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Knowledge graphs enhance customer experience through speed and accuracy

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Consistent user experience

Cherry Creek Mortgage Company, Inc. is headquartered in Denver, Colo., and has about 75 offices throughout the U.S. The company offers hundreds of mortgage products both online through its direct-to-consumer division and through its retail branches. In order to manage its growing volume of social media through channels such as Facebook and LinkedIn, Cherry Creek began exploring a variety of platforms that could help it leverage this content. In addition, the company wanted one portal through which all of its public-facing materials could be pushed out, as well as a natural language search interface for its customers.

“We have numerous information sources and marketing channels, including information posted on our website, on social media channels, and information in our CRM,” said David Arnett, vice president of marketing and communications at Cherry Creek. “It is essential that both our public-facing channels as well as our internal content be 100% accurate and compliant.” For example, the detailed information about the company’s hundreds of loan officers must be identical across all its channels. After reviewing the available solutions, Cherry Creek chose Yext, which provided on one platform all of the options the company wanted and enabled it to structure and store all of its facts in a knowledge graph.

Yext helps manage the social media listings as well as company reviews on a variety of sites. When customers write reviews, the Yext platform makes it easy for loan officers to post responses to reviews coming from multiple platforms from a single location. “We use social media for relationship building,” explained Arnett. “Very little content on those channels is oriented toward selling. We try to convey what kind of company we are, and what our values are.” One of those values is to be responsive and not ignore people’s comments, Arnett said. The Facebook page is highly interactive, with options for visitors to enter contests and giveaways and read about Cherry Creek’s charity-related activities.

When prospective customers visit the Cherry Creek website to investigate loans, Yext’s Answers solution allows them to write natural language queries and receive precise responses. “If people don’t find what they want on your website, they will exit and go back to Google for another search instead of staying on your site,” Arnett noted. The analytics provided by Yext give Cherry Creek insights about what visitors are searching for, and the company can then create appropriate content if needed. The Cherry Creek website also provides tools such as an interactive mortgage calculator with real-time pricing.

Understanding customers

The support that Cherry Creek has received from Yext has been outstanding, according to Arnett. “They have been excellent partners, helping us meet our objectives in a very constructive way, and suggesting new ways of using the platform.” Initially, Cherry Creek was not familiar with graph databases or how they could enhance customer service. “We spent about 8 months learning about the product and the use cases it could support,” Arnett said.

In a world of commoditized products and services, customer service is a powerful differentiator. “We all have the same financial products, and we are fighting for the same customers,” observed Arnett. “In order to compete, we have to offer something extra. We think our edge is our commitment to relationship building, and the fact that we don’t see our customers as just a transaction. Yext has helped us meet our goal of serving our customers and let us do things that we thought only large companies could do.”

Yext offers three main applications that work on top of its knowledge graph. The first is Answers, which is a natural language search engine for an organization’s website. The second, Pages, allows businesses to build custom landing pages using a highly structured schema markup that Google and other search engines can understand. The third one, Listings, is a set of bidirectional APIs that interface directly with applications such as Google My Business, Alexa, Yahoo, Yelp, and Facebook to ensure that corporate data is presented accurately; through this mechanism, it synchronizes data with 175 platforms.

“Together, these three applications solve multiple problems,” said Christian Ward, executive vice president and chief data officer at Yext. “They ensure that accurate information is shown on the company’s own website, make it easier for search engines to find the right information, and ensure it is presented correctly on other sites.” Data from all three can be aggregated, but customers who do not need all the applications can buy them individually.

Through active listening to customer inquiries, companies can become more aware of their needs. “We can improve the customer journey experience just as a salesperson would in a store,” observed Ward. “With privacy laws being increasingly rigorous, online tracking may run into some roadblocks, so tuning into queries to capture users’ intent and needs is a great alternative.”

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