Will ChatGPT change CX as we know it?

Hi Friends,

It’s January, and people on Twitter have been running amok with the “new year, new me” energy.

Massive audacious goals, huge aspirations.

If we are being real, I struggle with this.

The same chaos that ensued in 2022 is still here, and working at a fast-growing startup whilst parenting a toddler and juggling my mental health did not get easier, calendar be damned.

After hearing everyone’s lofty 2023 goals, I felt a little dose of impostor syndrome, and maybe even a bit of shame.

Self-doubt and inadequacy stepped in.

Why did my calendar not breathe the same life into me as everybody else?

I did not double my revenue, buy three businesses, or 6x my Twitter following; is there something wrong with me?

If you are feeling anything remotely like this, know it is normal and okay.

Revert back to basics, and make a simple commitment to yourself for 2023.

Put you first, and let the rest of the numbers fall into place in February, March, or even April.

Now, on with the good stuff.

This week, I want to chat about a trend that has recently taken over the internet and its ramifications on customer experience.

Generative AI. 🤖

1. Generative AI: A Retrospective2. ChatGPT: The Next Frontier in CX?3. CX + Data: A Match Made in Heaven4. Leading the Charge in the AI CX Era

Before we hop in, I wanted to quickly highlight the most recent Down To Chat episode, an interview with Sean Frank, CEO of Ridge.

Ridge is a 9-figure brand that created a new niche in the wallet world and has then moved on to watches, rings, key holders, and so much more.

It was one of my favorite interviews I’ve done.

Check it out here: Spotify Apple Podcasts

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Generative AI: A Retrospective:

In the past decade, there have been significant advances in the field of generative artificial intelligence (AI), particularly in the area of natural language processing. One notable example is GPT-3 (short for "Generative Pre-trained Transformer 3"), a state-of-the-art language model developed by OpenAI.

GPT-3 is a neural network-based machine learning model trained on a massive dataset of over 8 billion web pages. It can generate human-like text in various styles and formats, including articles, stories, poems, and more.

Since its release in 2020, GPT-3 has been widely used in various applications, such as language translation, text summarization, content creation, and even music composition. It has also sparked significant debate and discussion within the AI community due to its impressive performance and potential implications for the future of machine learning and automation.

In the last few months, OpenAI released ChatGPT, which almost feels like a best friend you can chat with. A best friend that knows everything. ChatGPT can create email responses, write poems, jot down JDs for your next hire, and even create a recipe based on the ingredients you left in the fridge.

ChatGPT: The Next Frontier in CX?

I’ve seen quite a few annoying chat-deflecting bots in my day, with the Verizon's and T-Mobiles of the world taking the lead.

They rarely do answer customer questions, yet they do very well at deflecting and getting customers to give up completely. 🙃

I’ve also seen a few brands do a stellar job at creating bots to deflect commonly asked questions while ensuring those bots are on-brand and can transport customers to their brand universe (e.g. FeastyBot telling jokes).

It’s important to note that as quick and savvy as ChatGPT is, it will not fully pull in your brand voice by default.

As generative AI becomes more prevalent in CX, it’ll become increasingly important for brands to consider the role that data will play in this shift.

For bots to effectively assist and enhance a customer journey, they must be able to connect to internal databases and online information to provide relevant and accurate responses.

Furthermore, the tone and experience of the bot should be adaptable to the customer's needs and emotions. If a customer is angry or on the verge of making a purchase, the bot's approach should be tailored accordingly.

However, due to the unpredictable nature of bots, it's important for businesses to have visibility into the actions and impact of these tools to ensure a positive CX.

I still think lots of the “reading between the lines” is not done well by robots (yet).

CX + Data: A Match Made in Heaven:

Will CX be run by GPT-3 in the future?

In the future, a percentage of customer service requests will likely still need to be escalated to human team members based on the customer and the type of request.

Data about customers and intent will be critical to determine which requests should be escalated and which can be handled by a bot.

Getting a better understanding of the customer journey and intent can also help businesses choose the right bot for each customer and where they are at.

Additionally, data will be necessary to determine when a request should be escalated due to the bot's inability to assist the customer effectively.

For example, if someone reaches out and mentions a previous interaction, that bot won’t pull the context, which will undoubtedly frustrate a customer reaching out about the same issue for the 2nd or 3rd time.

