Republic Services Uses Yext to Own Its Online Narrative
- Waste Industry
- Phoenix, AZ
Most consumers probably aren’t thinking about the waste management industry until they need it. If you’re a homeowner, you want a reliable company to come and take your waste and recycling away on the same day every week. If you’re a business owner looking for a waste management service, you’ll likely have more specialized needs, but expect the same reliability. And if you’re a company like Republic Services, who works with both types of clients, that means a lot of competition at both the local and national level.
“Most people start their research by asking a question in search,” says Shalini Desai, Digital Customer Experience Director at Republic Services. “So increasing our discoverability across search experiences and boosting our online reputation is critical.”
Republic Services recognized that online reputation is critical to visibility in search.
When Shalini came on the scene, Republic Services had thousands of unanswered reviews across Google, Yelp, and other online search experiences — without a strategy for responding in a way that could boost the brand’s visibility among potential new customers using search. She saw an opportunity to be more responsive to customers by launching a multi-pronged strategy to manage the company’s online reputation with Yext.
“Yext helped us develop our online reputation management strategy,” states Yasmeen Sarwar, Senior Manager Demand Generation. “We decided to utilize the review response feature, which allows us to respond to reviews directly within the Yext platform. And that process was extremely seamless. It only took us a few weeks to put together a strategy that made sense for our business. And turning on that feature was immediate.”
“The expertise and the people that Yext brings to the table have really helped us move forward,” Shalini reflects. “They’ve helped us accelerate our business and make plans for managing our reputation in a way that feels very strategic, thoughtful, and objective.”
Another challenge in managing its public perception centered on pushing out accurate, timely information about Republic Services’ more than 600 transfer stations, recycling facilities, and other physical locations. With Yext, Republic Services seamlessly and efficiently manages its listings across the entire Knowledge Network — approximately 175 digital services globally, including Google, Amazon Alexa, Apple, Bing, Facebook, Yahoo, and Yelp.
“Yext makes it so easy to get the information for our business listings into the system,” Yasmeen says. “With Yext, we’re able to manage a large amount of listings at scale, and get the reporting that we need to understand what’s happening with those listings. It has really helped increase our online discoverability.”
Perhaps most importantly, Yasmeen says the company’s partnership with Yext has provided the insights needed to feel secure that its customers — both existing and prospective — are getting the accurate information they need about Republic Services across search experiences.
“We have the peace of mind that, as long as we’re doing everything we can to provide the most up-to-date information, Yext is going to make the information available across the most popular applications — in the most efficient way possible,” she says.
Republic Services took ownership of its online reputation to drive customer engagement.
The company’s hard work and strategic thinking have paid off. Between July 2019 and June 2020, Republic Services experienced a 24% increase in listing clicks. The company experienced a 46% increase in listing clicks the year prior. Crucially, Republic Services has also seen a 79% increase in impressions for unbranded queries in the last year.
By focusing its efforts on listings and reputation management, the company has also seen a substantial increase in online reviews. Before launching with Yext in March 2015, the company had 1,075 reviews across the Knowledge Network, going back as far as 2004. As of February 2020, Republic Services has 13,066 new reviews.
By taking online reputation management seriously, Shalini’s team has also made a substantial difference in Republic Service’s rating. Since launching Yext’s review response feature (August 2019 to February 2020), the company has seen a 5% increase in five-star reviews. The company has also experienced a 20% year-over-year increase in average online rating (February 2019 to February 2020).
“We’re at a juncture where our customers absolutely expect our industry — which has traditionally been very person to person, phone to phone — to really start becoming more digital and self-service,” Shalini says. By making it easier for customers to discover and engage with its business across search experiences, Republic Services is well on its way to increasing brand awareness, and making the business even more responsive to the communities it serves.