies hope they—and their customers—can avoid the real thing.

image via (cc) flickr user jonpayne

The concept of a malevolent artificial intelligence has long been a staple in science and speculative fiction. From Harlan Ellison’s short story I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream, to big-budget cinematic popcorn-munchers like The Matrix and The Terminator franchises, audiences delight at the notion that we might one day build a computer so smart, it decides humanity has become obsolete and leaves its creators in its wake. Even real world notables like cosmologist Stephen Hawking, computer pioneer Bill Gates, and battery-power baron Elon Musk have lined up to voice concerns about artificial intelligence. But for one company, angry A.I. isn’t something to be feared—it’s the key component to a good customer service experience.

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The Future of Customer Service: These Companies Are Getting it Right

Sometimes companies go out of their way to be kind - and some do it consistently. Here are 10 big businesses getting little relationships right.


Companies know we don't approach them the way we used to. I almost always choose self-checkout and automated help chats, and I'm not usually willing to hold. Plus, I can order almost anything from almost anywhere. Having fewer conversations makes every interaction more important, and the better those interactions, the more loyal I become. And every customer matters, right?

That's why we keep hearing stories about random, radical acts of customer service: Loyalty is more important than sales numbers. Companies are OK with employees bending the rules if customers will sing their praises. And now that the best stories go viral, can one outrageous story be just as valuable as consistent kindness?

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Object Lessons from the iPhone's Dropped-call Problem

Addressing its drop-call problem with antenna wrappers was an interesting design solution from Apple-but was it enough?


“Apple is addressing problems with its iPhone,” joked Jay Leno, “apparently when you buy a new iPhone 4 they’ll throw in a Verizon BlackBerry so you can make a call…”

Ouch.

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