Paper Number

1024

Paper Type

CRP

Abstract

Conversational agents (CAs) like chatbots often fail to meet customer requests in a service context due to errors, leading to anger and reduced satisfaction. To address this, we follow the theory of catharsis, according to which anger is reduced by aggressive actions, and propose a digital catharsis object (CO) to alleviate users’ anger. Within a 2x2 experiment with 364 participants, we examine how much a digital CO can influence anger after CA interactions. We could show: 1) defective CA interactions can cause anger; 2) anger reduces service satisfaction and increases negative Word-of-Mouth; 3) a digital CO is a double-edged sword, reducing anger after a defective CA interaction, but 4) increasing anger after a helpful interaction; 5) the effect of a CO on anger is not influenced by how people express anger. For practice, we conclude that companies using CAs should include a CO after error-prone interactions.

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Jun 14th, 12:00 AM

Destroy It! Reducing Anger After Defective Chatbot Interaction Through Catharsis Objects

Conversational agents (CAs) like chatbots often fail to meet customer requests in a service context due to errors, leading to anger and reduced satisfaction. To address this, we follow the theory of catharsis, according to which anger is reduced by aggressive actions, and propose a digital catharsis object (CO) to alleviate users’ anger. Within a 2x2 experiment with 364 participants, we examine how much a digital CO can influence anger after CA interactions. We could show: 1) defective CA interactions can cause anger; 2) anger reduces service satisfaction and increases negative Word-of-Mouth; 3) a digital CO is a double-edged sword, reducing anger after a defective CA interaction, but 4) increasing anger after a helpful interaction; 5) the effect of a CO on anger is not influenced by how people express anger. For practice, we conclude that companies using CAs should include a CO after error-prone interactions.

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