University of Twente Student Theses


Empathic chatbot for complaint handling in customer service

Pompe, Babiche L. (2023) Empathic chatbot for complaint handling in customer service.

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Abstract:This research investigates the impact of empathy in chatbots on customers’ perceived interactional justice during service recovery. Interactional justice refers to the perceived fairness of inter-personal behaviour, influenced by aspects such as the level of empathy of an employee, during service recovery. To this end, a complaint handling chatbot was developed based upon a combination of existing models of complaint handling and empathy for robots. A mixed-methods between-participant study was conducted with 25 participants, divided into two conditions: one interacting with an empathic chatbot (n=13) and the other with a non-empathic chatbot (n=12). The empathic chatbot includes several different empathic strategies to convey empathy. The findings showed that customers interacting with an empathic chatbot reported higher levels of interactional justice compared to those interacting with the non-empathic chatbot. Additionally, participants reported a more positive overall perception of the chatbot in the empathic condition. This research contributes to the understanding of the impact of empathy in chatbots for successful service recovery. By implementing empathic strategies, companies can enhance customer’s perceived interactional justice, leading to increased customer satisfaction, loyalty, and overall user experience. In conclusion, this study has revealed that empathy in chatbots positively influences customers’ perceived interactional justice.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:EEMCS: Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science
Subject:18 languages and literature, 54 computer science
Programme:Interaction Technology MSc (60030)
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