How to Use ChatGPT for Customer Support: Use Cases, Pros and Cons
ChatGPT is a natural language processing (NLP) model developed by OpenAI that has impressed and delighted millions of people with its ability to hold realistic, novel conversations. But with a few simple tweaks, you can use this large language model for you to better assist customers through human-like responses to customer inquiries.
What are the strengths and weaknesses of ChatGPT for the Customer Support?
How can you use ChatGPT along with Conversational AI Solutions to make perfect customer experiences for service and support teams?
And how should your customer service strategy evolve in response to customer needs due to this new, groundbreaking technology?
What Is ChatGPT (How Can It Support Conversational AI Solutions)
The “GPT” in “ChatGPT” stands for Generative Pre-training Transformer, a family of Large Language Models (LLMs) that serve as a foundation for ChatGPT and similar tools. Essentially, these models function as artificial neural networks and AI models trained on very large sets of natural language samples.
With the help of Natural Language Processing (NLP), a branch of computer science focused on allowing computers to “understand” and use natural conversations in ways similar to humans, these neural networks can approximate and effectively analyze multiple languages to generate automated responses without much human intervention.
In other words, ChatGPT is a specific artificial intelligence (AI) application designed to understand linguistic prompts and provide seemingly intelligent responses based on what it has learned in its language training.
You’ve likely heard about ChatGPT in recent months, though it’s far from the first application using LLMs. This particular tool is getting so much hype because of its free availability, its genuinely impressive linguistic abilities, and its potential applications for businesses and organizations all over the world.
ChatGPT's Role in Answering Customer Queries
If you want to get a feel for how ChatGPT responds, simply begin a conversation with OpenAI ChatGPT using any prompt you like, and prepare to be astonished by the reply you receive.
Already, you can start to imagine what it might be like to use this AI model powered by machine learning to provide support for complex inquiries.
Generative AI for customer service can refer to using the actual tool as an augmentation of your customer support capabilities. In this context, your human agents may lean heavily on ChatGPT, specifically, to answer questions, generate ideas, language translation, and more for efficient support with customer inquiries.
But it may be even better to use a customized Generative AI tool, utilizing the same technology behind ChatGPT to empower your customer support team to automate support tickets, serve your customers better, and even integrate with your existing contact center systems and technologies.
In a sense, ChatGPT has already become shorthand for Generative AI tools – much like how “Google” quickly became shorthand for online search engines. But regardless of which specific Generative AI tools you use, there are countless use cases that your business can leverage to automate tasks and provide personalized support.
Use Cases of ChatGPT for Customer Support
What are some specific examples of using ChatGPT for customer support?
ChatGPT and other Generative AI tools are capable of all of the following and more:
- Translating. Automated language translation tools have been available for many years, but their reliability has been less than impressive. With ChatGPT, it’s easier than ever to translate a chunk of text from one language to another without losing meaning along the way. Currently, ChatGPT supports many popular languages, including English, Spanish, French, German, Portuguese, Italian, Dutch, Russian, Arabic, and Chinese; more language support is likely to be added in the future. No matter how many languages your customer support team speak naturally, they now have the potential to serve almost your entire customer base.
- Answering Customer Inquiries. Even with years of training and experience in the realm of customer service, it’s sometimes difficult to come up with a concise, personalized response to customer questions. But ChatGPT and other Conversational AI tools can do this rapidly. The support team agents can enter a customer’s question and immediately generate a recommended response. From there, they can make edits, apply a final polish, and continue the conversation.
- Replying to customer complaints. Responding to customer feedback and complaints can be especially difficult. If the customer is irate or acting unreasonably, it’s even harder for customer support team members to respond neutrally and calmly. As ChatGPT is a cold, emotionless robot, it is incapable of being offended or rattled; it can logically process all customer complaints and generate a response that’s tactful, polite, and capable of de-escalating the situation. Combine that with the existing knowledge and experience of your human agents, and you have a recipe to come up with the perfect response.
