Nearshore Americas

Softbank Develops AI Tool which ‘Cools Down’ Angry Customer Calls

AI has been helping CX agents in many ways. Now it promises to help them relieve some of the stress of dealing with angry customers.

Softbank Group’s telecom arm developed an AI tool which softens the tone of angry customers in a call.

Internal and external testing of the software is scheduled to happen over the next year. The goal is to commercialize it by the end of March 2026, according to Japanese paper The Japan Times.

Softbank’s solution supposedly identifies the tone of angry callers at the other end of the line and transforms it into a more pleasant one without changing the actual words said. Higher-pitched females voices are lowered, for example, and male voices are raised. The point is to make callers sound kinder to reduce agent stress.

To create this tool, SoftBank reportedly enlisted ten voice actors to record hundreds of phrases with various intonations and emotions, forming a comprehensive database to train the AI system.

Many CX firms have come to realize that an agent’s experience reflects on the quality of customer service. The better an agent feels about his/her job and customer interactions, the better their performance.

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The public is also growing more aware of how stressful the work environment can be for agents and other BPO workers. Last year, there was a media firestorm after moderators working for a Kenyan BPO provider revealed the mental toll their job was having on them.

In Japan, many customer service agents have reported harassment from customers, with some even demanding agents bow their heads after resolving complaints.

Narayan Ammachchi

News Editor for Nearshore Americas, Narayan Ammachchi is a career journalist with a decade of experience in politics and international business. He works out of his base in the Indian Silicon City of Bangalore.

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