Yext, Inc. (NYSE: YEXT), the AI Search Company, and beloved pub brand Marston’s today announced the results of their collaboration, which saw it integrate the Yext Answers Platform to help keep customers informed during the COVID-19 pandemic and manage online reviews.
Marston’s has been running pubs and brewing beer in one form or another for over 180 years. Today, its rich heritage lives on in a patchwork of venues, spanning traditional locals, family pub restaurants and fashionable town centre bars. But while pubs may have changed a lot over the years, the reasons people use them hasn’t – and the guest experience remains at the heart of Marston’s customer-obsessed offering.
Yet the COVID-19 pandemic radically transformed the typical customer journey to arrive at a pub, with customers increasingly using online search to find destinations and opening information as well as book online.
To support this new customer journey, Marston’s implemented Yext Answers to revolutionise its site search function and further elevate customer experience. Since its implementation in October 2020, site searches have increased by 260% and click-throughs have grown by 330%.
Furthermore, between April and May 2021, 96% of on-site search questions received structured information as a response. Rising to 99% for popular on-site search questions, with a 60%+ click-through rate.
“The pandemic has transformed the way hospitality businesses run and how customers continue to engage with them,” said Jon Buss, Managing Director of Yext EMEA. “Having a data-driven approach to your operations allows you to have peace of mind about customers having access to the most up to date information, whilst allowing workers to keep customer satisfaction at the heart of their operations” Buss continues.
For Marston’s, this was just one piece of the digital puzzle Yext was able to help with. By combining the likes of Answers, Reviews and Listings, Yext has been able to drive footfall to Marston’s range of destinations, at the same time as bringing individual marketing teams closer to customers to enrich both physical and digital guest experiences.
Since May 2018, Marston’s has monitored over 400K reviews with Yext. In this time, Marston’s has increased its monthly average star rating nearly half a star, from 3.9 to 4.3. In 2020, Marston’s also made 170K updates via Listings, which provided a lifeline to help its various destinations keep customers informed during COVID-19.
On its impact, Becky Hargreaves, Digital Marketing Manager at Marston’s, said: “We’ve been completely blown away by our experience using Answers. It’s been so interesting to see the volume of searches being asked in the search bar and understanding the range of questions consumers are asking has helped to shape our strategy going forward. It’s opened up an exciting opportunity for us to really be giving guests what they want in a quick, simple and effective way.”
“Before Answers, we didn’t have a site search facility, so we’d be manually sifting through survey responses and other feedback, but nothing has been as rich, specific and easy to use” continued Emma Place, Senior Digital Marketing Manager at Marston’s. And it’s for this reason Marston’s has been able to propel its guest experiences and footfall forward.
Check out the full customer story here.