As Artificial Intelligence continues to advance, chatbots have become an increasingly popular tool for businesses to improve customer service. One of the most advanced chatbot models available today is ChatGPT based on GPT-4, a large language model trained by OpenAI. ChatGPT has demonstrated an impressive ability to understand and generate human-like language, making it a promising candidate for customer service. But can ChatGPT really be used effectively in this way?
In this article, we’ll explore the potential benefits and limitations of using ChatGPT for customer service, and take a closer look at how this cutting-edge technology can be harnessed by companies that want to offer the best customer experience.
ChatGPT and Language Models
Loosely speaking, ChatGPT is referred to as a “Language Model” in the field of Natural Language Processing. Language models are not a new concept. They were discovered in the beginning of the century and existed long before ChatGPT. Simply put, Language Models deal with the probability of a certain word to appear in a given context. This means that they try to model the likelihood of a certain word appearing in a given spot in a sentence.
Consider the sentence “Steve walks down the ___”. A Language Model assigns a probability to every word in the English dictionary to appear in the blank spot. For example, the word “street” would get a high probability, e.g. 50%, while the word “table” would get a low probability, e.g. 0.01%.
Why is this important? Well, at its core, this is what ChatGPT does. It generated words one by one by selecting the most probable option based on the given prompt and conversation history.
ChatGPT is an open-domain chatbot based in GPT-4, a Large Language Model (LLM) that contains billions of parameters. GPT-4 was trained over an immense text corpus spanning almost the whole internet. As a result, GPT-4 can generate fluent, grammatically and syntactically correct text that is consistent with the input prompt.
What are the key functions of a customer service chatbot?
Chatbots have been around for quite some time now. However, with the advancements in technology, AI chatbots have become more sophisticated and are now being used by many companies to automate their business processes and provide a better customer experience. The following are the main areas in which chatbots can help companies with their customer service needs, ordered by importance:
- Providing personalized responses to questions such as displaying order status, account balance, and more
- Automating business processes by performing tasks such as appointment booking, package delivery rescheduling, and more
- Answering frequently asked questions (FAQs)
- Routing a conversation to the support team
- Gathering user input and feedback
When chatbots work as expected, they can significantly assist in all of these areas, resulting in a measurable increase in customer support and a decrease in customer service costs. When chatbots cover business-specific use cases end-to-end, customers can resolve their issues within seconds. At the same time, companies can save precious time and costs by easing the pressure on daunting tasks that would otherwise be done by a customers support agent.
Limitations of ChatGPT in customer service
Although ChatGPTcan generate eloquent and fluent responses about almost any question, when used out-of-the-box:
- Struggles to solve business specific problems
- Does not guarantee factual correctness
As stated earlier, customer service ai chatbots should provide personalized responses and perform tasks beyond simply answering informational FAQs. As a result, they should be able to connect with third-party systems to automate business processes end-to-end. Unfortunately, ChatGPT does not have the ability to use third-party tools. Although it can generate an answer to a user’s question, it cannot automate a business-specific use case beyond that point.
Let’s examine a simple business process that a chatbot could automate using an API and rigid rules. Consider an e-Commerce website that wants to create a chatbot to automate the order cancelation process. For the purpose of this example, let’s assume the process follows these steps:
When a user wants to cancel an order…
- Ask for the order ID (verify it’s 8 digits)
- Call the Orders API to get the order details
- If the order was made more than 3 days ago or has already been shipped, tell the user that the order cannot be canceled
- Otherwise call the Orders API to create a cancelation entry and provide the user with all the necessary steps to complete the cancelation process.
ChatGPT or any other LLM would not be able to automate this (simple) business flow end-to-end. Hence, when used out-of-the-box, these models cannot offer a complete solution to most customer service needs that a company might have.
The limitations of LLMs in using third-party tools and following rigid instructions is not the only factor that limits their effectiveness as customer service chatbots. LLMs also suffer from the problem of “hallucination”, in which answers that are sometimes inconsistent with the provided company data are generated. While ChatGPT excels at eloquent text generation, it is not an expert in providing factually correct information. This distinction significantly limits the applicability of LLMs in many production settings.
How ChatGPT can be used for customer service?
As mentioned above, ChatGPT out-of-the-box cannot be used as a customer service chatbot. However, it can be used in conjunction with task-oriented chatbots in order to combine the best of the two worlds: automation of business processes with human-like dialog quality.
ChatGPT can assist at automatically creating a customer service chatbot
Creating a chatbot for customer support can be challenging, as the difficulty level varies depending on the conversational AI platform used. It is generally a time-consuming process, as a company must explicitly map out their use cases while also becoming familiar with platform-specific concepts.
LLM’s can automate the creating process by using unstructured resources like past chat logs and knowledge bases. They can also reduce the learning curve required to build dialog flows. One example is Môveo AI Auto Builder, which automatically generates chatbot dialog flows from a brief business process description. For example, a simple description like the one above would be enough to generate a dialog flow for the scenario of “canceling an order” using an LLM in the background.
ChatGPT can act as a fallback when the chatbot cannot respond
Customer service AI chatbots can be incredibly effective in automating business processes and delivering tailored responses to users. However, their utility is often constrained by the need for predetermined answers, as building dialog flows can be a costly and time-consuming process. Additionally, these chatbots may lack the conversational fluency of a larger language model (ChatGPT) and can seem robotic when faced with unexpected questions beyond their training data.
To address this limitation, ChatGPT can be used to answer customer queries that go beyond the chatbot’s training data and synthesize the answer based on information fetched from the company’s website, documentation, knowledge base, guides or prior chat logs.
ChatGPT can assist human agents
ChatGPT can be used to assist human customer service agents by providing suggestions for responses to customer queries. This can significantly speed up the response times and improve the overall efficiency of the customer service process. Additionally, ChatGPT can be used to monitor customer interactions and provide real-time feedback to agents, helping them improve their communication skills and better serve customers.
In conclusion, while ChatGPT has incredible potential for generating human-like language and assisting in customer service, it does have its limitations. When used out-of-the-box, it cannot solve business-specific problems or guarantee factual correctness, which are both important considerations for customer service. However, when used in conjunction with task-oriented chatbots, ChatGPT can significantly improve the customer experience.
As AI technology continues to advance, Môveo AI remains at the forefront by combining its state-of-the-art conversational AI platform with recent advances in generative AI. This enables companies to revolutionize their operations and provide the best customer service. Book your demo today and find out how Môveo AI can help your business scale today!