Cox Communications Provides Direct Answers to Customer Questions With Yext
- Atlanta, GA
Even for a business whose mission it is to keep people connected, it can be a challenge to connect with customers in the right moments and in the right ways when they go online seeking answers to their questions. As the third-largest cable provider in the United States, Cox Communications provides internet service, TV, phone and home security and automation services to six million residential and business customers — which is to say, the brand doesn’t just need to respond to the challenge of customer questions, it needs to do it on a huge scale.
On top of the sheer number of customers, communications companies like Cox have an expansive range of customer questions to field. Connecting to the internet or catching the latest buzzed-about cable show may be simple enough end goals, but understanding the various services and products available can be tricky for people to navigate.
“Every customer journey is distinct,” explains Craig Geiger, Manager of SEO at Cox Communications. “This isn’t like selling shoes or watches. We have a service coupled with products. Some of those services, such as TV, can be fairly complicated in terms of the baseline service, additional equipment like set-top boxes and then on top of that you can add additional services such as sports packages or premium channels. And it’s similar for internet service — you select a base speed, but then you also have a few decisions to make in terms of modems and routers, a gaming-specific network product and things like that. So it’s not a straightforward transaction.”
Some people know exactly what they’re looking for and are ready to transact,” he continues. “While others need a lot of education before making the decision to convert and place an order.”
To help customers find what they’re looking for, Cox Communications retrofitted its website with a smart, powerful search product.
Cox Communications uses Yext to update and maintain important brand information across the entire Knowledge Network — approximately 175 digital services globally, including Google, Amazon Alexa, Apple, Bing, Facebook, Yahoo and Yelp — and to provide a user-friendly search experience on its own website.
The brand had been using Yext Listings for a few years to manage important information about its retail stores, like addresses and hours of operation, across third-party search experiences, when it expanded its partnership with Yext to create and maintain local pages as well. Most recently, Cox jumped at the chance to add Yext Answers to its technology stack.
“When we first found out about Yext Answers, it looked really appealing,” Geiger explains. “Natural language processing, context, intent — we decided it would simplify everything. Because as people become more comfortable using natural language queries on Google, using full sentences like ‘how do I reset my modem?’ instead of performing a traditional keyword-based search like ‘reset modem,’ it becomes increasingly important that site search can also interpret context and intent. Being able to match the user’s true question or query with the most accurate answers, that’s the number one thing right now.”
The team at Cox Communications found Yext Answers was simple and quick to set up. “Getting the elements into the knowledge graph was very simple,” he continues. “Overall, this was one of the easiest implementations we’ve done, in terms of magnitude of the project versus level of effort on our side.”
For Cox, the biggest benefit of using Yext Answers is having the ability to provide rich search results right on its website. “Google has started presenting more and more rich snippets on their search results page and this mimics that experience,” Geiger explains. “Which is great, because people use Google every single day. That’s what they’re expecting when they come to our site, and now that’s what they get. They don’t have to hunt around and figure out how the results are laid out. It’s a familiar interface, which is fantastic.”
Customer engagement soars thanks to improved site search results.
Since launching with Yext Answers in February 2020, Cox Communications has experienced a huge increase in customer engagement. As of May 2020, people who used the Yext Answers search experience converted at a 51% higher rate compared to those who used the business’s legacy site search tool.
During that same period, Cox saw a 59% decrease in repeat on-site searches, indicating that many more customers are finding answers to their questions on the first try. The brand has also created FAQ pages, which approximately one in four visitors interact with from the search results page.
In addition to Yext Answers, Cox Communications also launched more than 6,500 new service area pages in February 2020 — spread across Cox’s Residential and Business service lines. The brand also did a redesign of its 132 existing location pages at the same time. As a result, from February 2020 to May 2020, Cox experienced a 144% year-over-year incremental lift for total views on its pages.