Reimagining Customer Success: Insights from Yext Leaders

By Lauryn Chamberlain

Mar 19, 2024

8 min

Brands today are tasked with keeping up with (frequent) industry changes. Given the rapid emergence of AI, new channels, and shifting tactics, delivering positive interactions at every digital touchpoint is easier said than done.

A key piece of the puzzle? The support brands receive from the trusted technology partners they work with. With limited time and resources, more brands want to take advantage of expert services to improve results. Research suggests that buyers increasingly look to B2B companies as strategic partners, with 84% of B2B executives saying it is "very important" to lean into their new positions as trusted thought leaders.

At Yext, we understand the significance of this type of partnership; it's part of what inspired us to launch our enhanced customer success program. Designed with direct input from our valued customers, Yext Customer Success aims to deliver the expertise and resource options tailored to meet the unique needs of each brand.

To dive in deeper, we're taking a closer look at what customer success excellence should be like today — with the help of two Yexters who are on the front lines.

We caught up with John Vatalaro, Senior Director, Services and Sanjusha Kolli, Customer Solutions Manager, on key customer success trends for 2024, what resources brands need to drive growth across every digital touchpoint, Yext's updated approach to customer success, and more.

What do you see as some of the most important trends in customer success today? What are customers looking for? And what - if anything - has changed over the past year or two?

Sanjusha Kolli, Customer Solutions Manager: Customers really want you to know their business and their industry so you can speak to what matters most to them: not every customer will care about the same metrics or products/solutions, so it's important to tailor every conversation to their needs and priorities.

In the last two years, customers have really been in cost-cutting mode, and so its become more important than ever to help them accelerate results for their business.

John Vatalaro, Senior Director, Services: Today's world is dynamic and quickly shifting. The digital marketing world is changing fast. Customers need to keep up with the changes and are looking for a partner they can rely on to help them move faster. Most companies are challenged to show growth. They need to get more from their technology investments - and that includes the service and support. The Yext team is laser-focused on delivering impact for our customers every day.

John, with these shifts in mind, what are your top priorities as a leader today?

Vatalaro: As a leader in Yext Customer Success, I have two groups that I serve: our customers and my team. Interestingly, setting them up for success can look pretty similar. I try to stick to the same foundation when thinking about a successful customer and a successful team or employee. Both should have:

  • Shared vision - Understand where we're going together

  • Meaning - Understand what we are trying to achieve and why

  • Progress - See the progress and feel the impact

If you can give that to your customers and your teams, you're in a great place. This requires building strong relationships, understanding their unique challenges, and aligning our strategies to help them achieve their goals. On top of that, if you can create a culture that prioritizes continuous innovation and improvement, you've got a winning and repeatable formula.

Sanjusha, a couple of similar questions for you. In your day-to-day as a CSM, what are your priorities?

Kolli: There is so much data at our customers' disposal. So, as a CSM, I always take the first step of creating dashboards and reports that are relevant to the customer that can then be sent on a cadence to the primary stakeholders. I ensure the decision-makers receive these reports as well so they can track insights even if they're not involved in the day-to-day. But it's not just about reports and data: the important part is delivering insights and recommendations for taking action that help them improve results. That is where the real value of our partnership lies.

Also, I try to serve as an extension of our customers' marketing teams. Due to our roles and responsibilities, we become experts in not just how a customer uses Yext, but also about their operations, challenges, and priorities internally. The level of knowledge we have allows us to be proactive in how we approach the relationship. Most importantly, showing the customer that we are dedicated to their success instills a level of trust in us not just as a vendor but as a partner and a trusted advisor.

This is how Yext differentiates itself. What sets us apart: we have incredibly robust analytics derived from publisher APIs, teams with strong relationships to publishers like Google and Apple, and a CSM team that can support the customer by having detailed insight conversations.

John, can you elaborate on how — and why — Yext is reimagining its Customer Success program?

Vatalaro: Yext is committed to evolving with the needs and expectations of our customers. We've been in this space for a while, and no one can deliver insights and enable data-driven decisions the way that Yext can. It is a natural next step for us to ensure customers can leverage this expertise even more going forward.

This past year, more than ever, we've been listening to our customers – and that is exactly what has inspired this reimagining of customer success at Yext. There is simply so much potential for customers to tap into, and this new program is better suited to enable an even deeper partnership.

What do you think will be the biggest impact of the reimagined success program?

Vatalaro: These are our most comprehensive offerings to date. It was important for us to ensure customers have options suited to their needs, that they know exactly what they are getting, and in this challenging macro environment, to know that Yext is even more invested in their success.

Personally, I'm most excited for the team! Yext is made up of bright, energetic, and talented people. As we've been gearing up for this launch, the vibe has been electric, to say the least. Teams are having better, more value-driven conversations with their customers, providing speedier responses, helping them manage the platform, helping them with their challenges, unlocking more insights, and seeing their customers have more success. It's been so awesome to see everyone rallying around something we all collectively feel will be a big win for our customers.

Why do you think Yext Customer Success is uniquely positioned to help customers reach their goals?

Vatalaro: We understand that success is not just about resolving issues but about enabling customers to unlock the full potential of their digital presence using our platform.

With a combination of cutting-edge technology, deep industry expertise, and a dedicated team of professionals (Yextperts!), we are uniquely positioned to deliver tailored and data-driven solutions that help our customers grow and drive measurable results.

Kolli: Customer Success is unique in that it's one of the most central positions internally: we work with so many different teams, and we're the strongest source of truth in terms of customer needs. We're able to be collaborative and work cross-functionally to ensure customer success. We also work with a wide variety of customers tactically — which allows us to use learnings to provide recommendations, success stories, solution expansion, and more.

Let's broaden our view just a bit. How do you think about customer success at a global company? What challenges or opportunities are there in relation to providing localized support?

Kolli: Customer Success being a global role is a great opportunity for several reasons: it supports global companies that may have needs exceeding one region — and it allows our team to learn from each other given the variance in experiences.

In terms of challenges, global customers may have different needs or priorities based on the size and extent of their location base. No one in the industry has more business location data globally than Yext. And no one leverages that data to benefit their customers better than Yext.

Sanjusha, last question. Yext's efforts aren't only about addressing the trends of today — they're about helping our customers prepare for tomorrow. How do you stay up to date on industry trends to provide the highest level of service?

Kolli: Reading the news as often as possible helps keep us on top of macro trends. We also seek to understand what's going on in our customer's business, industry, and customer base. This 360-degree approach allows us to have better conversations with our customers and enable faster action on both sides.

And John, looking ahead, are there any upcoming trends that you think we should be on the lookout for?

Vatalaro: I foresee a continued emphasis on automation and AI-driven solutions in the support space. Chatbots, virtual assistants, and other intelligent technologies will play an increasing role in enhancing the customer experience and driving operational efficiency. However, it will take people — technologists with expertise — to get customers over the hump and into that space comfortably.

To me, giving customers options and "meeting customers where they are" is far more important than hopping onto the latest trend. When it comes down to it, the trends you want to take seriously are the trends your customers care about. It's about listening and not projecting.

Providing better customer support today — and tomorrow

From automation to AI-driven solution innovation, the world of customer success will continue to evolve. So will the digital landscape: it can take significant time and resources to stay up to date, but the fact is that a successful digital marketing strategy will never be something you can "set and forget."

That knowledge is why we've reimagined Yext's Customer Success program — with our local marketing experts, like John and Sanjusha, ready to be your trusted advisors and an extension of your team. Our goal is to provide you with the expertise and resources you need to drive differentiation and growth across every digital touchpoint.

Ready to learn more about Yext Customer Success? Click here.

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