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AI With Heart: Pega Launches First Customer Empathy Controls for Business

Customer Empathy Advisor helps businesses tune AI to forge more mutually-beneficial relationships

LAS VEGAS – June 4, 2019 Pegasystems Inc. (NASDAQ: PEGA), the software company empowering digital transformation at the world’s leading enterprises, today at PegaWorld introduced Customer Empathy Advisor – a new capability of Pega® Customer Decision Hub that helps companies use AI to build more sustainable customer relationships. The feature allows organizations to increase the level of empathy in AI-assisted conversations so they can build more trust, loyalty, and value with each customer.

AI works quietly behind the scenes in all types of customer interactions – from marketing to sales to service. Yet despite businesses’ best intentions to use AI to make customers happier, most AI just adds more spam to people’s lives, sacrificing long-term loyalty for a few short-term sales. Now as AI becomes easier to deploy, the debate on the ethics behind it has only intensified. For example, just because AI could likely sell a high-interest loan to a low-income family doesn’t mean it should. How can companies use AI to balance the best interests of both the company and the customer?

For the first time, organizations can now operationalize empathy at scale for the mutual benefit of all involved. Customer Empathy Advisor provides businesses with an ethical framework to instill empathy in all customer engagements and measure the effect. At its core, the AI-powered Pega Customer Decision Hub analyzes customer data to guide customer-facing agents and virtual assistants to take the next best action with each customer. Its Customer Empathy Advisor feature takes this analysis one step deeper by examining how empathic these recommendations are and offers a more compassionate approach – which, contrary to popular belief, is often the most profitable strategy as well.

Pega Customer Empathy Advisor takes a three-step approach to integrating empathy into enterprise decision-making:

1. Analyzing empathy in any engagement

First, Pega’s machine learning capabilities analyze the organization’s marketing, sales, and service strategies to assess the current level of empathy. The Customer Empathy Advisor dashboard breaks down the different elements of empathy applied within each strategy, including:

  • Relevance: Is the action, offer, or suggestion of interest to the customer?
  • Suitability: Will it likely cause harm to the customer?
  • Value: Will the customer likely benefit from it?
  • Context: Is it consistent with the customer’s recent activity?
  • Intent: Does it take into account the customer’s likely goals?
  • Mood: Does it align with the customer’s current frame of mind?

From there, engagement analysts can pinpoint which actions engender the most trust from customers and which repel them farther away from the brand. Using a simple intuitive slider, stakeholders can easily adjust empathy levels and see the impact the change has on relevant KPIs.

2. Predicting the Return on Empathy (ROE)

Of course, no business can survive without turning a profit. Before putting empathy into action, Pega can predict the effect more empathetic strategies will have on their bottom line in real currency terms. Businesses can then simulate scenarios at different empathy levels to see how that number changes. From a profitability perspective, the system analyzes factors such as: 

  • Value to company: Is the action, offer, or suggestion likely to increase the customer’s lifetime value?
  • Risk to company: Will it likely cause customer churn or increase exposure to risk?
  • Compliance: Is it deliberately misselling a product or unable to explain it?

3. Putting empathy to work

With the right balance of empathy in place, businesses can automatically deploy these strategies through Pega Infinity™ and its suite of customer engagement software – all powered by the same centralized AI from Pega Customer Decision Hub. This means empathy can be applied in all marketing, sales, and customer service interactions, both online and off. Instead of force feeding a particular strategy to a segmented audience, companies can optimize the empathy levels in the strategy best suited to the needs of each customer – which in some case may mean taking no action at all. 

The Customer Empathy Advisor will be available for all Pega Customer Decision Hub clients near the end of 2019. It will also be demoed and on display this week at PegaWorld, Pega’s annual customer conference now being held for more than 5,000 digital transformation professionals at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. 

Pega Customer Decision Hub enables organizations to surface unique insights and recommend the next best action in real time on every step of the customer journey. It provides the centralized AI power across the unified Pega Infinity™ digital transformation software suite, which optimizes customer engagement and operational efficiency from end to end on a global scale. 

Quotes & Commentary
“Most businesses are conditioned to try and squeeze every last drop of profit from each customer. But this predatory mentality distorts the fact that practicing a little empathy is not only good for the customer, it’s good for business,” said Dr. Rob Walker, vice president, decisioning and analytics, Pegasystems. “We’ve always believed that the only way to win a customer’s heart is to first walk a mile in their shoes. Today we’re taking a step closer in this pursuit by instilling empathy in customer interactions – which is ultimately the right way to do business for everyone.” 

Supporting Resources

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Lisa Pintchman
VP, Corporate Communications
[email protected]
+1 617-866-6022

North America

Sean Audet
Director, Corporate Communications
[email protected]
+1 617-528-5230

Ilena Ryan
Sr. Manager, Public Relations
[email protected]
+1 617-866-6722


Joanna Richardson
Director, Corporate Communications
[email protected]
+44 (0) 118 9651 660

Jon Brigden
PR & Communications Manager
[email protected]
+44 (0) 118 9398 584

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