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Episode 122 - Using AI in customer support

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Hey, Scott. Austin here.

I'm a big fan of AI and have talked about it a few times on this podcast.

One of the things that AI can do really well is synthesize a lot of information.  For example, a standard part of podcast creation process is to feed the transcript of the episode into ChatGPT and have it give me a brief summary of the episode.  It does a really good job of this.  One of the reasons is that the data is contrained, so ChatGPT won't be able to go off on a tangent and make up its own facts.  

Back in November 2023, ChatGPT launched a new feature called GPTs (I can't believe how poorly named this is).  GPTs are a way for you to create a tailored version of ChatGPT to provide a consistent experience.

Anyone can easily build their own GPT—no coding is required. You can make them for yourself or for your company’s internal use. Creating one is as easy as starting a conversation, giving it instructions and extra knowledge, and picking what it can do, like searching the web or analyzing data.

GPTs do require that you be on the OpenAI paid plan which is $20 / month.

Here's a very useful scenario that I have found for GPTs that leverages ChatGPT's abiility to summarize information.  You can create a GPT that only looks at certain websites to get its information.  One of the problems with AI is that it will just make things up.  But you restricting a GPT to just, say, your website, then you'll have higher quality, more accurate information.

Many smaller e-commerce brands outsource their customer support whether it be email, chat or both.  They outsource to a lower cost economy like say the Philipenes.  And that outsourced team isn't an expert in the brand.  They are support many brands at the same time.  And most brands don't build the documentation that the support teams need to provide quaility support.  So the support staff ends up browsing or searching the website to find answers to customer's questions.  And if you experienced a situation like this, it can be very frustrating because its so slow and only as good as the content on the website.  This where the GPT comes.  You can set up the GPT to only pull content from your website.  Because its AI doing it, it will be able to come up with the best answer from the site more quickly than outsourced staff could.  No this solution still depends on the quality of the data.  Here's the fun part.  As I've mentioned, you can restrict the GPT to just one website.  Or you can restrict it to a small set of websites.  So if you are not manufacturing your own products, you could add your suppliers' website to the list the GPT is allowed to search.

Or you could go a different route.  You can upload files to the GPT that it uses for reference.  So you could upload the user manuals of your products and have that be used as the reference for the support answers.

In my testing, I could not get a GPT to use both a website and upload files, so you'ld need two seperate GPTs for that purpose.

Let's walk through the setup process so you can see how easy it is.

for those you listening to the audio version, I've got an accompanying video for this section which you can check out by clicking on the link in the show notes. So I've got going on now as I'm going into chat and I'm subscribers from the paid version, and what I'm going to do is I'm going to create a new GPT.

You already have two of them, one for each of my businesses and I'm going to make one on behalf of one of my clients, right? So this one's going to be for my client auto racing, these so called recovery machines and braces and such for people who are recovering from sports injuries or surgeries and that kind of stuff.

So in chat, GPT, what I'm going to do under my account settings, I'm going to go to my pitches and I'm going to create a new one and it walks you through the process and a little wizard type thing. It's going to ask me a series of questions, right? Right now it says, Hi, I'll help you build a new GPT.

You can say something like make a creative who helps generate visuals for new products or make a software engineer who helps format my code. What would you like to make? And I'm going to say I would like to make a customer support representative for for my e-commerce brand. geez, I type so slow

and then the builder comes back and what it's going to tell me next is and it does take a little bit of time when you're doing this stuff in church, just like it takes time to get answers sometimes.

But when it does come back, it says Great choice of customer support representative for e-commerce brand will be very useful. Now let's give this GBG a name. How about the name Shop Healthier Helper? Does that sound good to you or do you have another name in mind? I'm going to say let's name it Auto racing bot. And the nice thing here, you know, as with most things and I use natural languages and typing things in, right, I don't have to fill in a blank or anything like that.

It's asking me questions that I'm just answering in sentence format. So now I submit that

auto bracing thought it is now is create a profile picture for author racing bought I'll generate one right away and let's see how it turns out because GBG has image creation built in also now with Dolly it's going to create an image and it looks it's got a robot with a headset on it, with a tie and a vest.

And I'm like, That's totally fine. So it should be the image. And I'm going to say, That's good.

