Review Guidelines for Businesses

Policies and Procedures Related to Consumer Reviews

The Best Company Review Handbook outlines the procedures Best Company follows as related to consumer reviews. This handbook will go over the following four areas:

  1. Review Moderation
  2. Review Disputes
  3. Fraudulent Reviews and Penalties
  4. BestReviews™ Overview and FAQ
A. Review Moderation
Review Moderation and Review Guidelines

Reviews submitted through BestCompany.com are individually moderated by Best Company’s Integrity Team within two business days of verification.

All reviews are manually moderated in accordance with our Review Guidelines. Reviews that do not meet the guidelines are rejected and an email notification with the reason for rejection is sent to the reviewer. The following are some (not all) of the common reasons reviews are rejected:

  • Individuals are not permitted to leave a review for the company they work for or have worked for, even if they are also a customer.
  • Companies are not permitted to incentivize reviews from their customers to leave a review, either directly or through a third party. Best Company considers these types of reviews to be fraudulent (see Section C, “Fraudulent
  • Reviews and Penalties” for more information).
  • Reviews must mention a specific aspect of the company, product, or service they like or dislike in the review. If not, the review is considered “not a review,” rejected, and the reviewer is notified.
  • The content of a review must match the overall score the customer gave the company. If not, the review will be rejected with a note to the customer.
Flagged Reviews

When Best Company suspects a company of submitting fraudulent reviews, the offending company will be alerted and the reviews will be removed. For specifics on this policy, please see Section C, “Fraudulent Reviews and Penalties.”

B. Review Disputes
Dispute Process Overview

Best Company requires companies to submit review disputes through their Business Suite accounts. Signing up for a Business Suite account is free and includes the ability to respond to reviewers publicly and privately, as well as the ability to dispute the legitimacy of reviews.

Best Company encourages companies to use Business Suite. Business Suite allows companies to reach out to their reviewers and resolve their issues or complaints. Reviewers can update the content and overall score of their reviews if resolutions have been made or meaningful subsequent interactions have occurred.

If a company believes a review is untrue or inaccurate, it is required to first reach out to the reviewer in Business Suite in attempt to resolve the situation before it submits an official review dispute. If the reviewer does not respond to the company after five days, a dispute button (flag icon) will appear next to the review. Companies can dispute reviews for the following reasons:

  • False information
  • Moderation error
  • Duplicate review
Dispute Options

Best Company does not allow companies to dispute reviews based on the overall score, if the reviewer’s name is not found in their CRM, or the location associated with the review. Best Company does not accept monetary compensation in exchange for removal of reviews. Best Company believes the moderated reviews published on its site to be valid unless proven otherwise by the company. Below is a further explanation of review disputes Best Company does accept. Please note that factual evidence is required to accompany every disputed review.

  1. False Information
    The company can dispute the review if it is able to provide contradictory evidence that a customer has said untrue things about a company, customer service interaction, product, etc. Each company dispute will need to outline what was untrue and either provide evidence in the initial dispute (URLs) or indicate that further evidence can be provided. Evidence may include copies of contracts, email interactions, recordings of customer calls, website URLs, or links to other similar documentation. Reviews containing information proven to be false will be removed from BestCompany.com.
  2. Moderation Errors
    Companies can dispute any review they believe should not have made it past Best Company’s moderation process. The following is an example of a review that violates Best Company’s review guidelines: “I would not recommend this company. My aunt really doesn’t like them.” This review should not have made it past Best Company’s Integrity Team because 1) it does not provide an actual review of the company and 2) the reviewer did not have a personal experience with the company. According to Best Company’s guidelines, such a review should never have been published. In this case, the company would need to say why it is disputing the review, so Best Company can remove the review.
  3. Duplicate Reviews
    If a company believes that two reviews are from the same person, it can submit the reviews to Best Company for further investigation. Companies should include why they believe the reviews to be duplicates. If Best Company believes that the reviews are from the same person, one of the duplicate reviews will be removed.

Companies can expect a response to their disputes from Best Company within two business days. Ongoing disputes may be passed to or handled by a Business Development Manager at Best Company. If a review dispute is accepted, the reviewer will be emailed, informing them that their review was removed along with an explanation. Please note that decisions made by the Integrity Team and Review Manager are final.

Reviewers who respond may have their review reinstated if they provide contrary evidence showing the review is factual or if they resubmit the review to meet review guidelines.

Bulk Disputes

For bulk disputing (three or more reviews), Best Company will address each dispute in a spreadsheet. Each review will include the review information seen in Business Suite, plus the origination of review, date of dispute, company’s reason for dispute, Best Company’s response to the dispute, whether further information is needed for the dispute, and the current status of the review (live or removed).

Best Company will provide a secondary audit of the reviews and reviewers disputed.

C. Fraudulent Reviews and Penalties
Finding Fraudulent Reviews

Best Company’s Integrity Team has several systems in place to catch fake reviews. If suspicions arise, reviews for the company or industry will be audited and the offending company will be emailed the details of the investigation. Reviews believed to be fraudulent will be removed.

After fake reviews are detected or suspected, Best Company may automatically reject all incoming reviews for the company with an email to the reviewer. This email will ask for proof of customer purchase or interaction in order to resubmit the review for publishing.

