In a highly competitive retail automotive environment, delivering personalized customer experiences throughout the entire car buying journey can give your dealership a competitive edge. Today on Inside Automotive, we discuss how digital engagement is transforming the future of car buying with Devin Daly, Co-founder and CEO of Impel.
After its acquisition of Pulsar AI in May of 2021, SpinCar became Impel. The acquisition extended Impel’s value proposition beyond merchandising to a full-scale digital engagement platform.
Impel’s Sales AI product has scaled from 10 customers to almost a thousand in one year. Throughout that process, Impel heard from key customers that they were considering automation and AI as a way to cope with staffing gaps across their ecosystem, including the Service drive. With that in mind, Impel acquired CarLabs.ai in October 2022, which automates outbound Service communications to drive loyalty and retention. On the merchandising side, there is demand from dealers and OEMs alike to “create consistency in the user experience across various locations,” says Daly.
Coming off of a successful 2022, Impel is announcing a very exciting start to 2023. The company received a $104 million equity investment led by Silversmith Capital Partners. The organic investment will be allocated to accelerate research, development, and engineering efforts. The second area of investment centers around building out performance management to better assist dealer partners with the transition to automation technology. On the inorganic side, Daly says there has been a lot of success with Impel’s first two acquisitions, but now there is an opportunity to provide a unified experience for dealers.
“There is a unique dynamic at play for dealers right now”, says Daly. “Dealers are receiving an enormous amount of lead volume, and yet, they are struggling with labor scarcity. Impel’s AI helps each store manage this massive number of leads while operating with 20-30% less staff.
“There is definitely a focus from dealers, heading into 2023 with used vehicle prices softening, on doing more with less. How can they use AI—automation technology– to continue selling more vehicles and continue driving more service without needing to hire up to support that additional revenue,” explains Daly.
Driving retention in the service lane is top-of-mind for dealers as well. Most service BDCs are reactive, not proactive, says Daly. This results in a massive in-flow of calls that the BDC can’t answer, and in lost revenue as service personnel don’t have the time or scalability to address the thousands of customer opportunities in the dealership database.
Customers crave a consistent user experience, and more transactions are happening online than ever before. Dealers must ensure that shoppers have the tools they need, at every touchpoint, ready and available.
To learn more, schedule a demo with Impel here, or visit booth #4802 at the upcoming 2023 NADA Show.