Why ChatGPT Won’t Replace Support Agents

Feb 27, 2023

As the demand for efficient and effective customer support continues to grow, many companies are turning to artificial intelligence for help. ChatGPT, a large language model developed by OpenAI, is one such AI tool that can assist customer support agents.

It's important to note that tools like ChatGPT, in their current state, are not an outright replacement for support agents. For now, AI will act as yet another useful tool at the disposal of the customer support person. In this blog post, we will discuss how AI can greatly improve the day-to-day of customer service operations, and why it won't yet replace customer support agents themselves.

Improved efficiency

By handling routine tasks, such as answering frequently asked questions, AI can free up human agents to focus on more complex issues, of which there is probably no lack. This can help reduce response times and improve overall productivity. More time spent focusing on pressing, important projects and tasks that require your full attention, and less time spent on the routine, have you tried turning it off and on again tickets. Talk about a win-win.

Enhanced accuracy

AI can also help customer support agents by providing very accurate information, in a sea of noise, documents, and knowledge base tools. Using machine learning algorithms, AI can analyze past customer interactions and suggest relevant responses. This can help ensure that customers quickly receive accurate and relevant information, even when human agents are unavailable. This could also mean prompting a human agent with information, rather than the human having to dig through Confluence, Slack, or wherever else the information they're looking for might live.

Imagine you have an agent on your team that’s been there since day one, has read every single ticket that’s ever landed in your Zendesk, and has perfect recall. If this was a person we’d call them superhuman. But it’s not human, and we call it Stylo.

Complementary role

There is many a scenario where there is simply no replacement for a human touch. A human perspective. A human response. AI algorithms can only provide automated responses based on previous data, and may not be able to handle complex or unique customer issues, again, of which there is no lack. In these cases, human agents will be needed more than ever, to provide personalized support to resolve those issues.

Considering all the things that AI will take over for support agents, what we’re talking about here is eating your cake and having it too. Like most things, there is not a one-size-fits-all solution for customer support. You need to be able to apply strengths where they are called for. What that means in practice is having all of the speed, efficiency, and accuracy of artificial intelligence where it makes sense to apply it, with the thoughtfulness and understanding that only a human can provide, when a human touch is called for. 

In conclusion

AI is at it’s best when it is assisting, not replacing customer support agents, by improving efficiency, accuracy, and capacity. Human agents will still, for the foreseeable future, play a critical role in providing personalized support and resolving new and/or complex customer issues.

By leveraging the power of AI tools like ChatGPT, companies can improve the overall customer experience while also helping customer support agents be more effective in their jobs.

Happier agents? Happier customers? Where do I sign?