The Yext Knowledge Engine powers Pep Boys' brand engagement to connect with customers
Since Manny, Moe and Jack founded the company in 1921, Pep Boys has aimed to be the best place to shop and care for your car. What began as one auto shop has grown into a multi-billion dollar nationwide retail and service chain with over 800 stores in the United States and Puerto Rico. Today it provides service for more than six million cars and car owners each year and more than 26 million Rewards members have signed up to earn points— on car repairs, routine maintenance and Pep Boys purchases— that they can then spend on other parts, tools or services.
In the light of this, Pep Boys wanted to engage local consumers and make sure its brand is always top of mind— and at the top of search results— when customers search for auto care. In July 2013 Pep Boys selected the Yext platform to manage and update digital knowledge about local stores across 100+ prominent maps, apps, search engines, directories and social media networks in Yext’s PowerListings® Network, including Apple, Bing, Facebook, Foursquare, Yelp and Yahoo.
"With Yext’s technology, we can make updates in real time across one or all of our business listings on every site in the PowerListings Network," explains Rachel Silva, AVP Marketing. "Yext helps Pep Boys to make sure our digital knowledge is always accurate, consistent and filled with rich content to improve the brand experience and bring more customers into our stores."
A picture is worth a thousand words
Pep Boys recognised that customers might engage with its brand beyond listings and noticed Instagram’s high user engagement rate as a potential way both to reach more customers and also to amplify brand loyalty with existing ones.
Unfortunately, Instagram has some major limitations in its search function: the site lets brands track hashtags and @mentions, similar to Twitter, but it does not enable searches by location. As many users don’t bother to include a branded tag or hashtag in their post, brands miss out on a critical segment of their customer base— the local customers who are actually visiting and engaging with the brand at local store locations.
In order to uncover this hidden user base, Pep Boys leveraged Yext’s Instagram Monitoring feature, which solves this search limitation issue. It integrated Instagram into its social media customer engagement programmme, which is aimed at tracking and responding to relevant brand and non-brand posts or content across active social networks to increase total followers and engagement. Pep Boys tracks more than 15,000 branded searches across social platforms, including Facebook and Twitter. In addition to the content that users post with branded hashtags and @mentions, Yext pulls in user-generated content that is geo-tagged at Pep Boys store locations, even if the user does not include a hashtag.
"Thanks to Yext, Pep Boys can now see all user-generated content tagged at any of our 800 locations in a single, searchable feed and reply to them directly— without ever leaving the Yext dashboard," says Emily Smith, Online Marketing Manager. "We also leverage Yext’s real-time tracking and response capabilities to respond immediately to customers who have urgent questions and concerns, or who were less than satisfied with their brand experience," Smith explains. "Car maintenance purchases are often considered grudge purchases, so our connecting with customers in a timely manner means that we can improve their experience and convert many into satisfied customers."
To date, Pep Boys has tracked over 6,400 Instagram posts in real time in the Yext platform. The most popular hashtags include #pepboys as well as unbranded but location-tagged hashtags #carshow and #ClassicCars. Instagram monitoring helps identify influencers who post quality content, to educate and encourage these users to be brand ambassadors. Pep Boys also uses Yext to engage with its own employees who tag photos at work and often appreciate receiving attention from their company.
"By leveraging Yext to improve our social media presence in general, we are able to attract the attention of new users who have not interacted with our brand before and thereby to grow our customer audience," says Silva.