For years now, artificial intelligence has been transforming the customer experience. The chances are you’ve already interacted with some form of AI solution when you’ve processed an order on a Shopify website or chatted to a bot on a website widget.
As customer contact volumes have expanded, queries have grown more complex, and companies have continued to search for ways to boost productivity and efficiency while lowering costs, demand for AI solutions in CX has grown. As a result, we’ve started to see the introduction of various new innovations in the landscape intended to make automated interactions more conversational, intuitive, and human.
ChatGPT is the most recent innovation generating hype among CX leaders. Produced by OpenAI, the state-of-the-art, open-source model promises to change the way we think about AI-driven customer service forever. But what can ChatGPT really do for customer support?
What is ChatGPT? An Introduction
ChatGPT is an open-source chatbot solution built on the GPT-3 (Generative Pretrained Transformer) model produced by OpenAI. It’s one of a series of tools produced using the same technology, which allows bots to understand and respond dynamically to human language.
The GPT-3 technology behind ChatGPT is trained on 175 billion parameters, meaning it can effectively produce various kinds of content based on input prompts using natural human language. The language processing technology can write poems, scripts, and product descriptions in seconds.
It can also respond adaptively to human questions when implemented into customer service chatbot technology. Already, companies like Microsoft have begun investing in ChatGPT to improve the NLU capabilities within Microsoft Power Agents. Thanks to its exceptional training, the bot model can generate responses to questions in over 40 languages and integrate with a range of other tools to provide more personalised, relevant experiences.
Perhaps the most impressive thing about ChatGPT, and GPT-3, is the model doesn’t require additional training to handle common topics and human conversations. Anyone can use the tool and start leveraging it to deliver conversational experiences in minutes.
Where ChatGPT Thrives and Fails
ChatGPT is an impressive tool, sure to make a difference in the way companies create chatbot and self-service experiences for their customers. However, it’s not without its limitations. On the one hand, ChatGPT can effectively generate human-like responses to questions with phenomenal accuracy and adapt to new information in real time as it’s presented in chat.
The system can understand and respond to a wide range of topics, making it applicable to a huge number of industries. Plus, it can process various text-based tasks, from translation to summarisation. However, like most technologies, it isn’t foolproof.
ChatGPT struggles to deal with “recent concepts” about topics which it hasn’t had time to discover through manual human input. It has a somewhat limited knowledge of the world after 2021. Equally, it can occasionally generate incorrect information, just like any bot. If you try to add too many factors to a prompt, the system can end up getting overwhelmed and ignoring information entirely.
Why Humans are Still Necessary in the Age of ChatGPT
So, in a world where a bot can effectively deliver “human” responses to customers, why would companies consider paying for human interaction at all? The simple answer is that bots and AI systems still can’t replace human beings entirely. For the most part, AI solutions are intended to supplement and support human agents, not replace them.
A human team is still necessary to:
Input and understand the context
GPT-3 leverages a massive 175 billion parameters to help its model respond to information as correctly as possible. However, humans are still better at understanding context than any chatbot or AI model. ChatGPT uses a concept called few-shot learning to understand specific tasks, but it can’t process too many different nuances in a single prompt at once.
Even the CEO of OpenAI said that GPT-3 still has serious weaknesses and can often make silly mistakes. Users won’t always get the right answers first time around. This means that when customers want quick answers to a complex problem, they’re often better off speaking to a human agent. Additionally, in order to make a chatbot as efficient and effective as possible, companies still need to rely on input from human beings to help the system understand the further context.
Ensure empathy and reduce bias
AI systems might be impressive in the CX landscape, but they’re also often biased. The information used to train a model will automatically determine how it responds to any given prompt. This bias could lead bots to respond to queries in a way that would potentially damage a company’s reputation and cause confusion among customers.
While ChatGPT might be effective at replicating human-style responses, it’s still not capable of intelligently assessing a situation and responding to a query with emotion and empathy. There are cases where compassion in a customer service strategy is more important than anything else. In fact, one study found 96% of customers say empathy from customer service teams is a crucial factor in a successful interaction.
Bots and AI systems are often considered to be more knowledgeable and error-resistant than human employees, but they’re still prone to mistakes. As mentioned above, how ChatGPT can respond to a query will depend heavily on the prompts delivered. If a customer doesn’t ask the “right” question or use easily recognisable language, a bot could still be left stumped.
ChatGPT is limited in the information it can give and how much data it has to work with. Alternatively, human agents can instantly access the latest information about a product or company from a knowledgebase and fact-check their responses. To deliver a consistently reliable and knowledgeable experience to customers, companies still need human beings.
ChatGPT: It Can’t Replace Humans
While ChatGPT may be able to eliminate some repetitive tasks in the business landscape, like responding to common FAQ questions and generating insights for customers, it’s not likely to replace the human agent entirely – at least not yet.
Ultimately, a generative model like ChatGPT is an excellent tool for companies already investing in chatbot technology to make automated conversations feel more human and personalised. However, it’s still just one part of a comprehensive customer service strategy.
Humans are still necessary to understand context, deliver empathy, and ensure accuracy in conversations with clients. ChatGPT may support and augment the customer service team, but it won’t replace the need for effective employees any time soon.