This is what ChatGPT will mean for customer experience


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People are talking and writing a lot about ChatGPT: how it will disrupt search, the impact it will have on business and even on people’s jobs, how ethical is it etc. But very few people are thinking about how it will affect or improve the customer experience. So that’s what I wanted to write about today.

I personally see five possibilities, but let me know over the socials if you think I missed some:

1. Smarter chatbots

There is an entirely new generation of chatbots on the rise. The old chatbots were scripted and came across as very artificial and to be honest, often quite inefficient. Only a while ago, CX practitioners actually believed that chatbots were the worst channel for customer experience delivery; with just 6% saying their organization delivers a “very good” or “good” CX through the channel. While 55% of customers said it took too many questions for a chatbot to recognize it can’t answer their issue. In short, it was a channel that fired up a lot of frustrations.

But the new generation of chatbots are conversational. It almost feels like a live chat or a quick email exchange with another human working in customer service. The quality of the information that you receive is much, much higher. Their emotional intelligence is also far superior than it used to be: AI chatbots are a lot more able to understand and respond to customer emotions, leading to more empathetic and personalized interactions that enhance customer experience. They don’t just recognize information, they can recognize feelings as well and that’s an essential part of customer service.

Once that we have the quality of chatGPT in customer service bots, we’ll experience a whole new world of automation of customer service.

2. Intelligence Augmented

I’ve been talking about augmented intelligence for years now, but I think that it’s now finally happening. Systems like ChatGPT will be able to help humans speed up their work and their communication with their customers, in the language of their choice. They will be able to ask the chatbot to formulate a reaction for an email or live chat conversation and then finetune these a little bit where necessary.

For instance, you may want to send an email to thousands of customers to tell them that a shipment will probably arrive later or that certain products are out of stock. The chatbot can write that email for you – in any language – and then you can finetune it. So the productivity and (24/7) accessibility of the humans working in customer service will increase dramatically because of AI.

3. Conversation Management

Though conversation management certainly is not new, I always feel that too many brands severely underrate its importance. They tend to push a lot of content over the social media, but then forget to join the conversation. But doing that is actually about respecting the basic rules of human interaction: if people ask you a question on your online channels, you have to answer them, just like you would when they would be standing right in front of you. That’s just being polite. It’s also a crystal clear sign for your fans and customers on YouTube, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc. that you really care.

Before, this type of conversation management took up quite some time because it was practiced by humans reacting to comments on Twitter, Facebook, TripAdvisor, Open Table and the likes. Nowadays you can ask ChatGPT to respond to these posts. Same as above, you get a first reaction in a certain style, but you can fine tune it all you want. Above all, you can now react to, let’s say reviews on TripAdvisor, 20% faster than when you had to type in everything. ChatGPT will speeds up your conversation management, and increase your productivity in one of the most underestimated but essential areas of CX.

4. More Innovation

The fourth benefit is definitely about innovation and creativity. It’s not easy to keep coming up with fresh new ideas that will help us make and keep our customers happy. Sometimes we just get stuck in routine train of thoughts.

Today, you can ask your AI assistant to come up with ideas. For instance, you could ask it “What are fresh ideas for a B2B lift construction company to wow its customers” or “How can I make things right with a repeat customer who is really mad because he missed his flight because one of my taxi cars that broke down in the road and failed to deliver him in time?” I actually tried these and I was really impressed with the creative proposals that came out of that query.

So instead of bringing 10 people together for a half a day brainstorm, you can now just type in a question, and get immediate results. Of course, here too, it’s about intelligence augmented. These ideas will be nothing without the input, feedback, additions and implementation from your human team. But as far as inspiration goes, this will be incredibly valuable.

5. Enhanced interfaces

The fifth benefit that I see is linked to the fact that ChatGPT can also code which has an impact on how we manage our interfaces. We all know that sometimes interfaces for customers are not convenient enough. So your CX team would ask your IT team to work on that. But that team is there for the entire company which means they are often over solicited. So it would not be exceptional that you would need to wait a few weeks or even months before the necessary changes to the interface would be made.

Today, you can outsource part of that job to a machine. The AI can help you with rapid prototyping and (A/B) testing of interface designs. The result us that the development phase happens a lot faster and that reaction time to customers asking changing is accelerated. Even if your IT department is small and over solicited.

6. A coherent conversation

We’ve been talking about multichannel and omnichannel consistency for a long time now. But the truth is really that many companies are still failing at that. You’ve maybe talked to a (not so smart) chatbot, filled out an online form with a problem of yours and – lacking a helpful answer – you’ve decided to call customer support, where you probably had to press some numbers to get you to the right people. And still you need to give them the whole story again, your order number, your email etc. We all experienced that kind of frustration.

ChatGPT, however, can be seamlessly integrated with a brand’s existing customer relationship management (CRM), marketing automation, and helpdesk systems which will truly ensure a consistent and unified customer experience across all touchpoints.

So, these are the five key benefits that I personally see for generative AI and ChatGPT in customer experience:

  1. Smarter Chatbots
  2. Intelligence Augmented
  3. Conversation Management
  4. More Innovation
  5. Enhanced Interfaces
  6. A Coherent Conversation

Which ones did I miss? Tell me over the socials.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Steven Van Belleghem
Steven Van Belleghem is inspirator at B-Conversational. He is an inspirator, a coach and gives strategic advice to help companies better understand the world of conversations, social media and digital marketing. In 2010, he published his first book The Conversation Manager, which became a management literature bestseller and was awarded with the Marketing Literature Prize. In 2012, The Conversation Company was published. Steven is also part time Marketing Professor at the Vlerick Management School. He is a former managing partner of the innovative research agency InSites Consulting.


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