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After each AI workshop we deliver, our clients and attendees ask variations of the same question: “How can we create a ChatGPT-like solution for our website?” It’s the right question to be asking. AI enhanced interfaces are no longer a novelty, and forward-looking companies want to stay ahead of their customers' expectations. How soon will it be before users expect to find your brand’s chatbot ready in the bottom right corner? How will they feel about your brand if you don’t have one?

First Wave vs. Next Wave Chatbots

First-wave AI powered chatbots, like the early releases of GPT models, were certainly impressive, but they were limited to a broad, public set of training data. As such, their responses tended to be more general, lacking nuance, and were often outdated or just plain wrong. When ChatGPT, Bing Chat, and others launched with web searching capabilities, results improved but they were still based on broad information and remained frequently inaccurate.

A fine-tuned next-wave chatbot can provide answers far more relevant than a customer could get using ChatGPT directly or searching on Google

A next-wave chatbot is trained with your own data. This could be your public website, knowledge base, product catalog, location information, product order history, etc. With this contextual data, a next-wave chatbot can become a virtual expert on your business and significantly improve customer satisfaction.

We’re particularly excited to see Open AI has announced the ability to fine tune content, making it easier than ever to train the leading AI models on company-specific data. Beyond merely providing information, a next wave chatbot can adopt your brand voice, walk customers through a step-by-step process, or even perform actions on a customer’s behalf.

Novel New Wave Chatbot Solutions

Five Examples of Next Wave Chatbot Concepts from Different Industries

Most traditional untrained chatbots are a useful but limited website feature that sits in the bottom right corner of your customer’s screen. What if we could turn these often ignored bots into transformative agents ready to help you customers and employees tackle a wide range of tasks faster and more accurately?

To illustrate the potential of new wave chatbots, we have mapped out five concepts we are exploring at Mostly Serious, and these are still only a hint at what’s possible.

Illustrated machine parts and a checklist
Manufacturing & B2B Chatbots

Predictive Maintenance and Parts Ordering

In the B2B sector, particularly for manufacturers that sell large-scale equipment, a chatbot can serve as both a shopping assistant and a predictive maintenance expert. Imagine a chatbot that not only knows every detail about your account but also predicts when your equipment might need new parts. By analyzing past orders and maintenance schedules, the bot can proactively suggest relevant parts for replacement. This not only streamlines the procurement process but also minimizes downtime due to equipment failure.

Example commands:

  • "Order filters for Model Y3000" to initiate an immediate purchase.
  • Ask for "Maintenance history of Model Z4500" to review past maintenance activities and make informed decisions.
  • "Compare Model Y3000 and Model Z4500" for a side-by-side comparison of different models, aiding in future procurement decisions.
  • Request "Predictive maintenance schedule for Q3" to proactively manage equipment upkeep.
Destination Marketing Chatbots

Help People Find the Perfect Local Experience

Destination chatbots serve as a virtual concierge, assisting users in planning trips, organizing conferences, and discovering local attractions. They’re a massive boost to destination marketing and sites, and we’ve already implemented one to support visitors who want to organize conferences, plan trips, and find tickets to their favorite teams.

Here’s how destination chatbots improve experiences:

  • Plan a family trip, including lodging, activities, and dining options using natural language.
  • Conference organizers are set up for success with simple prompts such as “I’m interested in holding a conference in this city, where do I get started?”
  • Ask “I’d like to buy tickets to the local favorite sports team’s next game” to be directed right to the team’s ecommerce website.
  • Leverage existing guides, like dining guides, to surface information to users more effectively.
Illustrated travel related items
Illustrated non-profit related icons such as a globe and shaking hands
Nonprofit Donor Relations Chatbot

Showcase Your Nonprofit's Achievements

For nonprofits, showcasing the good you do for your communities is an integral part of donor relations. A fine-tuned chatbot can share success stories, provide updates on ongoing projects, and even suggest donation amounts based on past donor behavior. By maintaining this level of personalized communication, nonprofits can significantly improve donor retention and fundraising efforts using chatbots.

Here's how donors can engage:

  • Ask "What projects are currently underway?" for real-time updates on ongoing initiatives.
  • Use a prompt like "Tell me a success story" to hear about the impactful work the nonprofit has done.
  • Ask "How has my last donation been used?" to get a personalized update on successes since the user's last donation.
  • Request "Suggested donation amount" based on past donation behavior for a tailored giving experience.
Ecommerce Shopping Assistant Chatbot

Help Customers Find Products

Users often browse or search for content on websites, but an Ecommerce Assistant AI chatbot can blend both approaches, adding a personal touch to the shopping experience. For example, a user could ask the AI to find a Mother's Day gift for under $500 based on their mom's interests, and the AI would respond with relevant options and an "add to cart" button, simplifying and personalizing the process.

Shopping assistant chatbots enhance the online shopping experience by offering personalized product recommendations and streamlining the purchase process. Here's what shoppers can do:

  • Use a query like "Find me a laptop under $1,000 with good battery life" to get a curated list of products.
  • Ask "What are the top-rated kitchen appliances?" to receive recommendations based on customer reviews.
  • Prompt the bot with "Gift ideas for a tech-savvy dad" for personalized gift suggestions.
  • Request "Show me my last five orders" for a quick review of recent purchases.
Illustrated gifts and shopping items
Illustrated documents and office supplies
Internal Assistant Chatbots

Make Employees More Productive

Chatbots aren’t limited to helping customers and leads. The significant time cost of employees looking for the information required to do their jobs has been well established since a study by IDC found that knowledge workers spend more than a full day per week just looking for information. A more recent survey by Gartner found that 47% of digital workers struggle to find the information or data needed to effectively perform their jobs.

Now, imagine a new wave chatbot that could allow your employees to access the information they need, wherever it was originally housed, within seconds. Being available 24/7, chatbots ensure that employees can access the information they need at any time without pulling in other humans, further saving time and money for your business.

Example commands:

  • Ask "Where can I find our leave policy?" to get a link to the proper section of the company’s leave policy.
  • Get the exact policy language on any topic simply by requesting it in natural language, such as "What's the procedure for claiming travel expenses?"
  • Request "How did our Q2 sales compare to Q1 this year?" to analyze complex data quickly.
  • Take a shortcut to access processes by asking "Can you guide me through the onboarding checklist for new hires?"

The Future Is Fine-Tuned

Businesses are right to be thinking ahead about AI and asking, “what’s next?” Chatbots have moved from novel to normal at a rapid pace. And we believe that providing a more relevant, fine-tuned chatbot will soon be what customers and employees expect from every organization. By investing in building AI solutions today, you will establish a competitive advantage.

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