5 Ways to Create an Emotionally Empathetic Experience Through Natural Language Processing

We’ve all been on the phone with an automated voice service screaming “HUMAN” repeatedly until we get to a real live person to get to someone who can actually understand our situation. Or we have searched for our own solution on internet blogs as opposed to raking through FAQ documentation. These are both situations in which chatbots or digital assistants can help. And they can produce measurable benefits. But is that really a significant improvement for the experience?


More and more our customers are looking to integrate natural language processing (NLP) into their digital footprint in an effort to improve their customer experience, reduce costs, and keep pace with the market. We have been vigorously expanding our capabilities in this area, and we have been exploring several NLP platforms and how they could fit into a particular technological landscape.

While a cool, flashy chatbot solution that can offset call center traffic with relative ease isn’t a novel idea, the end customer experience component still needs work.

As the margin of speed and convenience narrows, the emotional experience is becoming the critical differentiator. So how can we create an emotionally empathetic experience through NLP?

  • Start with the right use cases. This is the perhaps the most important suggestion. Investing large budgets into developing an NLP solution will not provide a legitimate ROI if navigating your website or performing a Google search is faster. Instead, look for situations in which a user may have an idea of what they’re looking for but you have multiple paths available. In these situations, NLP can help guide the user by asking a series of smart follow-up questions that the user can understand to lead them to the answer.
  • Align with your brand. Just as your business’ call center agents are trained on the importance of a positive customer experience aligned with your mission statement, so should your digital assistant. The more human-like an automated product is, the more the user trusts the product. Scripting personality that aligns with your brand can help create that human-like experience.
  • Be clear on what your digital assistant can and cannot do. Transparency of what kinds of tasks your chatbot can and cannot handle are paramount to user acceptance. Many recent chat solutions are addressing this issue in their introductory messages – a useful strategy as long as it is designed in a way that keeps the message concise. I’ve seen many solutions that try and address this by cramming a list of capabilities in a chat window that requires scrolling before the user even asks anything.
  • Give users an “out.” Especially while this technology is still evolving, the late adopters and laggards can still be steadfast in their desire to speak with a real live human. So, while we are still moving through the adoption curve, NLP solutions should provide a clear and easy option to be transferred out to a live human agent to handle their situation.
  • Make your UI part of the conversation. NLP platforms can add value by directing a user to a particular screen to provide more details around a query. This provides an opportunity to make the conversation come alive by turning the screen into a digital playground – this is something I see as a new frontier for user experience professionals.

Coforge' Digital Experience practice is actively engaging these best practices to deliver NLP platforms that respond to user emotion.


Learn how Coforge goes beyond the technology to deliver emotionally empathetic experiences to consumers, employees, and partners.