The launch of ChatGPT has created a buzz and a general sense of excitement. People have started exploring the possibilities of leveraging ChatGPT for business and personal purposes. It is expected to help businesses in many ways, including (but not limited to) improvements in the customer journey and experience, sales cycle improvements, and content creation and management. Hence, expectations are that the applications of ChatGPT will be diverse and for assorted business purposes.
It opens up opportunities to explore the utility of ChatGPT for entrepreneurship. To understand how ChatGPT can help entrepreneurs, we must look at what an entrepreneur does and what are the unique characteristics of an entrepreneur. An entrepreneur is a person who, based on his or her understanding of opportunities, builds a new business enterprise to tap into those available opportunities and create wealth. Entrepreneurship is characterized by calculated risk-taking, creativity and innovation, commitment to goals, and the resilience to stick to the desired goals. Entrepreneurs do not hesitate to try new things, and in fact, their success is often dependent on leveraging innovation in processes and technologies to come up with new products and services to meet the changing needs of customers. In the process, entrepreneurs drive change and amplify shifts in consumer behavior.
Given such a tendency, using artificial intelligence (AI) could be a game changer as it allows entrepreneurs to bring new ideas to life. The recent developments in generative AI (i.e., ChatGPT) are surely something that entrepreneurs will be keen to explore and investigate how applications like ChatGPT can be used. With that in mind, below we look at five potential ways in which ChatGPT can help entrepreneurs achieve their goals.
Designing a valuable customer experience journey is vital to entrepreneurial endeavors. The use of technology plays a significant role toward that end. For instance, organizations use various types of AI bots, such as chatbots, callbots, and smart assistants, to achieve their goals of working with customers in their purchase journey (before, during, and after the purchase of a product or a service). These AI bots are used for handling customer queries, directing customer concerns to the right people or departments for handling, recording customer experiences for analytics, and building human-machine solutions for enhancing customer satisfaction. ChatGPT is now an additional tool to achieve such goals.
The key to successful use of AI bots is their natural language processing (NLP) capabilities. If the bots are able to understand customers, their needs, and concerns, they are expected to be much more hands-on in helping improve the customer experience.
ChatGPT, being an NLP-based application, provides an opportunity for entrepreneurs to understand the potential of NLP-based applications for their entrepreneurial pursuits. As often is the case, entrepreneurs start their endeavor with limited resources and hence may not be able to use sophisticated AI applications. If they don’t have any prior experience with the use of AI bots, they may not be able to recognize and strategize the use of an AI bot for their endeavor. Therefore, the freely available ChatGPT application provides an opportunity for entrepreneurs to interact with the system and understand the potential capabilities and limitations of NLP-based applications for their endeavor. It will also help in strategizing the use of such applications at the right time (i.e., when they have the funds and internal capabilities).
ChatGPT can be used for idea generation and market research. These features of ChatGPT can be an asset for entrepreneurs to do their homework before investing in an endeavor. Entrepreneurs can use different keywords around their initial idea to see answers to their questions and use the snowballing technique to ask follow-up questions. It will help them gain clarity and then decide which idea they want to pursue by considering other ground realities. According to ChatGPT, it can be used for finding “information on industry trends, competitor analysis, customer behavior, and more.”
ChatGPT brings together knowledge from several professional domains and knowledge areas, which makes it handy for gaining a perspective on an issue of interest. It will help bring clarity to entrepreneurs, as starting a new endeavor means dealing with a host of uncertainties. The initial perspective gained from the use of ChatGPT can be used by the entrepreneur as a springboard to have a discussion with an expert in the field. Further, given that an entrepreneur need not be knowledgeable in everything related to the endeavor that s/he plans to start, ChatGPT can indeed be very handy for providing information in a tailored manner specific to the query to get started.
For instance, a query such as "what type of technological innovations are used in the food and beverage industry" in ChatGPT provided a number of areas of innovation including the Internet of Things, AI, augmented and virtual reality, and block chain that can be used in the food and beverage industry. In relation to the use of augmented and virtual reality in the food and beverage industry, ChatGPT gave an example of its use, suggesting “AR can be used to display nutritional information or to provide interactive menus, while VR can be used to provide virtual restaurant experiences.”
This one simple example from ChatGPT shows the valuable information that an entrepreneur can gain quickly to understand an issue of interest and do further follow-ups as needed. It saves time and gives a head start on working with the existing information.
Entrepreneurial endeavors typically face a host of uncertainties associated with the internal and external environment of the endeavor. These relate to internal capabilities, the market environment, technology, and the regulatory environment. Effectively dealing with problems is therefore key to the success of an endeavor. ChatGPT can be very helpful in finding potential answers to the problems at hand.
For example, when ChatGPT was asked the question "Customer is upset, what shall I do?", it provided a number of solutions suggesting: 1) remain calm and professional; 2) listen actively; 3) apologize; 4) offer a solution; and 5) follow up.
In concluding remarks, ChatGPT suggested, "Remember, the goal is to resolve the issue and leave the customer feeling heard and valued. By taking these steps, you can help turn a negative experience into a positive one."
This simple example speaks volumes about the utility of ChatGPT for handling problems. Entrepreneurs can strategize to use ChatGPT for their own and their staff's use for problem handling and resolution.
The availability of ChatGPT affords opportunities to gain first-hand experience of interacting with an AI system. It helps in understanding the benefits and challenges in relation to human-machine interaction. Gaining such an experience can be very useful for entrepreneurs to strategize how they optimize human-machine interaction for their endeavor’s growth.
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