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What Generative AI Can and Can’t Do for Customer Service Today

Generative AI has taken the world by storm, with ChatGPT reaching over one million users in a mere five days without any advertising campaign or spend. There is no shortage of predictions about the death of Google, college essays, and homework, but let’s skip all that and focus on exactly what Generative AI – in the form of OpenAI’s GPT3– can do for customer service right now.

ZeldaIt's Dangerous to Go Alone – Take Conversational AI

With great hype comes great confusion about what this amazing new technology is and isn't. Understanding its capabilities and shortcomings will enable us to see exactly when and how it can be used in customer service. Here are a few dealbreakers for standalone use in customer service.

  • Responses are inconsistent and unpredictable
  • Cannot integrate with any 3rd party systems (e.g. CRM, CCaaS, etc.)
  • Trained only on a static data set
  • Output is not transparent and auditable
  • Not designed for your specific use case
  • Has no front-end for customers

In other words, stop thinking of Generative AI as a solution you can buy and turn on - it’s not. Think of it more as a video game style power-up that’ll turn Mario into Super Mario. Today, the amazing value of technology like GPT3 in the contact center comes from combining it with Conversational AI (CAI). CAI is designed for enterprise use along with all of the compliance, privacy, availability and security businesses require. Looking below, here’s a simple overview of what each can do well and why combining them is a must.

Generative AI

  • Very Flexible
  • On the Fly
  • Low Effort
  • Human-Like

Conversational AI

  • Use Case-Specific
  • Stays on Task
  • System Integrations
  • Channel Integrations

Faster Bot Building, Better Agent Assist and Dynamic Language

Generative AI blended with CX technology is still in its infancy, but it is a tool that can currently help build virtual agents, improve voice and chat experiences, and assist agents.

Using CAI provides a user-friendly interface for employees and customers, and enables integration into existing customer service systems. Additionally, Conversational AI is designed to provide consistent, predictable responses following user-defined business processes. Thus, CAI puts the necessary guardrails in place to ensure the performance, consistency, and transparency needed in daily operations.

For example, user input is first received and processed by your CAI platform which can, among other things, strip out names, credit card numbers, dates of birth, or other information that is deemed sensitive. Combined with intent recognition and conversation context, it can then pass sanitized and augmented data to Generative AI, which ensures both privacy and an on-topic, accurate response, delivered in a personalized, natural way.

Here are three areas where Generative AI can add incredible value within your CAI solution.


Each column could be an entire article by itself, but here’s an example of creating a new intent and auto-generating 10 example sentences within seconds based solely on a description.


Why Integrate Generative AI in your Customer Service?

It is important to note that current business-ready use cases for Generative AI are limited. That will certainly change, but for today let’s talk about several reasons to get started with Generative AI now, while your competitors are still asking questions and waiting to see what others do.

Get a head start on the competition

Generative AI is a competitive advantage that will only grow at an exponential rate. It can already be integrated into Conversational AI platforms to accelerate bot building and assist agents. This will provide you with a competitive advantage when it comes to customer experience (CX) and brand differentiation.

Build internal AI talent for faster scale-up and roll-out in the future

The first real-life use cases are already out there, but they are still a mere drop in the ocean compared to what's coming. Starting now will enable you to begin building the internal talent, know-how, experience, and resources to quickly take advantage of new developments in Generative AI technology as they emerge.

Turn your contact center into an internal tech leader

There are already a few companies out there using Generative AI, such as Github Copilot, Keeper Tax, and Elicit for a range of assistive use cases. Becoming the pioneer inside your organization will turn your customer service into a leader in service externally, and pave the way for other departments to adopt the technology. When managers mention your contact center, it won't be maligned with the cost center label, but lauded for going above and beyond for both customers and the business.

Moving Forward

The hype, confusion and new developments in AI will continue, but the time to act is now. Nobody has all the answers yet, but the gold rush has started, so it’s time to grab your metaphorical pickaxe and start prospecting!