CommentaryJun 20th, 2023

Dealership Data is Key to Unlocking the True Power of ChatGPT



It’s everywhere. It’s taken over social media and the evening news - it’s come up in work meetings and over dinner with family and friends. People can’t seem to stop talking about this groundbreaking AI - and for good reason. 

The hype and excitement surrounding ChatGPT is due, in large, to the endless possibilities this revolutionary AI brings to the table. ChatGPT has sparked a wave of creativity and discovery across the globe as every industry has set out on a mission to find new uses for this technology. While we don’t yet fully know the full breadth of ChatGPT’s capabilities or what the future holds for generative AI, one thing is certain - this tech is here to change the game.

Understanding the Basics

In case you need a quick refresher, ChatGPT is a state-of-the-art large language model (LLM) developed by OpenAI that has revolutionized the field of AI with a chatbot designed to engage in natural, contextually aware conversations. 

The GPT in ChatGPT stands for Generative Pre-trained Transformer, a type of neural network-based machine learning. In a series of successive releases, OpenAI has progressed the sophistication of its GPT model by training it on ever larger sets of data, exposing the tech to a wide range of sentences and their context. After training, ChatGPT can then take input from users to generate responses based on the information and patterns it learned. 

Implications for Automotive

In the automotive industry, ChatGPT has already proven to be an absolute game changer as industry professionals are finding new applications to help manufacturers and dealers improve their operations and offer a better customer experience.

One such application is using ChatGPT to monitor and QA incoming calls to dealerships and using the technology to create an executive summary that is then sent to managers of relevant departments. This process has proven helpful in increasing transparency for upper management and reduces time spent on manual tasks.

So far, the biggest application for ChatGPT has been the integration of the AI into dealership chatbot technology. Onsite ChatGPT-powered chatbots have far surpassed the industry-leading chatbot technologies with their ability to hold contextually aware conversations with shoppers and provide them with highly accurate and specific information in response to their inquiries. This takes the dealership website shopping experience to a whole new level as it allows shoppers to do their research and get their questions answered at the source. 

Integrations Are Key

The most mind-blowing aspect of ChatGPT is that it continues to learn over time as it is introduced to additional data sets. The more data the model is fed, the more knowledge and context it can acquire and the better its answers will be. This presents a huge opportunity for dealers to supercharge the already extraordinary capabilities of ChatGPT using their own first-party data. 

Dealers with a Customer Data Platform (CDP) in place at their dealership can utilize public APIs to integrate ChatGPT into their tech stack, giving the AI the ability to train on their proprietary data. This unlocks a world of possibilities as it gives ChatGPT a chance to become an expert on the dealership, the services it offers, the inventory it has in stock, and more, allowing it to reply to shopper questions with hyper-specific information that is directly relevant to the dealership. 

On top of that, because CDPs unify dealership first-party data sources like the CRM, ad data, and website analytics when ChatGPT gets integrated into that system, the technology receives a wealth of shopper information. ChatGPT can then use that data - including specific demographics information, previous engagements with the dealership, and ads or emails the customer received - to draw a clear picture of the customer’s needs and preferences, allowing it to engage using targeted, personalized messaging.

Consider this: A shopper visits a dealership website and converts on a specific VDP. A few weeks later, the shopper returns to the website and is prompted by ChatGPT to engage in a conversation about the vehicle they previously showed interest in. ChatGPT answers the specific questions the shopper has about the make and model, makes suggestions based on the customer’s questions, confirms the dealership has the customer’s vehicles of interest on the lot, books a test ride with the customer for the next day, and sends a summary of the discussion to the dealership so they can review and confirm the appointment. 

ChatGPT provides dealers with the ability to create excellent customer experiences like the one described above. It provides specific answers, follows the natural flow of conversation, and uses information provided by the customer to personalize its responses according to their needs. On top of that, ChatGPT works to encourage the customer to convert on the website or book an appointment and ensures the dealership is prepared for the next engagement with the customer with a summary report of the entire interaction. 

Data-Driven ChatGPT

ChatGPT is an impressive technology on its own, but data integrations have the ability to make it so much more impactful. By using first-party data to drive customer engagements, ChatGPT can help dealerships improve their shopper experience tenfold, all while improving dealer operations. 

ChatGPT is changing retail automotive, and it’s time to get on board. 

Ilana Shabtay is the VP of Marketing at Fullpath, Automotive’s first customer data and experience platform (CDXP). She is an experienced marketer, highly skilled in digital marketing and artificial intelligence, and the host of the InsideAuto podcast. Having spent almost a decade in the automotive industry, Ilana continues to develop critical skills to drive marketing and serve the dealership community in a new era of technology.

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