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What We Have Learned About AI in CCM so Far

By Richard Huff

Increased awareness of artificial intelligence (AI) has drawn attention to how AI is used throughout corporate systems, including customer communications management (CCM).  AI is being woven into the fabric of business, becoming an integral part of both the design and content of an organization’s customer communications. Despite the current publicity, which makes the technology appear novel, AI has been in use long enough to penetrate nearly every element within the IT infrastructure, including CCM systems.

AI and its transformational capabilities have emerged at a time when widespread digital adoption has burdened organizations with massive amounts of data, while at the same time, customer expectations are high. As organizations digitize communications to better meet customer demands, AI-augmented CCM tools provide the ability to improve the customer experience with enhanced efficiency and effectiveness.

As an example, organizations looking to upgrade from a legacy platform often face a difficult transition process. Converting document layouts from proprietary formats for use in new CCM platforms is both cumbersome and time-consuming. New AI-based tools ingest legacy document formats and evaluate and identify common elements, including logos, headers, and paragraphs, used across multiple document templates. The tools break down the templates into reusable content elements and categorize each element by style and usage in a content library. The new CCM platform ingests content elements from the library while retaining the individual elements. Any changes made to an element, such as revision of a corporate logo or a legal disclaimer, propagate automatically across all document templates where that element is used.

Generative AI tools also enable organizations to improve the language used in customer communications. The tool can be trained to adjust the complexity of phrases and sentences used in a document for a specific reading level. AI tools can also change the sentiment of the language without changing the intent.

With its ability to quickly scrutinize vast volumes of data, AI is a boon for organizations dealing with millions of daily communications, but its lack of transparency introduces serious risks. The inability of AI to provide visibility into the reasoning and decisioning process creates several obstacles. It’s essential to understand the risks of relying solely on AI. Without transparency, it’s impossible to explain why a decision was made or produce an audit trail showing that corporate policies were followed. If a business cannot demonstrate how an outcome was reached, its compliance department is at risk for potential regulatory repercussions or class action lawsuits. Opaque AI also makes it difficult to prevent bias. Generative AI systems utilize massive datasets to make decisions. When the data, algorithms, or decision-making processes used in training an AI system are biased, the results can also be biased. Determining when and why an erroneous decision occurred is the only way to teach the AI engine how to spot similar issues in the future. Constant input and refinement improve the learning model.

Ultimately, AI-augmented tools enhance productivity and accelerate response times for well-defined queries. The tools analyze data for repeatable patterns and assume future activity will follow the same patterns; however, the tools can generate gibberish when facing new patterns and are prone to recreate biases in the underlying dataset. Without supervision, AI-based tools are vulnerable to complex or poorly defined scenarios and inquiries, so the resulting output suffers from trust and reliability issues. With human oversight, organizations can benefit from AI tools with their ability to enhance the construction and clarity of customer communications.

Over the past two decades, Madison Advisors' industry-neutral expertise enables enterprise organizations, service providers and technology providers to achieve their strategic objectives around today’s evolving customer communications management (CCM) requirements.
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