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  • October 29, 2019
  • By Leonard Klie, Editor, CRM magazine and SmartCustomerService.com

Yext Launches Answers for Website Search

NEW YORK – Yext today at its Onward '19 user conference launched Yext Answers, a search product that turns any company's website into a search engine capable of answering consumers' questions directly with brand-verified answers.

Answers employs advanced natural language processing to understand complex questions that consumers enter into the search bars on company websites, applies the appropriate filters, and delivers dynamic, direct answers from company knowledge bases.

Powering Answers is the Yext Knowledge Graph, which harnesses and stores millions of structured facts from companies and can be updated in real time. If customers start asking new or different types of questions, companies can update their knowledge graphs to provide fact-based, contextual, brand-verified answer in seconds, keeping customers engaged on their own websites.

"We're living in a new age of search, and consumers are asking more specific questions than ever. But brands haven't had the ability to answer those questions, opening the door for unverified third-party sites to step in with misinformation," said Howard Lerman, founder and CEO of Yext, during his opening keynote. "Yext Answers is going to change that forever by putting brand-verified answers front and center on business websites."

Answers, Lerman said, is "the future of search" and will help Yext "shepherd in a new era of truth."

That comes in response to research contained in the most recent Edelman Trust Barometer, which found that only 43 percent of consumers trust information about companies on social media and only 65 percent of consumers trust search engine information, according to Lerman.

At the same time, marketers believe that only 35 percent of the information about their brands online is accurate. That becomes a problem because consumers lean heavily on the information they get from search to make purchase decisions.

Answers enables companies to deliver rich, contextual search experiences on their own websites that rivals the experiences of the most sophisticated search engines."You can answer questions about your own business, just like Google can," Lerman said. "Answers lets businesses take back their websites"

Yext is positioning Yext Answers as part of its Search Experience Cloud. Answers increases Yext's total addressable market (TAM) from only businesses with physical locations to all businesses with websites.

Companies that piloted Answers during its beta period included Citizens Bank, BBVA USA, Three Mobile, IHA, and Healthcare Associates of Texas.

"We've built an incredible business by giving brands control of their facts in search, but we've only scratched the surface of our potential," Lerman added, "With Answers, we're ready to help every business with a website take back their truth online."

Beyond that, Answers can drive transactions and lower support costs, according to Lerman.

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