Impel Expands Automotive Digital Engagement Platform with Chat AI

Impel Expands Automotive Digital Engagement Platform with Chat AI

Chat AI enables dealers to engage shoppers with a fully automated conversational chat experience.

Impel announced that it is launching Chat AI, an automated conversational agent powered by generative AI.

Chat AI enables auto dealers and OEMs to engage shoppers with a fully automated conversational chat experience that delivers hyper-personalized, human-like responses to consumer questions.

The company’s newest application combines the natural language processing capabilities of generative AI and a mix of large language models (LLMs) with integrations and optimizations designed specifically for auto retailers. Chat AI is fully integrated with Impel’s AI-powered communication suite, including Sales AI and Service AI, according to the company.

Scripted chatbots and outsourced chat services lack the flexibility and business intelligence necessary to effectively respond to the wide variety of questions posed by today’s vehicle shoppers, Impel said. As a result, these solutions often fail to resolve customer inquiries without human intervention from dealership staff. Generative AI technologies, such as OpenAI’s ChatGPT platform, address many of these shortcomings with natural language processing (NLP) capabilities and generalized LLMs capable of engaging consumers in human-like conversations on virtually any subject. By combining the latest generative AI technology with a proprietary optimization layer and deep operational integrations, Impel’s Chat AI delivers personalized, VIN-specific responses that drive superior business outcomes for dealers and OEMs.

Key components of Impel’s Chat AI include:

  • State-of-the-art Generative AI technology integrated with a mix of proprietary models and foundational LLMs to optimize conversation design and performance.
  • A unique optimization layer that leverages domain-specific prompt engineering based on more than 100 million automotive consumer interactions, paired with deep data and system integrations, to deliver brand-compliant responses optimized for dealer and OEM conversion paths. Impel’s highly tuned control layer overcomes the challenge of “hallucinations” that exist with generalized large language model applications.
  • An advanced personalization engine powered by bi-directional digital merchandising integration and collaborative filtering to maximize consumer engagement.
  • A single, unified platform across all dealership channels and touchpoints (sales, service and website chat) for comprehensive customer behavioral profiles and maximum operational efficiency.

Impel’s full-lifecycle platform provides dealers with a unified solution for delivering personalized experiences to consumers at every touchpoint. By connecting digital merchandising capabilities and AI-powered communications, dealers are able to uncover and address individual customer needs while reducing their reliance on labor-intensive human interactions. For example, if a shopper uses webchat to inquire about the availability and price of a specific minivan after exploring the safety features of several vehicles offered on a dealer’s website, Chat AI will respond by:

a) Confirming the vehicle’s availability and dealer-approved pricing
b) Injecting videos to help explain key safety features of the requested minivan
c) Delivering 360 video walkarounds of additional vehicles with similar prices and safety features
d) Converting and scheduling a test drive appointment

The consumer interaction and all relevant information is automatically populated in the dealer’s CRM system, alerting sales team members and triggering automated text or email follow-up by Impel’s Sales AI based on the optimal channel and time of day for that shopper.

“The auto industry is in the throes of an AI evolution, with dealers embracing automation to overhaul labor-intensive operations and combat increasing margin pressures,” said Devin Daly, Impel co-founder and CEO. “As the category creator of conversational AI for the auto sector, we’re proud to be introducing the industry’s most performant chat solution. Our full-lifecycle communication platform provides vehicle retailers with a unified solution for delivering more engaging experiences while at the same time increasing customer lifetime value.”

Impel has been developing domain-specific large language models and AI applications for the auto industry since 2018. Over the past two years, the company has made two acquisitions and secured more than $100 million in growth funding.

“Impel’s AI-powered platform has been a game-changer for us — driving meaningful productivity improvements across our sales and service operations,” said Jeremy Nowling, sales digital retailing & implementation director, Rohrman Automotive Group. “Chat AI enables us to generate even greater operating efficiencies while delivering superior experiences for our customers. Impel has been a great partner to us and their continued commitment to bringing technology-driven innovations to auto retailers has been unmatched. We look forward to working with them to automate even more of our customer touchpoints and workflows in the future.”

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