Continuing our series of interviews with Yext Certified Partners, today we have Ryan Healy of FC Online Marketing. Ryan and I had a great, detailed conversation a couple of weeks ago and I’ve been waiting for just the right time to share it. Read on for some great insights into the kinds of real problems Yext solves for our partners.
AARTHI: Thanks for chatting with me, Ryan! Tell us a little bit about your business.
RYAN: We’re really two different businesses! FC Online owns iLoveKickboxing.com, a fitness kickboxing franchise. We have over 300 locations around the world, including Canada, Australia, and even Peru.
Our job is to work with our clients, martial arts schools, to get the most out of their website. We coached people on the things that Yext does for them: we would create spreadsheets that listed every online directory we could find, along with a link to their listing, login credentials, the date the listing was last checked, and a good and bad review count. One person would go into that spreadsheet every week and monitor every directory for bad reviews, responses to those, good reviews, and outdated information.
Yext makes the changes in one place — the client dashboard — and updates it everywhere, meaning our clients have a better handle on their online reputation. By far the most valuable for us has been the review monitoring feature. We do seminars and webinars about online reputation management; one bad review on an unmonitored directory can cost you a huge amount of business. Knowledge is power, and you can either address the concern or suppress the review.
Yext’s features — consistency of information, ease of making updates or changes, the number of citations it creates, product lists and enhanced content — make maintaining a positive web presence significantly easier.
How did you hear about Yext?
We’d been solicited by Yext in the past, and clients had asked about you before. Honestly, we used to dissuade clients from using Yext because we would teach them how to manage their online presence ourselves. However, once we looked into it a bit more, we realized just how valuable a service that lets us delegate the tedious work of updating listings manually could be. The small fee is worth the time to not have to do it on your own.
What was it that sold/convinced you Yext Partnership was the right choice?
A manager at one of our iLoveKickboxing.com facilities convinced us to look into the product more. When we saw the reseller opportunities, we saw a win-win situation: we provide our clients a better service, our clients have an easier, faster way to get their listings up and accurate, and we ourselves can make sure that our business is accurate everywhere. Knowing how you’re represented online is important, especially when our clients have such a strong site-to-store funnel, where 99% of their business is coming in through websites and searches, even for the martial arts sites. Our clients get students and practitioners from the sites, collect introductory payments online, and schedule classes there as well. This way, the martial arts studios don’t have to waste time fielding phone calls or creating ad pieces that don’t generate revenue. The website is live all day, every day, whether that’s two in the morning, or four-thirty in the afternoon.
A feature we leverage for our clients is the enhanced content options, the photos and videos and so forth. For our clients, their businesses are ego-driven, so being able to personalize their listings as much as possible is a serious sell for us.
What’s your favorite thing about being a Partner?
I love that support is always there, should I need assistance with something. We are always trying to bring value to our clients, and this service clearly does. Knowing that I have people who have my back, it’s great. It makes me more comfortable pitching Yext to clients knowing that there’s a whole other team behind me making this product more valuable.
Do you have any “wishlist” feature ideas for Yext?
We’d love to see better Yelp integration, especially for the review monitoring. We encourage our clients to get good reviews, and we teach them strategies to have their clients leave good reviews on Yelp. The problem is, many times the review will go live but then it’ll be gone shortly after. Yelp wants to see that the reviews are coming from active users, users who are using Yelp regularly and reviewing often. Even though our clients’ customers are placing reviews, they’re getting filtered out. Rumor has it that paying Yelp gets your good reviews to show up, but it would be great if Yext could intervene somehow.
Is there anything you’d like to tell the other Partners?
I highly recommend Yext. I think it’s a great value-added to any online marketing service.