Three boosts digital performance by providing verified answers with Yext.
- 300+ locations
- Maidenhead, UK
The UK’s first 3G-only mobile network, Three launched in 2003 — laying its foundations as the network that was born to be different. Built for the internet, the network carries three and a half times more data per customer than its competitors, and is currently building the UK’s fastest 5G network for consumers and businesses.
But to reach customers when and where they’re asking questions online, the brand needed a solution to help it provide answers — both across third-party search experiences and on its own website. “Our location pages and site search just weren’t up to scratch,” says Graham Johnston, Head of Omnichannel at Three. “Our customers were going onto our website and they weren’t able to find the answers they needed by using our search bar. That ultimately led them to call our contact centre or walk into a store, which inconvenienced our customers and used our customer service resources which could be better deployed elsewhere.”
As an agile, innovative brand, Three also faced the challenge of keeping search touchpoints up to date with its latest promotions, campaigns, and products. “If we wanted to make one change to a piece of business information, it was such a manual process to get those changes out to all platforms,” explains Johnston. And this problem wasn’t exclusive to third-party sites. “When we went live with our 5G network,” he continues, “if people were searching on our website for ‘what is 5G?’ the first blue link that appeared in the results was ‘how do I cancel my contract.’ This was an eye-opening moment for us in realising we had to make big changes.”
A centralised solution to provide answers everywhere customers are asking questions online.
Three uses Yext Answers, the revolutionary site search solution that understands natural language and provides rich search results, to improve the customer experience on its website and reduce customer support submissions.
The brand also uses insights from Yext Answers to take action on previously uncovered customer behaviours, search terms, and questions. “The amount of insight we’ve had around specific services and products that people are searching for has surprised us,” says Johnston. “We’ve been able to get volumes of data. Where before, we would have had anecdotal feedback from stores or surveys, we can now tap into exactly what customers are searching for at the moment of highest intent. It’s been brilliant.”
In addition to Answers, Three uses the entire suite of products within the Yext Search Experience Cloud. Johnston recalls the initial ‘aha’ moment that led Three to Yext. “We saw an example of someone standing outside one of our locations searching for ‘mobile phone store near me.’ We were the fourth or fifth listing in the Google map pack, and we knew that something had to change. It clicked.”
With Yext Listings, Reviews, and Pages, Three has taken back control of the facts about its brand everywhere consumers are searching. “In a world of retail where footfall is declining, we can show that we’re doing everything we can to drive discoverability in local search,” he continues. “Through Yext, we can see the actual clicks to directions or websites, which is tangible proof that our customers are relying on our listings to ultimately step foot in our stores.”
The Yext platform allows the team at Three to move faster, be more responsive, and to cut back on operational delays. “We found that customers were searching for a specific term and the first result to surface was an ancient product that we don’t stock any more,” Johnston explains. “Before Yext it would have taken us a long time to even identify that as a problem, let alone make any changes to the website. Whereas, we were able to spin up an FAQ and get it live in minutes with Answers.”
As one of the earliest adopters and exclusive beta-testers of Yext Answers, Three is set to continue to gather unique insights into the behaviours of its customers, and deliver for them. “It is great to know that our customers are able to achieve what they wanted at first attempt, rather than waste time going through different channels,” says Johnston. “It helps to provide a truly frictionless experience.” Using Yext Answers enables Three to continue to put its customers at the forefront of everything it does. “The results are just so immediate and rich. The product is really nicely curated and intuitive for our customers, and we’re provided with insights that we can feed back in to improve their journey. It is an amazing product.”
The data tells a clear story: When customers can find answers to their questions when they search, they’re more likely to take action.
Using the Yext platform, Three experienced a 25% year-over-year increase in Google listing clicks, a 39% increase in website clicks, and a 60% increase in clicks to call, as of December 2019.
One month after launching with Yext Answers, Three’s site search had already fielded more than 400k total searches, and driven more than 250k clicks. And just two weeks into its use of Answers, the brand saw a 42% reduction in customers who clicked ‘contact us’ after using its site search — indicating that many more of Three’s customers were now able to find answers to their questions directly in the website’s search results.