I’m Not a Chatbot: An Empirical Investigation of Humanized Profiles of Social Media Customer Service Representatives

Date
2021-01-05
Authors
Cheng, Huai-Tzu
Pan, Yang
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Abstract
While artificial intelligence is robotizing customer service at an unprecedented pace, there is great concern that robotized customer service could undermine customer satisfaction. This study searches for a solution that humanizes customer service to address this concern. Aiming to increase humanization, U.S. telecom giant T-Mobile recently added personal identities to its customer service representatives’ profiles on Twitter. Here, we examine the effect of humanized profiles on customers’ expressions of emotion or complaints via public tweets. The study provides novel insight explaining why customers are more likely to express positive emotions and fewer complaints if they are interacting with customer service representatives with a humanized profile on a social media platform. Interestingly, this effect is stronger among female users. We also discuss the implications for research and practice.
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Keywords
Crowd-based Platforms, customer complaint, customer service, difference-in-differences, natural experiment, social media
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