The insurance company MetLife has adopted a new approach to how they perform their daily calls to customers. The program they’ve started using is called Cogito, and it is a software that tracks the workers and customers’ voices to assist the calling process. By analyzing the tone of the workers’ voices, Cogito tells them when they are starting to sound uninterested when on the phone. Then by analyzing the customers’ voices, Cogito tells the callers when the person on the other line is experiencing a state of heightened emotions.
This virtual assistant can make jobs at the call center a little bit easier and calls with customers a little more empathetic. Because callers are notified when the customer’s tone of voice changes to reflect feeling emotions, workers can now tell exactly when they should be a voice of comfort for their customer. Ultimately, the goal of this software is to improve that worker/customer relationship, and while this technology may seem a little creepy at first, I think it’s a useful way to improve that vital relationship.
The Wired article about this topic explains that this software is designed to help call center workers focus on their human connections more. It’s not the most exciting job to call customers all day to talk about the same thing, so this software is there to give callers a little reminder to really listen to their customers even when they are tired.
On the other hand, there can be negatives to this software too. While it may help the conversation flow better, customers may feel violated when they hear that the call is being monitored. People are increasingly getting weary of their privacy when dealing with new technologies. But as long as companies that use Cogito make it clear to the customers what is happening, I think this software is perfectly ethical. Honesty is one of the main points of PRSA’s Code of Ethics, so companies must make sure they uphold that standard of being transparent with their consumers.
In conclusion, this software can be highly beneficial for both companies and customers. The callers will be able to show that they care more easily, and the customers will notice that they are actually being listened to. Thus improving satisfaction on both ends of the relationship. All in all, that’s what good public relations is about.