- Troubleshooting certain problems. ChatGPT may also be able to help you troubleshoot certain problems. If you describe the problem to this AI bot, and it has access to information on a possible solution, it may be able to walk you through troubleshooting steps or describe the solution concisely. Your business may already have a knowledge base that covers information like this, and business-specific information on troubleshooting problems your customers have may not be publicly available on the web. If this is the case, a custom generative AI tool should still be able to serve the same function.
- Drafting proactive messages and notifications. One of the roles of customer support is to prevent customers from running into problems, guiding them with proactive knowledge and information so they can avoid prospective issues. To this end, ChatGPT can help you draft proactive messages and notifications. For example, you can rely on this tool and other generative AI tools to generate an email notification that your website is going to be down for maintenance next week. You can also draft notifications about changes in company policy, or sets of instructions that can guide customers to prevent certain issues.
- Responding to customer reviews. Local business owners especially benefit from responding to customer reviews; regardless of whether the reviews are bad, this is an opportunity to increase your business’s visibility, improve your reputation, and encourage more people to leave reviews. It’s also an opportunity to resolve any issues or complaints that you see in these reviews. But your customer support team no longer has to do it alone; with ChatGPT or a custom generative AI tool, your customer support department can quickly draft intelligent, thoughtful personalized responses.
- Improving onboarding. Employee onboarding is critical for your customer support department’s success. It provides employees with the education, training, and cultural alignment necessary to become fully integrated with the rest of your team. Under the right circumstances, ChatGPT and similar AI tools can streamline the onboarding process. They can provide training simulations, allowing customer support agents to go through hypothetical conversations with customers, and guide them in creating better responses. If your generative AI is trained on internal, customer service experience and support data or materials from your own knowledge base, this tool is even more powerful, enabling all your new customer support hires to train directly with AI.
- Summarizing Lengthy Swaths of Text. We don’t always have the time or energy to read large swaths of text, especially if that text is complicated or otherwise hard to understand. Entering this text into ChatGPT and asking for a summary could be exactly what you need to discern the meaning without wasting productive time.
- Idea Generating. In some cases, your customer support agents can use ChatGPT to generate new ideas. They may be stumped on how to help a confused customer. They may not know how to respond to a customer’s antagonistic tone. They may not know how to engage with a particular type of customer. Or they may not have an idea of how to make a bad situation right. In any of these scenarios, a customer support agent can describe the situation to ChatGPT and ask it to generate a list of several ideas for resolution. Then, the customer support agent can use their own knowledge and experience to select the best possible option.
- Categorizing and Prioritizing Prompts. Generative AI tools can also be used to categorize and prioritize certain types of prompts. As a simple example, if a customer comes to you with several different problems, the AI tool may be able to sort those problems into different batches and prioritize them so you can handle them in the correct order.
- Analyzing Sentiment. One of the most interesting things about modern conversational AI tools is that they don’t just study the words and meaning; they also study the context of language. This allows ChatGPT and other generative AI tools to analyze the sentiment behind different words and phrases. If you’re not sure whether a customer is angry or content, you can feed their words through an AI tool for quick sentiment analysis. If you’ve prepared a response, and you’re not sure whether you come off as adversarial, you can use ChatGPT as a sanity check.
- Monitoring customer expectations and quality. Finally, consider that you can use ChatGPT as a way to monitor the quality of your customer service interactions. You can review the prompts entered by your support teams and the responses generated by your AI tool of choice; combined with your other internal review processes, you can use this system to get an even better understanding of how your customer support agents are performing. Here’s the real beauty of it: if you find an issue that needs to be corrected, ChatGPT may be able to help you brainstorm ways to correct it.
This list is only meant to serve as an introduction to the capabilities of ChatGPT. Using your imagination, you can probably brainstorm even further use cases. And as generative AI becomes more powerful, with even more capabilities, this list is only going to grow.
The Benefits of ChatGPT for Improved Customer Satisfaction
Why should business owners consider using ChatGPT for customer support?
These are some of the most important benefits to acknowledge:
Automation and Speed. Some business owners love the idea of conversational AI tools because of their automation and speed. Because these tools are automated, they can cut out some need for manual labor, ultimately saving money and allowing your customer support agents to do more important things. They can also generate responses extremely quickly, improving response times across the board and giving more customers better support.
