Kia Motors America is introducing an artificial intelligence-powered virtual assistant named “Kian” to guide consumers through the shopping experience.
The intelligent assistant can be found on the Kia Facebook Messengerpage and will soon be available on the automaker's website, kia.com. Information that can be communicated includes product information, local inventory, current pricing offers and comparisons to competitive vehicles.
“Kian” builds on the success of the automaker's first model-specific bot, NiroBot which launched in November 2016. In the last year, Kia realized more than 875,000 engagements from more than 33,000 consumers with more than 22,000 Niro crossovers sold to date.
Kian creates a single digital expert that enables one-on-one support 24/7. It was created by CarLabs, a marketing-tech and conversational commerce platform provider, and Kia’s digital agency Ansible.
In addition to features found in NiroBot, Kian will allow shoppers to research pricing, estimate payments, learn about special offers, view photos and videos, compare against the competition, search vehicle inventory and find nearby dealers all through a mobile-native conversation on Facebook Messenger.
Kian will also help shoppers find their match by answering a series of simple questions. Kian’s sophisticated natural language processing ability also allows shoppers to ask specific questions on hundreds of topics. Shoppers can do all of this without leaving the Facebook Messenger platform. There is the option to connect with Kia’s Consumer Affairs or live chat representative.
The bot consists of tools that understand and can respond to natural language and is coupled with the industry’s most comprehensive automotive database. It also has a sophisticated analytics engine that optimizes the experience based on user input and data.
Kian can also respond contextually to commands such as: "Show me an SUV that gets at least 25 miles per gallon in the city" or "show me the current inventory at my local Kia dealer."
“As more shoppers use the system, it learns to anticipate questions, provides more specific answers and gets smarter over time,” says Martin Schmitt, CEO and co-founder of CarLabs, Inc. “Having access to that level of shopper data is a powerful tool for understanding and serving customers better than previously possible.”