Where does ChatGPT fit into the Contact Center

Posted by Call Design on January 25, 2023

Amazing, scary, or both? ChatGPT has created a firestorm of attention since it was made public last November, gaining one million users in just the first week after its launch. ChatGPT (Generative Pre-trained Transformer) is a chatbot from OpenAI, an artificial intelligence research company. Their ChatGPT chatbot allows users to engage with OpenAI’s artificial intelligence technology. It can write poetry (amazing!) as well as blog content (scary! speaking as a human who creates content) as well as texts, songs, software code, and so on, using machine learning to generate human-like text. 

I’m guessing that a lot of us had the same first thought, “How good can it really be? Can it really write as well as a human?” Judging by the example of ChatGPT output that I’ve presented below, my answers are, “Pretty darn good,” and “Not yet.” Your mileage may vary. For anyone who hasn’t tried it already, I encourage you can go to OpenAI’s website and ask ChatGPT a question. For those of us who have been contact center professionals for years, our second thought might very well be, “What impact could this have on the contact center?” 

Contact centers are already deploying chatbots for many reasons: call deflection, the desire to automate contacts that humans find crushingly repetitive, or just to accommodate customers who want an automated experience. But we all have anecdotal evidence that those chatbot experiences are not always successful. One of my colleagues was just yesterday relating a story of a chatbot CX experience that led her to a dead end with no answers and no options to continue on another channel, let alone reach a human agent. Could ChatGPT be different?

Signs point to yes: ChatGPT makes use of generative artificial intelligence, trained on gigantic amounts of text data that taught it to recognize patterns. Its algorithm utilizes supervised learning to potentially provide customers with fast answers that are relevant to their queries. But ChatGPT can surpass traditional chatbots with its capability to learn and adapt to new customer demands and a fast-changing contact center industry.

But don’t just take my word for it, let’s hear what ChatGPT has to say for itself. I’m not the first person to drop some actual ChatGPT-authored content into an article, but I did give it the prompt to write an article specifically about ChatGPT in the Contact Center:

ChatGPT and the Contact Center: Revolutionizing Customer Service

In recent years, the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in the customer service industry has been on the rise. One of the most promising AI models for this purpose is ChatGPT, a large language model developed by OpenAI. ChatGPT has the ability to understand and respond to natural language text, making it a valuable tool for automating customer service in the contact center.

One of the main advantages of using ChatGPT in the contact center is its ability to handle a wide range of customer inquiries. With its vast knowledge base and natural language understanding capabilities, ChatGPT can understand and respond to customer questions and concerns, regardless of their complexity. This eliminates the need for customers to navigate through automated phone menus or wait on hold for a live agent, saving them valuable time and increasing their overall satisfaction.

It should be noted that ChatGPT is not a complete replacement for human agents, but rather it can work alongside them to improve their performance. Agents can still be available to handle more complex issues, while ChatGPT can handle the more routine inquiries. This approach allows companies to reduce the number of agents needed, while still providing high-quality customer service.

In conclusion, ChatGPT has the potential to revolutionize the customer service industry by providing efficient and accurate responses to customer inquiries. Its ability to handle multiple conversations, understand natural language text, and gather valuable customer data make it a valuable tool for the contact center. As the technology continues to evolve, we can expect to see more companies adopting ChatGPT and other AI models to improve their customer service operations.

Not a bad take on the subject. ChatGPT pulled together some important points about the potential benefits to Customer Experience. Crucially, it included a concept that might offer some comfort to many readers, that ChatGPT is not a “complete” replacement for human agents. If I were writing that article myself, I would not in the same paragraph make that statement and then talk about reducing headcount. I would rather focus on the idea that Employee Experience could be improved and all the benefits that come with better EX— better CX, better agent wellbeing, lower attrition, and a list of additional things that could fill up a whole blog article by themselves.

Along those same lines of not completely replacing human agents, it was the CEO of OpenAI himself who tweeted:

With some eminent thinkers warning us that tools like ChatGPT will eventually impact the demand for knowledge workers, Altman’s tweet may not relieve our anxiety. He’s correct, though. Today’s version of ChatGPT has some issues, not the least of which is factual errors in its answers to direct questions. It also has a problem it shares with other AI tools, which is that it inherits bias from its training data. But going back to my co-worker’s actual CX problem with one company’s chatbot, could she have been any more dissatisfied with a flat-toned, over-written response from the current version of ChatGPT?

At least for now, ChatGPT is not a replacement for human writing that has the ring of authenticity—or for a human agent who is empowered to be a brand ambassador for their company. Tools like ChatGPT will continue to evolve and improve their ability to take care of some customer needs, and that’s great. They will likely grow to be amazing tools for the contact center. It’s that growth of AI tools that makes it even more important for us to treat our agents like humans who need to be recognized for their efforts, rewarded for caring about their customers, and nurtured with the training, support, and empowering tools (one which could be a descendant of ChatGPT) they need to do their best work.

Shawn McCormick