The proliferation of Large Language Models (LLM) such as ChatGPT have made it possible for companies all over the world to access previously unavailable expansion opportunities. For example, the capacity to communicate with customers and to automate processes related to customer service has the potential to completely transform the way in which we conduct business. However, for businesses to fully capitalize on the potential offered by LLM, they must first understand their motivations behind utilization of this technology.
Our goal is to arm organizational leadership teams to intelligently discuss business strategy alignment with this compelling new technology, the risks that are associated with LLM, and how to strategically position your company so that it can take advantage of this innovation.
Dear Board of Directors,
Thanks to the viral growth of ChatGPT, you have all likely heard about the amazing potential of this new technology:
- ChatGPT could threaten 300 million jobs around the world
- ChatGPT helps entrepreneurs start a new business for $100
- Ways Generative AI Could Revolutionize Your Customer Experience
We have an opportunity to enhance our customer experiences, improve our employees’ efficiency and potentially create entirely new services thanks to these recent advances in Artificial Intelligence technology. However, in order for our business to harness this power we need to discuss how the technology reimagines, supports or potentially threatens our current business strategy.
Reviewing our Organizational Landscape
The technology known as LLM is rapidly advancing, and several companies have already incorporated it into their operations (such as Microsoft). However, before we can jump on the bandwagon of implementing the technology, we need to first evaluate the initiatives already in-flight and determine how best to embed it into our organization. Below are some key functional areas and where we see opportunities and threats:
Sales – we see opportunities to improve our presales outreach, including lead generation, communication, and even contract negotiation via AI-enabled functionality in our current CRM.
Marketing – clear opportunities to enhance our current outreach across channels and potentially even reimagining marketing via things such as LLM-enabled chatbots and integrated automation that may dramatically improve our advertising placement strategies.
Product – we see a mix of both opportunities and threats given our mix of online products and also more traditional services that are typically done via our team members. There are efficiencies we can readily enable for our online products and potentially we can do the same via a digital co-pilot approach for our offline products. However, it is likely that our offline products will be threatened by newly emerging competitors that are building their business around native customized AI driven experiences.
Customer Support – Clear opportunities to improve the quality and efficiency of our customer support processes since a core capability of all these LLMs is rapid synthesis of content into meaningful and timely responses.
Support Functions – Limited efficiency opportunities to enhance our financial management. Most of the LLM capabilities are related to text interpretation and we don’t see a tremendous lift to our CFO-related functions.
Planting Some Seeds
It is impossible to determine with any precision the long-term impact of the LLM technology because of its revolutionary nature. It is POSSIBLE that the technology could completely automate our customer service processes, which would result in an increase in productivity and a decrease in expenses. Additionally, it COULD personalize our customer interactions to an unprecedented level, enhancing our customer loyalty and lifetime customer value. However, the only meaningful way to determine this is through a series of controlled, measurable experiments that help us evaluate the impact.
As a result, I am advocating for 2-3 minimal viable product enhancements be conducted across functional areas we believe will be impacted by this technology:
I am asking for your support to assemble a small, nimble cross-functional team for each business area. That team would be responsible for analyzing the current processes, identifying LLM opportunities, and developing an internal prototype within six weeks for our collective review. Together we can identify the most compelling candidates for further refinement and potentially a limited rollout so that we can measure the real impact to our buiness.
It’s critical to remember that the success of these AI capabilities sits with the people and processes as much as the underlying technologies.
Managing Our Risks
LLMs come with their own unique set of dangers, just like any other type of technology. As a result, it is vital that we conduct a risk assessment prior to implementing ChatGPT (or any other LLM) within our ecosystem. The protection of our customer information is consistently cited as one of the most significant dangers, and there are other considerations to consider.
To reduce the potential impacts of these dangers, I have asked our Chief Security Officer and our Chief Risk Officer to begin a holistic analysis of the implications of using LLMs within our organization, including usage and sharing of our data. This risk assessment will run in parallel to the Proof-of-Concept activities outlined above and we will collectively review the results before any POC is released into production.
In conclusion, ChatGPT has the potential to revolutionize the processes that are involved in providing customer service and to streamline operations. However, in order for businesses to derive the maximum benefit from the technology, they must first comprehend the "Why" behind their application of the technology. In order to provide customers with experiences that are genuine and pertinent to their needs, it is essential to have a robust business strategy that treats technology as a subsidiary rather than a driving force.
Businesses are able to achieve success and position themselves as leaders in the changing landscape if they conduct an analysis of their current initiatives, assess the risks associated with those initiatives, and strategically position themselves. Keep in mind that business strategy should come first, followed by technology.