“Have you tried that ChatGPT thing?” must have echoed off watercoolers millions of times in the last few months. It reached 1 million users in only five days, which was faster than Instagram to reach that milestone. By January this year, ChatGPT had 100 million users. With that sort of viral uptake, it’s hard to deny that something big is happening.

So what is ChatGPT, how does it work, and how will it affect your contact centre? Will it take jobs or help them? Or is it all just hype? Let’s take a look.

What is ChatGPT?

What better way to find out what ChatGPT is than to ask ChatGPT itself:

“ChatGPT is an AI-powered chatbot that uses natural language processing to simulate human-like conversations. ChatGPT can understand and respond to natural language queries, making it a useful tool for businesses, healthcare providers, e-commerce websites, and more. With its ability to handle multiple queries simultaneously and provide personalized assistance, ChatGPT is revolutionizing the way we communicate online.”

ChatGPT has been developed by OpenAI, which has deep pockets thanks to Microsoft investing US$1 billion in 2019, with a further US$10 billion to come. In other words, Microsoft is backing this AI horse to not just disrupt, but to dominate online communication and the internet itself.

The technology has been designed to be ‘human-like’, and it is said that it can provide customer service representatives with an array of support functions, including automated responses and intelligent learning capability. This means that customers will receive a natural conversation experience while their query is answered quickly and accurately.

How Does ChatGPT Work?

The “GPT” in “ChatGPT” stands for Generative Pre-trained Transformer, a deep learning algorithm trained on a massive amount of text data. The “training” essentially means that ChatGPT has been “fed” the internet until September 2021, so it has a staggering amount of data and knowledge. Ask it about any events or knowledge after September 2021 however, and it will tell you that it hasn’t heard of that yet.

When generating answers, it uses probabilities and patterns learned from its training to effectively “predict” what word comes next in the sentence. This means that when a customer asks a query, ChatGPT can generate the most suitable response by finding the best match from its set of learned responses.

On top of this, ChatGPT also has an advanced memory system which enables it to remember and recall past conversations with each user. This allows for a more natural flow of conversation and better customer service.

How Will ChatGPT Affect Your Contact Centre?

The implications for contact centres are not just about changing conversations but also about improved efficiency and cost savings. Given that ChatGPT is still relatively new, current applications for contact centres are still being figured out (we’ll talk about current use cases next week). However, it’s quite easy to speculate what this will mean for contact centres in the not-too-distant future.

At its core, ChatGPT’s main mechanism in contact centres would be to automate parts of customer service by providing automated responses to common customer inquiries. When we say common, 40% of all customer inquiries are repetitive, so ChatGPT is ideal to answer most customers’ questions quickly and accurately.

This could mean things like automatically call summarising customer phone calls, creating suggested answers, and even automated onboarding processes and order management. This would free up representatives to focus on the more complex queries, increase efficiency and therefore reduce costs for contact centres.

What Are the Benefits of ChatGPT for a Contact Centre?

ChatGPT would be able to provide contact centres with a number of benefits, including:

  1. Reduced Wait Times: Contact centres can get very busy, often leading to long wait times for customers. With ChatGPT, customers can receive instant responses to their inquiries, reducing the need to wait on hold for a representative.
  2. Improved Customer Experience: ChatGPT can provide personalised assistance to customers, leading to a better overall experience. ChatGPT can also handle a wide range of queries simultaneously, meaning customers don’t have to be transferred from one representative to another.
  3. Cost Savings: Contact centres can be expensive to operate, with costs associated with staffing, training, and infrastructure. ChatGPT could reduce the need for human representatives used for more mundane tasks, leading to cost savings for companies.
  4. 24/7 Availability: Unlike human representatives who have work schedules, ChatGPT can operate 24/7, meaning customers can receive assistance at any time, even outside of normal business hours.

Will ChatGPT Replace Human Contact Centre Agents?

While the wider implications of ChatGPT can either be interpreted as wonderous or worrisome, humans contact centre agents won’t need to worry, at least for the foreseeable future. As we see it, ChatGPT and related technologies will provide value by optimising or assisting in limited tasks, rather than entire jobs.

As mentioned earlier, ChatGPT could be used to handle routine customer queries or provide assistance in completing online forms. This would free up human contact centre agents to focus on the more complex customer service tasks such as problem-solving, customer complaints, and handling nuanced situations.

At the end of the day, ChatGPT is not a replacement for human contact centre agents. Rather, it is an opportunity to better leverage technology and data to improve customer service while providing cost savings and optimising the customer experience.

Ultimately, ChatGPT can be seen as a powerful tool for contact centres that will no doubt revolutionise the industry in the coming years. With its ability to provide personalised, accurate, and real-time responses to customer inquiries, ChatGPT and related technologies will be the default tool for companies looking to provide the best possible customer service as efficiently as possible.

It will be interesting to see how contact centres leverage this technology in the future and what other applications arise from it. For now, though, one thing is certain — ChatGPT is here to stay. If you want to make sure you are keeping up with AI and other modern technologies in your contact centre, Digital Island is experienced in AI communications within contact centres and can help guide you through the exploration and implementation process.

Get in touch today to learn more about how we can help — we can even give you a free demo of the latest AI technology and machine learning (ML).


Q. Can Chat GPT replace human agents in contact centres?
A. No, Chat GPT is designed to handle routine queries and improve agent productivity. It cannot replace human agents in complex customer interactions.

Q. How does Chat GPT handle multilingual interactions?
A. Chat GPT can handle multiple languages and is trained on vast amounts of multilingual data.

Q. How does Chat GPT understand natural language?
A. Chat GPT uses machine learning algorithms to understand natural language. These algorithms have been trained on a massive amount of text data, which enables Chat GPT to generate human-like responses.

Q. Can Chat GPT handle multiple queries simultaneously?
A. Yes, Chat GPT can handle multiple queries simultaneously, which makes it more efficient than human representatives.