Mar 23, 2020 - Technology

Yext helps New Jersey answer residents' coronavirus questions

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

New York-based Yext is used to all kinds of businesses using its tools to manage their online profiles and field customer queries, but now it has a new customer: New Jersey's state government, which needed urgent help to create an online hub with coronavirus pandemic information for residents.

Why it matters: People need easy-to-access information from their government more than ever right now.

"Our whole mission is to fight misinformation," Yext CEO Howard Lerman told Axios. "We're seeing tens of thousands of questions per hour come through," he said just hours after the site went live when the state issued a stay-at-home order.

  • After getting the green light from New Jersey’s officials last Monday, Yext’s team was able to put the website together in 24 hours, with the whole project taking just three days including various internal approvals by the government.
  • Yext made its Answers product (the underlying software that’s making it easy for residents to search for answers on New Jersey’s site) free to companies for 90 days and is now extending this to any government for six months to help them get through the coronavirus crisis without having to worry about budgeting.
  • What’s more, New Jersey officials can get real-time data about the various questions residents are searching for on the site, giving them immediate information about what may be unclear to people or upticks in certain concerns and issues.

Yext tells Axios that it’s already talking with half a dozen other states about building similar hubs for them, along with a number of city governments and federal agencies.

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