Meineke Uses The Yext Knowledge Engine to Fuel Easier and More Personal Customer Engagements for Franchisees
To say that Meineke has grown since its inception would be an understatement. The brand began in 1972 as a single shop with a single product — mufflers — and has gone on to become a global network of 900+ locally-owned, full-service car repair shops. What sets it apart from the competition, and has helped it to expand so quickly, is the attention the company gives to customer experience. “The Meineke business really focuses on ensuring that we are able to provide convenient locations — and a full suite of services — and then make it really easy for customers to find and engage with those locations,” says Matt Labuda, Director of Digital Marketing for Driven Brands, which owns Meineke.
Local search has become a natural extension of the convenience that the company seeks to provide customers. “Mobile is an increasingly important part of our business,” explains Labuda, “which is why we’ve begun to invest in new technologies that allow consumers to find us easily through mobile devices. For example, we’ve recently re-launched the Meineke mobile app. A large percentage of visitors to Meineke.com are now accessing it via mobile. Redesigning the app is a way to ensure we provide as many convenient engagement points with consumers through mobile as possible.”
Meineke Improves Local Searches with Yext
According to Google, local searches are growing 50% faster than mobile searches overall, and for Meineke this spells a major need for accurate and consistent online digital knowledge. The company settled on Yext as the right solution.
“We are much more localized than we used to be,” Labuda states. “Particularly from a digital perspective, we want to ensure that customers have a really convenient and personalized experience, so they find value in their business with us — and ultimately return. Yext plays a pivotal role in how we do that.”
Meineke uses Yext Listings to manage the public facts about its brand. The Yext Knowledge Engine enables brands like Meineke to manage the digital knowledge about their people, places, and products across their websites, mobile apps, internal systems, and the entire Knowledge Network — over 100 maps, apps, search engines, GPS systems, and social networks including Google, Apple, Facebook, Bing, and Yahoo.
“Yext was something I inherited when I arrived at Meineke,” says Labuda. “But I knew of it prior to joining. I actually worked with Yext in a previous role, at a marketing agency in Cleveland. So I was happy to find out that we had an agreement with Yext to clean up and maintain listings.”
In a one year period since launching with Yext Listings, Meineke saw its online presence improve exponentially. With over 45,000 live listings, the company increased its overall listings presence by 64%. 38,000+ addresses and 34,000+ phone numbers were corrected, and Labuda has also added 446,000+ photos and updated 407,000+ business descriptions. Yext created ~17,000 listings which generated 23% incremental impressions volume for Meineke locations which previously did not exist.
Meineke Personalizes Interactions Between Customers and Local Franchise Shops
Meineke primarily uses Yext at a corporate level to make life easier for franchise owners. It ensures clean and consistent real-time data across listings channels so that Meineke customers can easily find a shop when they are looking for one. Yext has created and now manages Meineke local Facebook pages for all locations, has merged and deleted duplicate pages, and links each store page to the brand page to facilitate native graph search. It syncs store-specific data to each store page and sets page restrictions for user generated content while tracking store page activity including posts, comments, ‘Likes,’ ‘Were Here’ check-ins, and Talking About This.
While Yext monitors ratings and reviews by location for Meineke, Meineke does give franchisees the option to handle their own reviews. “The one capacity where franchisees do engage directly with Yext is through review notifications,” explains Labuda. “We always tell franchisees that if they want to be notified when a review is left — both positive and negative — for one of their location pages, we have the ability to set that up through Yext.”
Looking forward, Labuda seeks to personalize interactions between customers and local shops. “We used to look at everything from a national level,” he says. “Now as a business we are much more localized. Whether it’s through promotions or how we buy TV, we’re becoming more granular in how we approach our customers and potential customers. While still keeping it simple for consumers, we want them to understand that each franchised location has its own footprint in our business. Yext has been an important early step in achieving that.”