Humans are emotional beings; they can be grumpy, lovely, or sometimes a mix of both. It is for this reason that people in customer-facing positions strive to master the art of human psychology. The end goal is to evoke the right customer emotion and influence positive decision making.

With automated customer service, communication is between a bot and a person. But that doesn’t eliminate the emotional aspect that influences decisions. Therefore, you have to optimize your help center system to humanize the conversations as best as possible. So, how do you go about that?

In this article, we enlighten you about the psychology used in automated customer service. We share the psychological tactics that you can apply in your robotic support system to increase customer satisfaction. We also discuss the same psychological triggers that course building platforms use to influence positive experiences, and how you can leverage them.

Psychological tactics you can implement in automated customer service

Adopt a pain-numbing scheme

Pain is powerful emotional feedback that affects human decisions, positive and negative alike. Therefore, you have to design your automated support system to include pain reduction points. Some of the things that trigger pain in consumers include:

  • Missing the items that they’re searching for in the catalog
  • A hard time accessing essential shopping tools like carts
  • Difficulty comparing prices

Optimize your automated customer service software to provide quick links to common shopping tools. Also, feed it with keywords that shoppers possibly enter while searching for various items to recognize shopping difficulty. Further, add features like save-for-later so that consumers can access unresolved issues with ease in the future.

Promote instant gratification

In psychology, there’s a popular theory that discusses the pleasure principle in human behavior. It observes that we are driven by a force of instant gratification when dealing with needs, urges, and wants. So, how is this relevant in automated customer service?

First, customers love working with systems or people who respond to queries in the shortest possible time. As such, you need to design your support system to resolve issues as instantly as they come. This way, you can easily keep your customers on the site since it eliminates the need to seek help elsewhere.

Secondly, when resolving issues, most people appreciate being in control than feeling as if they need you during those moments. Your automated system should encourage self-service when attending to customers. Design it to direct your visitors to FAQ pages and resources that contain relevant info.

Apply social proof

Consumers feel more confident when buying solutions that worked for other people. In psychology, this inclination is referred to as social proof and is useful in building a sense of trust. Luckily, you can apply it to your automated customer service system to influence positive customer decisions.

For example, a buyer wants to find out more info about an item they’re hoping to purchase. You can design the support system to direct them to both the description and the customer testimonials pages. The idea is to influence purchase by proving that other consumers like the item as well.

Additionally, you can add common questions that your customers ask in the FAQ page and your solutions. Personalizing the queries helps visitors realize that you’ve assisted other consumers before. Eventually, this builds a sense of trust in your capability to meet user needs.

Leverage the Halo Effect

The Halo Effect is a cognitive bias where your feelings about something influence your judgment of its other aspects. The existence of this bias affects how you view things and make your decisions on a quick call.

In customer service, you can leverage the Halo Effect by creating positive experiences. Have an interface in your support system that’s personal to the users or emotionally engages them. Use words, colors, or images that form positive impressions at first glance. Here, you’ll instantly move the consumers from the “getting to know you” phase to the biased “this feels homely thus trustworthy” phase.

For example, if you’re in a fashion niche, rename your customer service portal to something like” “Ask a Stylist”. Doing this creates a positive assumption in the mind of your visitors that the service system/personnel has the necessary expertise. Combining this with the right dialect further builds the homely feeling.

Use the reciprocity principle

The reciprocity principle is a powerful human influence tool, as demonstrated in a 1984 book by Robert Cialdini known as Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion. The author observed that people often feel indebted to repay kind gestures. Today, marketers using psychology are still applying his ideas to boost customer conversions.

So, how can you use the reciprocity principle in customer service?

Optimize your automated support system to offer as much free expertise, time, and attention as possible. When customers receive comprehensive responses, they’re naturally obliged to purchase what you’re selling.

Your free acts of service can be subtle or announced. For example, if your support system successfully resolves an issue, you can encourage the visitor to take any action that counts as a conversion. Alternately, you can let them decide on their own the next course of action to trigger reciprocity.


Psychological triggers you can apply to your automated customer service


People naturally exhibit the trait of self-love during interactions. They tend to put their desires and ambitions first, something that creates a yearning for others to show interest. If they get the attention they seek, it makes them feel important, unique, relevant.

In automated customer service, it’s possible to leverage self-love and encourage positive decisions. For example, you can design the system to call visitors by their name to increase a sense of recognition and importance. Additionally, ask questions that focus on learning more about them.


Consumers build trust in brands that appear to understand their feelings. It’s easier to show empathy in automated customer service systems than other communication methods, like voice calls.

For example, you can set the live chat to allow you to review messages sent to visitors when sensitive subjects are in discussion.

Path of least resistance

Human beings prefer methods, actions, and solutions that offer the most convenience. You can use this psychological finding to optimize your web interface in a way that encourages visitors to chat with you.

Create an automated greeting that invites the visitor to a conversation. For example, “Hi, can I help you find the right item?”


Not every psychological trigger or tactic that we’ve discussed will work for you. Each brand has customers with varying personalities and temperaments. Nonetheless, the above will offer a great starting point for people who just implemented the automated customer service system.


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