Driving Scalable Success for Customers, Yext Increases Customer Advocacy by 10x
"With Gainsight, we can structure our customer journey to repeatedly deliver success. Since last year, we’ve seen a significant increase in retention, and advocacy is through the roof.”
- Wendi Sturgis, CCO
Yext is defining a new category called digital knowledge management, which helps businesses manage all of the public facts that they want consumers to know across the digital ecosystem. For example, companies will use Yext to keep their store hours, menus, offerings, and contact information up to date across the web. Yext Listings, Pages, and Reviews help businesses around the globe facilitate face-to-face and digital interactions that boost brand awareness, drive foot traffic, and increase sales.
Customers subscribe to the platform in annual contracts through direct sale and through partners. Their Customer Success organization is rapidly growing, from about 40 members a year ago to 75 members today. Renewals are owned by the CS org, while Expansion is owned by Sales.
“Our organization was performing well with great individual efforts but we needed the right systems to scale long term, continually improve retention, and drive new business through advocacy.”
– Tim Sedwitz, Director of CS Strategy & Operations
Even before evaluating Gainsight, Yext’s customer retention was strong. But maintaining that renewal rate required a significant amount of effort to achieve. Yext recognized the need to structure the customer journey to help them scale and to deliver a consistent experience. Specifically, they wanted to take a more prescriptive approach to launch and onboarding so customers could reach value faster.
Yext was eager to incorporate the voice of the customer into the product. Their platform was growing, but certain areas were lagging in adoption. Yext needed to know from the customer why this was happening so they could steer the product to more directly align with needs.
Their Customer Success leadership recognized a missed opportunity in Customer Advocacy. NPS was high, but they weren’t doing as much as they could be to convert this large pool of potential advocates into impact for their Sales team and spotlights for their customers.
“We now have a clear view into where a customer is in their journey and how they’re trending. And with very little effort, we’re identifying advocates that are excited to share how we’ve added value for their business.”
– Lauren Crocetti, VP Client Services
For streamlining onboarding and the customer lifecycle, Yext uses a series of automated Success Plans to guide customers through major lifecycle stages. Each stage has a fleshed out Success Plan, and the completion of one (such as “New Customer Hand-Off”) will automatically trigger the next (“Launch”). Each objective is rich with resources for the Account Manager (AM) to send to the customer, and many of the repeatable emails are available directly in the Success Plans as Email Assists. Having this structured approach to the customer lifecycle has made it clear how long each customer has been in each stage, and who’s trending on or off track.
To grow the voice of the customer in their organization, Yext automated their NPS program through Gainsight. Surveys are sent continuously so that each customer receives one every six months. Every response triggers a Call to Action for the AM to follow up. Feedback about the product is consolidated and shared with the Product organization to inform the product roadmap. Meanwhile, every new Promoter triggers a notification that’s sent to the Customer Marketing team, who then researches if the customer is a good fit for their advocate program.
When coordinating Sales References, the Reference Coordinator uses Gainsight Health Scores and Dashboards to identify strong matches for any given request. This has helped streamline the reference process and empower reference coordinators with up-to-the-minute data.
So their whole company can have visibility into customer health, Yext has developed Scorecards across four key buckets. 1) Customer Relationship includes NPS, length of relationship, and manually-inputted Sentiment. 2) Product Usage includes the frequency and volume of logins and updates. 3) Product Coverage reflects the breadth of adoption and whitespace across the platform. 4) Marketing reflects the level of engagement the customer has with email campaigns, content, and live events.
“It's an absolute joy when we're able to help our customers to the extent that they want to advocate for us. But we needed systems to turn that advocacy potential into reality. We’ve improved 10x in this area.”
– Wendi Sturgis, CCO
By deploying a more consistent implementation and delivery of their platform, Yext saw a significant increase in their renewal rate over the past year.
Through their NPS Program, Yext increased their base of referenceable customers by 1,000% over the course of six months. This translated into a 1,000% increase in the number of Sales references and New Logo Pipeline influenced by references compared to a year ago. This dramatic increase in advocacy is bringing the voice of the customer into the Sales motion like Yext has never experienced before.
Their NPS Program is now much more efficient to run. Sending customers an NPS Survey used to take a full-time employee several weeks to prepare—not to mention several weeks after the survey to summarize, analyze, and distribute back to the team (plus considerable input from other departments). Now it is fully automated, requiring almost no ongoing effort to run and analyze.