Generative AI tools like ChatGPT positively influence customer service employees by enhancing their productivity and the way customers interact with them, a groundbreaking study reveals.
A National Bureau of Economic Research working paper noted the scarcity of research on the economic consequences of generative AI. Although these tools have shown promise in lab environments, concerns persist about their potential for “hallucination” and generating plausible yet incorrect information.
The first large-scale study of generative AI’s workplace impact was conducted by researchers at Stanford University and MIT. Over a year, they observed over 5,000 customer support agents at a Fortune 500 software company.
Productivity, measured by the number of resolved customer issues per hour, increased by an average of 13.8% when employees used conversational AI software. Generative AI creates new content based on learned models. In this study, over 5,000 workers used a recent version of OpenAI’s Generative Pre-trained Transformer to monitor customer chats and offer real-time response suggestions.
With AI assistance, employees responded faster, resolved issues more effectively, and handled more customers. This technology also improved customer interactions with workers and reduced the likelihood of customers escalating issues to supervisors.
According to the study, AI assistance notably improved customer interactions with agents, reduced turnover, especially among newer workers, and lowered the likelihood of customers requesting a supervisor. New and lower-skilled employees benefited the most from this technology.
Using generative AI, employees with just two months of experience performed at the same level as those with six months of experience without AI assistance. Lower-skilled workers experienced a 35% increase in hourly resolutions. In contrast, higher-skilled workers did not gain as much from using generative AI.
Inbenta, a technology firm specializing in conversational chatbots, reported similar or better outcomes when using AI in customer support. Inbenta’s AI technology serves over 250 global brands across various industries.
Despite studies suggesting that generative AI might replace millions of jobs globally, the NBER report highlights the positive effects of incorporating AI alongside human workers.
The researchers concluded that generative AI can significantly impact individual workers’ productivity and retention when working in tandem with humans.
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