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Customer Service and AI-Integrated Emotional Wellness

The Changing Face of Customer Service

by Mark D. Lerner, Ph.D.

Chairman, The National Center for Emotional Wellness


Customer service refers to a company's assistance and support before, during, and after purchasing a product or service. It includes answering questions, providing guidance, and even resolving complaints. You can deliver customer service by phone, email, social media, chatbots, and in-person interaction. It’s critical to ensuring customer satisfaction, retaining customers, and growing a business.


AI-Integrated Emotional Wellness (AIEW) refers to the broad interface between the cognitive abilities of artificial intelligence and the complexity of human emotions. Acknowledging the irreplaceable importance of authentic, in-person communication, AIEW addresses the interface of artificial intelligence with emotional wellness—focusing on how computers interact with and help people on an emotional level.


Emulation of exemplary customer service personnel rather than imitation is not just a preference but a critical aspect of AIEW. Unlike imitation, which merely mimicks, emulation aims to match and surpass the quality of the original. It strives for excellence in understanding and responding to human emotion. Emulation allows AI systems to adapt to various situations and provide personalized responses, crucial for effective customer service.


In previous posts, I introduced an innovative approach to training machines to understand human emotion. Through SESSIONS, distinguished “clients” enact unscripted sessions from a challenging time and share how they used their painful emotional energy to overcome. These SESSIONS provide a rich data source on human emotional responses, which can be used to train AI systems.

By observing SESSIONS with outstanding customer service personnel, AI platforms can learn to understand the nuances of human emotion and how it influences behavior. This can enable them to provide more empathic, compassionate, and effective customer service. For example, an AI system could learn to recognize when a customer is frustrated and adjust its responses to defuse the situation.


SESSIONS can be used to train AI systems to respond ethically and responsibly. By observing how a professional handles sensitive situations, AI systems can learn to respect customers’ emotions and respond in a way that promotes their emotional well-being, providing responsible use of technology.


The integration of AI in customer service, guided by AIEW and the emulation of exemplary customer service personnel, holds tremendous potential to significantly enhance the customer service experience. It can provide personalized, empathic, compassionate service that respects customers’ emotions and promotes well-being. The innovative approach of using SESSIONS provides a promising direction for achieving this goal.


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