The client was an established online retailer that had undergone a change in ownership and management. The original owner enjoyed very high review star ratings across most platforms, including Yelp, Google Reviews, and others. The accompanying change in management led to a significant decline in quality, product delivery, and customer service. During the six months it took to identify and solve problems relating to the ownership change, the damage was done. The average review had dropped to only two stars. Reputation X solved that problem within a few months.
|Issues||Negative online reviews, low star-ratings|
|Services||Review Management, Reputation Repair|
|Duration||6 months (reviews improved after 14 days)|
Challenges to Overcome
The biggest challenge with any online review improvement campaign usually begins within the client's company itself. Problems are usually systemic. Our client had recognized the problems and had set out to fix them months before. While the level of customer service was not yet to its previous levels, it had improved to the point that a reputation repair campaign wouldn't be a zero-sum game.
Reputation X identified three review platforms reflecting low ratings, all in the one or two-star range. They included Yelp, Google Reviews, and Glassdoor. Some problems also existed with the client's Facebook page. During the initial part of the project we instructed the client to turn off Facebook reviews temporarily while we focused on review problems in branded search results.
In addition to problematic star ratings, negative customer quotes were showing up in the Knowledge Panel in Google search results. These were especially damaging because the quotes would always show "above the fold" (where prospective customers could always see them without the need to scroll).
The need for improved reviews in the form of star ratings and the need to replace negative comments online meant a review strategy was needed.
Improving Yelp and Google Reviews
The first step in the review improvement campaign was to gather the names, email addresses, and telephone numbers of clients who had received products within the past seven days. This window of time ensured the customer experience remained fresh in their minds.
We designed an appropriate message for their customers and contacted each on behalf of the client with a simple question: Would you recommend _______________ to a friend? Customers could vote up (good) or down (bad).
If a customer gave a thumbs-down vote, we knew there was a problem. That customer was sent to a dedicated customer service representative trained in problem resolution who had the power to immediately refund, exchange, or offer incentives to unhappy customers. The objective was to catch customers before they posted negative reviews on their own.
If a customer was happy (thumbs-up), we sent them to either Google Reviews or Yelp. Our review management software auto-logs Google users in, pre-selects the highest star rating when possible, and makes it easy for a customer to leave a five-star review. Yelp review improvement worked in a similar way but without the auto-log-in feature. This is all a process we call the thumbs-up campaign.
Improving Glassdoor Reviews
Glassdoor reviews are one of the ways prospective employees decide whether to work at a company or not. The damage to once stellar reviews was affecting our client's ability to hire top talent. But customers don't provide Glassdoor reviews; workers do. This meant that employees and contractors had to be leveraged to improve their opinions of the company and to post them online.
Based on informal meetings with employees, the client felt that things had improved to the point where employee reviews would be most favorable. The client was directed to have direct managers personally request Glassdoor reviews of employees who seemed amenable. They weren't directed to write specifically good reviews, just honest ones. The result was an improvement in Glassdoor ratings from 2.5 stars to 3.8 stars within a few months.
Clearly the company still had work to do, but they were moving in the right direction. Difficulties in hiring began to ease.
Both average star ratings improved, and negative comments were suppressed and replaced by positive ones in Google Reviews above the fold. Reviews improved from an average of 1.8 to 4.2 within six months. Customer conversions increased, as did hiring conversions due to the Glassdoor review improvement campaign.
Review Management FAQs
What is the biggest challenge to improving online reviews?
The biggest challenge with any online review improvement campaign usually begins within the company itself. There are often systemic problems that need to be addressed, including customer service issues. Before starting an online review management campaign, resolving pre-existing customer service issues is important.
How can I improve my company's Yelp and Google reviews?
The first step to improving Yelp and Google Reviews is to simply ask customers if they would recommend your company to a friend. You can send a quick email to customers who have received products within the past seven days. If they respond yes, then you can send them to Google Reviews or Yelp to leave a public review.
How can I improve my company's Glassdoor reviews?
Similar to Yelp reviews, it is best to maintain a pulse on how your employees feel about your company. If they informally tell their manager that they like the work environment, you can ask them to leave a review. If there are problems or concerns, it is a good idea to work to solve those problems at the source.