Fake positive reviews will result in a warning sent via email to the company contact or directly to the company’s main email address if a contact does not exist. This is considered a strike against the company. If fake reviews continue after two strikes, there will be a one-point manual deduction to the company’s overall score for one year. Additionally, the company’s profile on BestCompany.com may contain a section alerting site visitors to the company’s dishonest reviews. This process will also be applied to companies that leave fake negative reviews for their competitors.

Types of Fraudulent Reviews

Best Company defines fraudulent reviews as any review left by an individual who claims to be a customer, but is not, or an individual claiming to have had an interaction with a company when they have not.

While company-incentivized reviews may not be “fraudulent,” they are not permitted on Best Company at this time, and they will be treated the same as fraudulent reviews with the responsible company receiving a strike against them.

Please also note that Best Company does not permit company employees to leave reviews for the company they work for, past or present, even if the individual is also a customer of the company. These types of reviews may result in a warning to the company and count towards the three-strike policy.

Company Response to Fraudulent Reviews

We encourage companies that receive a strike for fraudulent reviews to give Best Company the dates these reviews were left. This ensures only the fraudulent reviews are removed. If a company cannot or will not disclose this information, Best Company will estimate when the fraud began and send an email to each reviewer in the time period. This email will state why the review was flagged and require proof of customer purchase or interaction in order to keep the review live.

Fraudulent BestReviews™

Companies who use BestReviews™ to submit fake reviews will be banned from using BestReviews™ for 6-12 months depending on the severity. Secondary offenders will be banned indefinitely. Fraudulent BestReviews™ are considered a strike. These verified reviews (generated via BestReviews™) will be removed during the period that fake reviews were generated. Best Company may remove all verified reviews for that company depending on severity.

D. BestReviews™ Overview and FAQ
Overview

Best Company offers a service called BestReviews™, which generates reviews from a company’s customer database. BestReviews™ gathers reviews via phone and email, moderates those reviews (see section A, “Review Moderation”), and then posts them to BestCompany.com. For more in depth information, please see or request our BestReviews™ White Paper.

FAQs
What is required to start a BestReviews™ campaign?

If you would like to generate reviews via phone and email, we will need the following:

  • Customer's phone number
  • Customer’s first name
  • Customer’s zip code
  • Customer’s email address
  • Company's physical address
  • Company’s customer service number

If you would like to generate reviews via email only, we will need the following:

  • Customer’s first name
  • Customer’s zip code
  • Customer’s email address
Why do you need a customer service phone number, and why can’t it be from an IVR?

Sometimes when we call a company’s customers, the customer has a question that only the company can answer (about their account, billing, the product, etc.). In these cases, we transfer the customer directly to the company. Our call center can only complete this transfer using non-IVR numbers. Companies may opt out of providing an IVR, but then customer questions will be left unanswered. We do not recommend companies do this, as it reflects poorly on Best Company and the company we are collecting reviews for.

How often will you call my customers?

We call customers four times, unless they leave a review, ask us to stop calling, or hang up on us. Best Company’s call center is fully TCPA compliant, meaning they call from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays only and the calls are never closer together than six hours.

What phone number will you call from?

Our call center rotates through the following numbers. Please note that these numbers may change. If you are concerned about the phone numbers, please reach out to Best Company and we will verify the phone numbers we are dialing from.

  • 6143507501
  • 8013967437
  • 7242013816
  • 4102045221
  • 7577760896
  • 4122787326
  • 4012142745
  • 6103202314
  • 2158579925
  • 2674817992
  • 2674941886
  • 2152343633
  • 8329523467
What do you say when you call my customers?

First, we let customers know we are calling from BestCompany.com on behalf of your company. Then, we ask if they have time to answer questions and if we can publish their responses on BestCompany.com. Once we have permission, we will ask questions that answer our required sentiment criteria ratings: customer service, quality of the product/service, value for your money, and company trustworthiness. With these questions, plus one or two unique to your company’s industry, we are able to generate a review.

If you would like to see a copy of what we will say to your customers, we would be happy to provide a copy.

How often will you email my customers?

We email customers two to three times. Again, emails stop once we have a review or your customer unsubscribes from our list. We can work around your specific needs, so if you only want us to send out one email or two emails, we will do that.

What do you email my customers?

Your customers will receive an email that looks very similar to, if not identical to, the email below:

email example

If you would like a specific phrase excluded or included in the email to your customers, please let us know. Customers will be asked all the same questions that reviewers are asked on BestCompany.com.

How long does it take to get reviews published?

For reviews generated via phone, it takes an average of two weeks from the time we receive a list from a company to the time reviews generated via our call center are posted. For emailed customers, we publish the reviews one week after each email is sent.

How many reviews will I get from BestReviews™?

With calls and emails, BestReviews™ converts at an average of 14% total. However, different industries have different response rates. For specifics on your industry, please feel free to reach out and ask us.

What does Best Company do with my customer data after review solicitation?

Once your review solicitation campaigns are complete, we will not contact your customers again unless they gave us permission to do so when they left a review on our site. We never re-use or sell your data. Our call center automatically deletes customer data after 180 days.

What data can you share with me after you collect reviews from my customers?

After your customer reviews are published, you will be able to see the review and name of the reviewer. In some cases, your customers will ask to be anonymous. With reviews generated via email, they may choose to use a different name or no name entirely. We respect the customers’ right to leave a review under whatever name they choose and will not reveal the given name of the reviewer. However, we also understand that companies want to know which of their customers leave a review. Upon request, we will send back a spreadsheet highlighting which customers left a review (but not outlining their specific reviews).