Constant Availability. Another advantage of ChatGPT is that it never sleeps. Unlike its weaker human counterparts, this machine requires no time off and no nourishment; it’s constantly available to provide customer service agents with the information and suggestions they need to do their jobs effectively. For businesses that need to be available 24/7, this is a huge relief.
Consistency and Reliability. The robotic nature of ChatGPT and similar tools also a large language model lends itself to consistency and reliability. The tone, wording, and approachable conversational style of the messages generated by this tool are all in perfect alignment, supporting greater brand consistency in your customer experience strategy.
Customer Service Staff Support. Working in customer support is a stressful and occasionally challenging job. But it’s much easier when you have some backup. When customer support agents are overwhelmed with tickets, they can use ChatGPT to lighten the load. When they’re stuck on customer-specific data or problems, they can use it to generate ideas for how to solve that problem. It’s a way to make your employees happier and less stressed, thus increasing productivity and reducing turnover.
Novel Idea Generation. ChatGPT has also been used for the generation of truly novel ideas. If you’re looking for ways to expand your customer support capabilities, or if you just need a unique idea for resolving a common customer complaint, ChatGPT may have what you’re looking for. Think of it as your creative brainstorming partner.
Low Costs. ChatGPT is free to use. And building a generative AI tool trained on your business’s unique knowledge base and customer support interactions is less expensive than you might think. Even if you splurge on an AI tool that can do everything, your investment will likely pay for itself quickly.
Higher Productivity. Generative AI is expected to increase business productivity by 40 percent by 2035. When your employees spend less time on menial, tedious, and repetitive tasks, they can use their time much more intelligently.
Higher Customer Satisfaction. Companies that incorporate generative AI tools tend to see higher rates of customer satisfaction as well. Customers get responses much faster, those responses are more cleanly worded, and a greater percentage of problems are able to be solved.
Weaknesses of ChatGPT to Deal with Customer Inquiries
It’s also important to recognize that ChatGPT is far from perfect. Your first conversation with this generative AI conversational tool may have gone very smoothly, but there are some inherent limitations and weaknesses of this software that we need to understand:
- Generic Knowledge Base. If you use ChatGPT directly, you should understand that it has been trained on a general knowledge base. This tool has processed an unfathomably large number of examples of language, and it has access to the entire internet, but it may still be limited in the knowledge it can provide. If you’re hoping to provide customer support for a software tool created by your business with limited documentation available online, you’ll probably need a custom tool that’s been trained on your own materials before you can give troubleshooting advice.
- Limited Capabilities. Most consumers are stunned when they use ChatGPT for the first time since this tool can answer almost any conceivable prompt. But it doesn’t take much experimentation to figure out that this tool does have limited capabilities. Sooner or later, you’ll enter a prompt that ChatGPT doesn’t quite know how to handle, requiring you to change or improve the prompt to be more specific. Also, ChatGPT’s data is limited to 2021 – so you won’t be able to cover any topics related to events that happened in 2022 or 2023.
- Lack of Personality. One of your secret weapons in customer support is a deceptively simple one: authentic, personal interaction. Sometimes, customers just want another human being to listen to them and acknowledge them; it can make even the biggest frustrations dissolve away. Unfortunately, while ChatGPT can approximate human conversations, it can’t completely replicate a human personality. There’s not much flavor or uniqueness in the prompts generated by this AI, at least not by default. If you want your customer interactions to have more personality, you’ll need human beings in the mix.
- Unpredictable Inaccuracies. ChatGPT is impressive, but it’s not perfect. If you feed enough prompts into this generative AI tool, you’ll eventually encounter at least one response with major inaccuracies. In some cases, these inaccuracies are small and trivial. In others, they can completely compromise the quality of the response. To make matters worse, these inaccuracies are often worded intelligently and confidently, making it hard for a layperson to identify them as inaccuracies. If you’re not careful, you could mislead your customers this way.
Are you in search of a powerful, Generative AI tool to serve as the foundation of your customer support strategy? Go beyond ChatGPT for customer service and rely on Aisera’s AI Customer Service chatbot. It works with the tools and systems you’re already using to improve customer service and provide intelligent – yet fully automated – customer service interactions.
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