Worldwide Managers Face Pressure to Improve Online Reviews

If you haven’t noticed, over the past 5+ years, majority of organizations have modified their incentives and job descriptions for managers to include responsibility for sustaining and/or improving the organizations overall 5-star rating via google online reviews.

At a recent conference I attended, the speakers continued to dance around this idea that if your organization holds a 4 out of 5-star rating, your organization is 3 times, if not more, likely to have more traffic and/or be successful. To an extent, it does make sense, the more likes you have, the more other people will be interested in finding out what you are about and well, there you go.

Even further, without naming my previous employer, the first requirement to be eligible for bonus in 2015 was originally based on a 3rd party surveying site, in which any seller could potentially ask for a consumers email, when that consumer purchased merchandise or a service, they would be sent a survey upon completion of purchase/service and based on who completed those surveys, your individual/team results would be calculated. My job was to ensure emails were captured and then pray I trained my team well enough, that the surveyor would accurately rate our friendliness and other factors of the facility.

More Recently, beginning 2017, this organization changed their 3rd party surveying site to one that has created an option at the end of the survey to then share their experience with Google Online Reviews and populate with that existing score. Likewise, my former employer last year felt it was necessary to include the google online review in that incentive to ensure improvement commenced immediately across the country.

Note: If you started with 1 negative review (1/5 stars), it would take 10 perfect reviews(5/5) for you to get your average back to a 5-star rating. Now think about this, how many times have you written a positive review? Negative reviews? And more, each person’s opinion on a number rating is different, especially those professional critics. Mind you, most google ratings began over 10 years ago or whenever the business first started, have fun trying to do the math on how many emails you’d have to fudge. Just like Instagram has advertisements to get more followers, you can easily get someone to create a bunch of emails and anyone with a brain can figure out the loopholes here.

Now keep in mind, I am a visionary, the way I saw it, the big picture that is- was even bigger, yes I believe in social media and its benefits to keep us connected, yadda yadda. But opinions of others can be just as bad as fake news, no wonder more social media icons are choosing to forever disable their comments on what they share with the world. A shame that internal audit scores were sinking, and controllable profit vanishing in the background. You can’t buy happiness (i.e. discounts for a review)!

As a leader, you need to focus on building your team and reaching obtainable goals, not just reflect on how everyone thinks your doing your job, especially from those not professionally inclined to do so. Those presenters i remember, made it a point to ensure we understood the importance of responding to negative reviews and how we needed to listen to what they were actually saying. Believe me, I spent my fair share responding to complaints from not feeling safe in the community hours before even coming to our place of business to personal issues that should pardon this consumer from ever having to pay for anything in their life.

Based on personal experience, out of 50 reviews, I may of receive 2-3 valid comments/suggestions in regards to the product/service. Majority seems to stem from personal issues with the neglect to understand entitlement. (For example, that consumer who believes they are paying for Ritz Carlton quality/service, when they clearly checked into a Super 8, LOL!) Or worse, when the money isn’t yours or in your hands directly, as a manager, taking the necessary time to renovate or improve certain issues just aren’t in reach and will eventually serve as a feeling of defeat where you are “doing the best you can with what your given”.
To clarify, if fraud, crime or violence occurs within an organization and is posted as a review, I can understand purpose. The Better Business Bureau and Department of Labor are also great sources that will provide information as well.

What I am trying to say, as a former manager, it is hard enough recruiting/supporting a diverse staff, especially in a low-income community, trying to make a positive impact in the community by providing opportunity and great service/value.

Or do you believe that is just part of being the “Boss”?

In today’s world of constant judgement, how do you believe employers and organizations should work to improve their own brand image?

Within Corporate Franchises, can 1 bad review terminate or lead to an investigation?

Is it right to hold a manager responsible for online reviews?

If a manager can successfully meet all goals except improve online reviews, is termination valid, especially if online reviews never directly addresses manager as the issue?

Please understand I am questioning the theory of how online reviews accurately depict an organization’s integrity and success and further, how an organization can hold a manager responsible for that rating.

How do you decipher between an online “troll” from a legitimate comment regarding a failing business model/service?

Is the opinion of someone overlooked based on their purchase or social status?

How easy is it to create an email and write a review on Google?

What is the ratio of consumers who would rather post negative feedback, than constructive?


[Final Note: upon completing this rant I figured, I would try to add a small picture of Google reviews, forgetting my last search was for Post Offices, my google chrome showed me the following when I clicked the stars, even the USPS can’t catch a break!]

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