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Emotion in Service Operations: New Technological Opportunities
Authors: Anat Rafaeli (Technion Israel Institute of Technology, Israel)
Emotion is clearly a part of service delivery. But studying it is extremely difficult. My talk will describe some foundational research on emotion in service interactions, and limitations of such research. I will highlight how these limitations can be overcome with new technologies. I advance turning to Digital Traces data that are routinely retained by technology-mediated service platforms. I will describe new tools that allow automated detection and analyses of customer emotion, and illustrate how they can be used to study service interactions. New technologies can provide unobtrusive insights into service interactions, and can show patterns of customer emotion, their dynamics within service conversations, and their effect on customer satisfaction and on agent behavior. For the first time we can test the nature of emotions that customers and service agents really express. I will describe findings about extent to which customers really express positive and negative emotion, and studies of the effects of customer emotions on agent responses. Emotion dynamics come out of this new research as important to customer satisfaction, service efficiency and service effectiveness. The talk will open up new methods, resources and directions for both research and practice of service delivery.