So now it's going to move on to the next questions. Great. Now let's refine the context for auto bracing thought. What specific types of questions are issues should auto racing bot be exceptionally skilled at handling? For example, should it specialize in product inquiries, order tracking, return policies or something else?

And I'm going to say this is a general bot for the brand. It will cover all of these situations. Now you notice how it's asked me to divide things up, you know, product inquiries, order tracking, return policies or something else. And that's because what you could do is you could create different jpgs for each one of those scenarios.

For example, if you want to have all product inquiries done by searching through the

product manuals, which might be PDF files, you could have a separate JPG where you load up all the product manuals in PDF format and searches just for that content for them, and it might get policies off of your website. So I'm just going to say on this one, this is a general bot for the brand.

It will cover all these situations.

The builder comes back and says or the bracing bot is now set up to be a general support representative covering all customer service aspects for your brand. Would you like try to try interacting with auto racing bought in the playground to the right? You can test its response to different customer scenarios after trying it out.

Let me know if there's anything you would like to adjust or refine and I'm not going to go test it. I'm going to say, let's adjust the tone of the bot.

Sure, I can help with that. Could you describe how you'd like the tone of auto bracing bot to be adjusted? For example, do you want it to be more formal, more casual, more empathetic, or something else?

As these products are used during recovery from injuries and surgeries, the bot should be professional and empathetic,

giving it a tone definition. You could say I want it to be in the tone of, you know, fun and funny or, you know, sound like Sherlock Holmes. Whatever fits with your brand. But as you know, auto racing, these products are serious for their customers.

We got to keep it more professional. And because, you know, it's a time of need for them, we want to be empathetic. So are the recent bots. Tone has been just to be both professional empathy and empathetic, recognizing the sensitive nature of your products related to recovery from injuries and surgeries. Feel free to test or the bruising bought in the playground and see how it handles customer interactions.

With this tone. Let me know if there's anything else you'd like to refine or if you have any requests. And I'm going to go over to the sandbox and I'm going to say, Tell me what's cold therapy machines, which is one of the products or so our best for knee surgery recovery.

And it's going to go through and it's, you know, searching the Internet to come up with all this information.

And what it says right now is cold therapy machines are a popular choice for aiding recovery after knee surgery. It's a very generic offering, targeted cold therapy to reduce swelling pain and inflammation. Well, I can't endorse specific brands or products. I can provide you with some general criteria to consider when looking for a cold therapy machine for knee surgery, recovery.

And then it gives a list of ten things to think about when looking at a cold therapy machine. Right? So that isn't helpful in this situation. So now I'm going to go back to my definition and the builder, and I'm going to say, let's constrain the bot to only get information from or through So grab the URL for that website and I'm going to paste it in.

In this, I think is one of the most powerful things about this piece because, you know, the information you just gave is so generic, it's just fluff, right? You know, it's just making things up as it goes. Now they're accurate. Those are things we will think about when we're looking at cold therapy machines. But there's nothing specific there from the content that this brand has built helping people make decisions.

Right. So now that you beauty builder says auto bracing bot is now constrained to use information only from author Bruce Incom for all customer inquiries. So now we're going to test that out and we're going to say in the the preview or or the sandbox, we're going to say what cold therapy machines are best for the surgery recovery.

And this brand has spent a lot of time making content, usually in the form of blog articles, in rich product pages in helping customers make decisions. So there should be some content on the website. Now let's see what it comes up with. And it says, Doing research with Bing, it's actually going out to the site and doing a search query that we just talked about.

And here we go. So now it says for knee surgery recovery, several cold therapy machines available on author are highly recommended and it shows one, two, three, four. It's still typing out.

It shows four of them by brand right there. It even gives a link to each of them if we want to use those. So now we can see that the glacier, the polar care wave, the game ready and the polar care cube therapy system are all recommended for knee surgery recovery.

Now, I happen to know that the store isn't stocking the game ready ice machine anymore. It used to in the past. So that's the kind of thing you know, the store staff is going to have to or the customer support team is going to be aware of that or figure out what's going on there kind of thing. So it's not perfect, right?

