Business

ChatGPT and Our MSP

Post by
John Snyder

This new interactive artificial intelligence (AI) tool called ChatGPT captivated my team and I this week. If you haven’t seen it yet, it’s an intuitive website that behaves just like a typical chatbot does. You type into a text box, hit Enter, and get a response back. It’s not at all like one of those stilted chatbots we’ve all interacted with when trying to get support on a vendor’s website, and it’s not at all like a Google search either. What’s notable about ChatGPT is that you can ask all sorts of open ended or subjective requests, and you get an oftentimes surprisingly good answer back. And what’s more, there is persistence in the chat, so you can continue to develop your request in a conversational manner. There’s persistence, or memory, of what you inquired about prior so you can genuinely shape and adapt your inquiries as you go. It’s incredibly easy to use. And it’s free.

Use Cases to Experiment With

We of course spent some time getting it to “talk like a pirate” while giving travel tips, or had it tell us jokes about pumpkins and peanut butter. But we used the tool in several serious ways, and I’d like to touch on several of these use cases here:

Job Descriptions

We were able to feed entire job descriptions into the chat and simply asked it to “make a better job description”…and it did. It improved the language, standardized some of the phrasing, and put some of the content in bullet form. The result was much more clear and readable. And we got the result in about 5 seconds.

Risk Guidance

We put in a query about the top 7 risks that a small business of our description needs to consider. The response had 7 bullet points: economic downturn, competition, changes in customer preferences, regulatory changes, cash flow problems, employee turnover, and cybersecurity threats. Along with each one was a description, such as this one that accompanied cybersecurity threats:

“Small businesses are often targets for cyberattacks, which can result in data breaches, loss of sensitive information, and damage to their reputation.”

We continued to ask for 7 additional risks until it started repeating itself, and then I asked it to de-duplicate the list and rank all the risks it had listed so far in order of likelihood. It did. I asked it to then prioritize them in terms of impact. It did. I didn’t agree fully with where it ranked everything, but given the inputs it was still striking how good this was.

Marketing Communication

We needed to compose a new email as part of one of our ongoing marketing campaigns, so we put in the query “write an email to a customer from their IT service provider, asking for…” and put in the basic call to action of the marketing campaign. It gave us a “Dear valued customer” two paragraph email that was in wonderful prose.

It wasn’t quite what we were looking for though, so we continued the chat with “write this email with a friendlier tone, emphasizing this will lower costs.” Sure enough, two of the sentences in the proposed email included how we are working on getting “the most competitive prices” and that we could “find ways to lower your costs.” The tone was only slightly more friendly, but the communication was still of a very high caliber. We continued the chat with a 3rd set of refinements, and got what was essentially a ready-to-go communication. We still went on to compose our own message, but this exercise demonstrated that we could lean on ChatGPT to generate above average marketing content with minimal time and effort.

Business Guidance

We asked how to encourage more collaboration between teams, and got 5 helpful tips (4 of which we were already working on, but one was novel and interesting). The chat provided this helpful blurb as a closing to the list: “By implementing these strategies, you can encourage collaboration and foster a more cohesive and productive work environment. This can help to drive innovation, improve team performance, and ultimately lead to better business results.” Wow. We also asked the tool how to handle various disputes and customer concerns, and got back all sorts of tips and ways to respond to a complaint. We pushed and pushed the tool too during these inquiries, continuing to refute suggestions with simple chats on our end like “this did not work” or “the customer is still unsatisfied”, and we kept getting more developed and interesting responses. We even asked what a business could to be “truly great”, and got a response that was centered around exceptional customer service and embracing innovation.

We will continue to explore more creative uses for this tool in the weeks ahead. I’ve kept a ChatGPT dedicated window open and visible on my screen for much of the week this past week. I’ve turned to it again and again, and found that it’s highly complementary to my work. I’ve felt more creative, engaged, and relaxed this work week with this tool by my side. And unlike Google searches, which point me towards more articles and videos that I can research and work to compile on my own, this tool presents refined and actionable results I can build on. The power of ChatGPT is that it gives me a starting point, a seed, a foundation to build on.

If you haven’t started using ChatGPT, you really should check it out. I know that here at Net Friends we’re going to embrace these useful tools. We will continue to experiment with them to see how we can best leverage them best in the service of our customers and team. For the first time in a long while, I’ve seen something as powerful as Google search was when it first came out. And I’m thrilled at the possibilities that lie ahead, as ChatGPT or equivalent AI systems like this will only get better and better as the large language model and generative pre-trained transformer (GPT) that it’s based on expands.

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