AI, Communications, and COVID: Leveraging New Tools to Deliver Smarter Conversations

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Click to learn more about author Simon Tindal.

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the buzz around AI has hit a fever pitch.

Already on a mind-boggling growth trajectory with IDC forecasting the worldwide spend on AI systems to grow at a 28.4% CAGR from 2018 to 2023, the COVID-19 pandemic has supercharged the amount of attention AI is receiving. Companies are increasingly looking for ways to leverage this technology to optimize their operations. And one area that stands to benefit the most is the way that companies and their customers can effectively engage in conversations.

As consumers shy away from in-person interactions, financial institutions, insurers, healthcare providers, and other industries have doubled down on digital transformation efforts and leveraged AI to more effectively engage consumers and more efficiently manage relationships.  With that in mind, here are four ways AI can empower enterprises to have smarter conversations with their customers.

Content Intelligence

Delivering engaging content, whatever the call to action may be, has always been a top priority for organizations. However, given communications such as mortgage disclosures or health insurance forms are often filled with specialized legal language or other jargon, making communications as easy to understand and impactful as possible can be incredibly challenging. But this is starting to change.

Thanks to AI, organizations are now able to derive more insight about what language works – or doesn’t work –than ever before. By providing real-time feedback, document authors are assured they are creating content in the right tone of voice and at the appropriate reading level for their specific audience.

And as AI tools become more advanced and improve their understanding of complex phraseology or legalese, a new dawn in terms of communications content construction could be on the horizon sooner than we think.


Personalization is one of the foremost differentiators between having successful customer conversations and falling short. The days are long gone when a generic email blast will suffice – and yet, with oftentimes millions of customer relationships to manage, it is also one of the most notorious pain points for businesses today. 

Customers want to feel like they are having a two-way conversation with brands that are specifically tailored to their needs and preferences. The good news is that companies are now empowered to better understand the communications that perform best, what a customer is most interested in, the questions they have asked in the past and more—balancing compliance with personalization. Additionally, companies can now also better understand readability, tone and sentiment and rationalize content across all communications so that only pre-approved wording is used to create a personalized conversation with every customer. These advancements drastically reduce the amount of time a business must spend building customer profiles, improve completion time for transactions or processes such as onboarding and allow for more informed decisions about how best to engage with each customer.

Communication Preferences and CX

The way consumers engage with brands has never been more diverse than it is today. Consumers now interact with brands across a wide range of devices, including mobile phones, voice assistants, and tablets. And consumers expect a consistent cross-device experience. This means it is crucial to optimize content-centric processes and assets, such as forms, for each device – making it a seamless experience for a customer to begin a process on one device and finish it on another. 

Typically, this has required a huge lift in IT time and resources for businesses. However, with AI, companies can build modules that assist with content authoring and automatically adapt experiences for cross-device use. For example, these AI modules can analyze form data fields and structure to then autonomously recreate them in web- or mobile-optimized formats. Similarly, organizations can leverage AI to support print-to-digital migration or template rationalization in order to ensure the right assets are being delivered efficiently across the right channels.

Operational Efficiency

Even with the adoption of digital-first technology and tools such as auto-correct and auto-fill, mistakes still occur in the communications process. Therefore, document review and approval are still important, and sometimes onerous, tasks for businesses.

Businesses can build a “first line of defense” against mistakes by adopting technology that provides a smarter level of error detection during initial form completion, so that customers can make changes before officially hitting “submit.” From there, should any errors slip past, potential concerns and anomalies can quickly be marked for internal form reviewers, allowing them to more quickly identify issues and follow up with consumers for clarification or edits. 

This allows for much more efficient review and approval processes, boosts customer satisfaction and also saves businesses valuable time and money.

Even before COVID-19, the AI revolution was already underway. However, the pandemic has accelerated digital transformation and AI adoption. Companies that were early to adopt AI are recognizing competitive benefits such as automating processes and revealing predictive analytics. But more importantly, they understand their customers like never before, resulting in better customer experiences and increased loyalty. AI stands to fundamentally change the way consumers and brands communicate moving forward. 

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