Understanding which source/medium they came from and the product they’ve bought is also imperative to fully understand where the customer is at.

Overall, as generative AI becomes more integrated into CX, data will play a crucial role in ensuring that these tools are used effectively and efficiently to enhance the customer experience.

But Eli, Is this better than outsourcing to a cheap offshore team?

Tbh, it really depends on who you ask.

In my opinion, I’d always want the high-touch tickets to come to an internal and adequately-resourced team that can go above and beyond and create customer moments.

As far as the more basic tickets, if they can be handled "on-brand" and save customers a bunch of time, I’m good with a skilled bot.

However, I’d want customers to know they are being responded to by a robot and allow them to wait for a human response if they wish.

 Leading the Charge in the AI CX Era:

Imagine a universe where the robots not only see your recent orders but also ingest your previous conversations and your comments on social.

If those bots can truly cultivate a holistic understanding of your style and history with the brand, the sky's the limit.

Not only will the bot be able to thoughtfully respond to your messages based on your history with the brand, but it’ll also be able to upsell you other complementary products based on what other folks in your similar situation ended up purchasing through 1:1 communication.

With enough data points, a delightful universe can be opened up here.

What are the CX folks left doing in a universe where all this is happening on its own with GPT-3?

With this evolution of customer support, CX leaders might end up being operations techies (or at least know some great CX Ops folks), that will need to:

  • Set up systems to collect all this data

  • Set up flows and rules to route customers through the right flows of bots and agents based on the context of the customer and the issue they are having

In a future world where 90% of CX is on autopilot, the main focus on CX folks will be to:

  • Connect and give access to internal systems or new changes (product, etc) for the bot

  • Define and maintain bot structure based on customer journey and brand tone

  • Analyze data to make changes - e.g. if a your bot is generating a frustrating experience or to decide which issues to escalate to humans

  • Analyze data to drive more revenue - e.g. better understanding what sorts of tickets/requests correlate to revenue so that humans can prioritize those

  • Analyze data to optimize each individual customer experience by tailoring experiences based on their previous conversations and actions

  • Gather potential product improvements and pass them along to the rest of the team

Are we here yet?

I’d venture to say we are pretty far from it, but I do believe that brands should start thinking ahead and start leveling up their CX way before we get there.

This all begins by getting a handle on your company’s biggest asset – the data.

That's it for this week!

P.S. Any topics you'd like to see me cover in the future?

Just shoot me a DM or an email!

See ya next week,

Eli 💛

For this week's CX Chronicles, I am thrilled to be chatting with Alyssa Haber, Head of CX at For Wellness.Alyssa is an early member of our CX Discord and is an incredibly bright CX mind.

Fun fact: Alyssa and I actually worked together on the CX team at Simulate way back!

Thanks for joining, Alyssa!

1. What’s your cx philosophy?

We’ve all heard it before, and maybe it’s cliche at this point, but my philosophy is truly to lead with empathy.

I’ve worked with a few different demographics, and with every scenario, I’ve learned that a little bit of empathy can go a long way and turn someone into a customer for life. This goes from treating the small things, like an address that needs to be changed (c’mon apple pay!), or with an order that was sent with the wrong items and then delayed by FedEx for 20 days, with the same amount of detail!

Empathy allows you to experience the customer’s viewpoint, meet them where they are, and make it way better than they expected. It’s like the golden rule we learned as children - treat people how you want to be treated.

With that, there is a second thing that I’ve learned to live by, and I’ve taught my teams: don’t take it personally.

When a customer is angry, or there is an ops issue that affects a bunch of orders, and you keep getting the same emails, it is easy to get annoyed and frustrated, which can easily come across in how you handle the situation.

I used to feel pretty burnt out as I continuously took in these emails from customers. Ultimately, I realized that it was not about me!

It’s important to remember to take a breath and let it roll off your back.

2. What’s your fav For Wellness cx story?

I’m really proud of the way we have built strong relationships with our customers.

When I first joined For Wellness, I set up 20-minute zoom sessions with our subscribers to learn about their journey and get feedback on their entire experience. I was able to create a relationship with them on a more personal level.

They are the first to be offered products for testing, and they even comment on our Facebook ads with tips and tricks about our products. It’s cool to see how much they want to be a part of the business with us. I was even invited to stay with a family in Hawaii :)

It’s the little things!