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ChatGPT: What Small Businesses Need to Know

Understanding how small businesses can use ChatGPT-like technology to benefit their bottom line

Image of the ChatGPT welcome screen on a mobile phone

Small businesses that can move quickly and capitalize on new technology like ChatGPT gain a competitive edge that positions them for continued growth and innovation.

ChatGPT is an LLM chatbot that has been trained on a massive dataset of text and code. This allows it to generate text, translate languages, write different kinds of creative content, and answer questions. It is a powerful tool that when used well, can improve deflection, capture leads, and automate tasks like scheduling.

For small businesses interested in using a tool like ChatGPT, the lack of transparency around the way that the model is trained and the information that is fed to it can be a deterrent. It’s important to know that alternatives exist that offer more control over the knowledge base used, which in turn helps create a more focused and potentially trustworthy experience.

The way that we approach it at XAPP AI is to build a custom Unified Knowledge Model™ for every client. That means that the “brain” of the bot is trained on a specific company’s content. Their website, collateral, and any additional collateral that is provided. The information is then enhanced by the addition of proprietary Industry Models and FAQs that expand the knowledge base to understand industry jargon and support commonly asked questions. This makes it possible for companies to feel confident that the answers being given are consistent and accurate.

The benefits of using ChatGPT for small businesses

At a high level, small businesses can benefit from the improved efficiencies of LLM-powered chatbots. What this looks like in practice is:

Increased productivity

ChatGPT-like experiences can help small businesses increase productivity by automating tasks and freeing up employees to focus on other tasks. The automated chat function can include features like scheduling, which would otherwise be handled manually.

Improved customer service

When people can get answers 24/7 on a preferred platform through an automated chat, they are less likely to feel frustrated. The immediacy of the responses helps improve deflection, sending fewer calls and emails that require a manual response. The feeling of control at the point of contact and the ability to quickly get responses and feel a sense of accomplishment all create a more satisfied customer.

More qualified leads

ChatGPT-like experiences can automate lead capture, scoring, and routing. Because the technology is always on and always available, it makes it possible to take people out of the market, even outside of business hours.

The challenges of using ChatGPT for small businesses

All technology comes with some risk but choosing the right technology for your business can help mitigate some of the concerns. There are a few challenges to using ChatGPT, including:

Imperfect accuracy

ChatGPT is constantly under development, which translates to changes to the accuracy and experience over time. Controlling for the source of the data with a tool like XAPP AI minimizes the risk.

The technology may be biased

The bias comes from the training data, so controlling the source of the data can be a helpful way to lower the likelihood of bias influencing the experience.

Concerns about data security

In situations where customer information is captured, it is especially important to understand not just the flow of information out to the customer but the flow of information back into the tool. Look for a company that’s transparent about what data is captured, where it’s stored, and who has access to it

Like any new technology, it’s important to weigh the risks before making an investment with an impact on operations. While ChatGPT may not be the right answer for your small business, the underlying technology holds opportunities for all businesses wanting to be here in the future. 

If you are a small business owner, I encourage you to learn more about options like Optimal Conversations™ for SMBs, built specifically to meet small and midsized business needs.

Contact us to discuss how we can help any size business launch AI-powered search and chat solutions that answer customers’ questions, build trust and capture leads.

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