It's only as good as the information on the website, but this result is, you know, infinitely better than the one it gave me a minute ago that was like, I can't recommend brands, but here's ten things to think about now. It's given me for actual products that meet my needs. So this is how constraining your scope of the T with just a website or multiple websites can be really useful.

Now the other thing I want to show you here is a lot of these cold therapy machine things are made by a company called Break Polar or break, right? So I'm just going to look for break polar care and find their website.

So there's the break website. So what I can do is I can also have it look at this website to get information.

Now, in this case, I think Ortho bracing has more information on their website than brag has on their website about their their products and the different scenarios and advice and all that good stuff. But if that wasn't true, right, we could, you know, take this Web site and add it to the scope of the GPG. So now go back to my GPG builder and I'm going to say let's add Broadcom to the list of websites that we get content from.

You know, it's updating the GPG

or their browsing board will now be removed from both Ortho and Broadcom. To respond, to respond to customer inquiries, feel free to test the bot. So let's actually go back and test it and say what cold therapy machines should I use for knee surgery? Recovery?

doing research with Bing. It's searching the websites now.

It says Visiting Ortho, bracing

and it comes back with four new search recovery. Several cold therapy issues are recommended. It's got the glacier, the Kodiak, the wave and the cube, the Don Joy Ice Machine, John Joy Classic. So it's got a different list in the air crash cargo. It's actually pulled down all the ones that are also bracing or didn't do that before for whatever reason.

Right. And every time you do a query with a GPG, just like in, you know, churchy party, you can get different results. There's no there's no guarantee of consistency in those things, but it just listed all the machines that are available on the author briefing site. But now we can try another query and we could just say, you know,

What is the best shoulder brace to get?

So it's searching.

And the way it does that, it actually does a site search using Bing. We're at a site called an author, and that puts in the query you put, which is what is the best of breed to get.

So then it's going to look at the results that Bing gives it back and look at those pages that searching through the whole website. It's just looking at the search results for that query in your website. But it still takes a moment. It's still spinning here. So this might be, you know, more useful in an email situation than in a chat situation.

The best shoulder brace for pain relief and recovery in 2023, According to author, Bracing is the Don Joyce Sully shoulder brace. This brace is highly recommended for various shoulder issues, including instabilities, rotator cuff, shoulder separations. It goes on, you know, with more information about the brace and then even recommends other braces. In case you don't want to get that one, That's a really good result for that query, actually.

So now, you know, we've created this jpg with not that much inputs, right? So but we can look at what they call the configuration in chat and you can see the parameters that are put up there for your JPG and you can edit any one of those that you want to in the instructions for right now, based on the information we put in is really, you know, not that much information.

This is or the bracing part, a professional, empathetic customer support representative specializes in products for recovery from injuries and surgeries. It sources information exclusively from author, and breaks down to respond to queries about products, order tracking, return policies and order related issues. The bot focuses on providing accurate and relevant information from these websites, maintaining a tone that is understanding and supportive.

It does not offer financial advice or conduct transactions. It personally and personalizes responses to ensure customers feel valued and informed. I don't know where that last bit came from, right. It somehow added that, but I think you can, you know, you can go edit this now because one things I'm thinking of is maybe we could tell it to only use Brakkton when we asking product questions and think about order tracking and policies and all that kind of stuff.

You know use author browsing dot com for that so you can take this you know freeform text is a paragraph of text, you can edit it any way that you want to to further you know define for this CPG you know what its tone is going to be and what content it's going to use to create answers to your customers.

Support queries.

So as you can see, setting up a GPT is very easy.  And it quickly gives quality answers.  Here are some things to think about when setting up a GPT:

  1. We're currently limited to ChatGPT's query throttles which are 40 queries per 3 hours.
  2. The results are only as good as the content that you feed the GPT either through file uploads or websites.  One best practice that I advise is that every time you get a support question that is not answered somewhere on the website, add the answer to the website.  FAQ pages and blogs are great for this.

 So that's it for GPTs.  If you are on the paid version of ChatGPT, I highly recommend that you create one or more GPTs for your brand and use them when responding to customer queries.  They'll help your support team tap into all of your content to get the most accurate answer.

Thanks for listening.

JadePuma is a certified Shopify Expert. If you need any help with your Shopify store, we can help.