In their traditional role, digital assistants in technology-mediated services provide customers with information, guidance, and suggestions. However, as the opportunities offered by technology and artificial intelligence increase, digital assistants can also provide emotional support, which refers to empathetic, reassuring expressions for customers who have failed or succeeded in fulfilling a task. We show across four experiments that emotional support offered by a digital assistant increases customer satisfaction (Study 1 and 2) and persistence (Study 3 and 4) in using technology-mediated services. The increase in satisfaction occurs via the perceived warmth of the digital assistant, and the increase in persistence via the serial mediation of perceived warmth and satisfaction. Further, the results of a moderated serial mediation show that the effect on persistence only occurs when a digital (but not when a human) assistant provides emotional support in technology-mediated services. Finally, the effect of emotional support on persistence occurs independently of the digital assistant's embodiment. Practitioners learn how to imbue technology-mediated services with a human touch, inducing favorable customer outcomes.

Emotional support from a digital assistant in technology-mediated services: Effects on customer satisfaction and behavioral persistence

Orsingher, Chiara
2021

Abstract

In their traditional role, digital assistants in technology-mediated services provide customers with information, guidance, and suggestions. However, as the opportunities offered by technology and artificial intelligence increase, digital assistants can also provide emotional support, which refers to empathetic, reassuring expressions for customers who have failed or succeeded in fulfilling a task. We show across four experiments that emotional support offered by a digital assistant increases customer satisfaction (Study 1 and 2) and persistence (Study 3 and 4) in using technology-mediated services. The increase in satisfaction occurs via the perceived warmth of the digital assistant, and the increase in persistence via the serial mediation of perceived warmth and satisfaction. Further, the results of a moderated serial mediation show that the effect on persistence only occurs when a digital (but not when a human) assistant provides emotional support in technology-mediated services. Finally, the effect of emotional support on persistence occurs independently of the digital assistant's embodiment. Practitioners learn how to imbue technology-mediated services with a human touch, inducing favorable customer outcomes.
Gelbrich, Katja; Hagel, Julia; Orsingher, Chiara
File in questo prodotto:
Eventuali allegati, non sono esposti

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11585/775193
 Attenzione

Attenzione! I dati visualizzati non sono stati sottoposti a validazione da parte dell'ateneo

Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus 25
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 20
social impact