homeresourcescase studiesHow switching to Birdeye helped Southern Careers Institute increase reviews by 400% and boost student enrollment

How switching to Birdeye helped Southern Careers Institute increase reviews by 400% and boost student enrollment

Southern Careers Institute 1596976449340
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Company Snapshot

Southern Careers Institute is a private school with eight locations across Texas and an online campus. The school ensures the long-term success of students by delivering programs tailored for employer needs.

  • 8
  • June 2019


Recognizing their leading position in the local market, the Southern Careers team was disheartened to discover that their online reputation did not match their success. Prior to migrating to Birdeye, Southern Careers Institute used Grade.us, producing an average of 11-12 reviews per month for all locations. By 2019, their reputation had dropped to a 1.9-star rating. 

Consequently, securing reviews became imperative for the Souther Careers management team. With a rich history spanning over five decades and a loyal customer base, including both current students and alumni, acquiring new reviews and boosting their online presence should have been a simple task. 

“With Birdeye, I loved seeing our reputation transform from dismal to extremely healthy. Birdeye has one of the easiest platforms and teams to work with. It is very easy to learn.”
Justin Shook
Justin ShookDirector of Social Media and Strategy

The Solution

The school’s reputation was tanking and they needed help. Being a multi-location educational institution it was important for them to monitor and manage their online reputation in one place.

Enter Birdeye- undoubtedly a more comprehensive tool for managing multiple locations. Once the institution implemented Birdeye, their reviews increased by 400% in a span of 6 months with a glowing rating of 4.3 stars.

Since working with Birdeye, Southern Careers Institute has seen the following key improvements:

  • 400% increase in reviews.
  • 744% increase in clicks to phone calls.
  • 710% increase in map views.
  • 525% increase in web visits.
  • 417% increase in search views.
  • 361% increase in directions.

Review requests kick-off

The first thing the school needed to do was get new reviews. Justin Shook, the Director of Social Media and Strategy at Southern Careers Institute, started sending reviews to the students. He set up multiple customized campaigns. 

First, he identified segments of potential people who could write reviews. He first targeted the new students who recently enrolled and then directed his attention to the graduate students who had completed their school journey.

“I’m trying to get as much information as possible from the students and graduates to see if there’s something we can do to make them happy. Without Birdeye’s surveys, we wouldn’t be aware of a lot of customer problems that arise”.
Justin Shook
Justin ShookDirector of Social Media and Strategy

Then he set up unique automated campaigns for them. He set up an SFTP feed to get him regular batches of contacts at location level and then he sent out review requests. With Birdeye’s easy email and text requests he was able to achieve a better coverage. That gave him a big boost in reviews and was now capturing happy student reviews on all locations.

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The school started seeing instant results and reviews started pouring in. They saw an instant uptick in student enrollments. Justin shares an interesting instance where a student came to enroll because she saw her friend’s review on Google. Seeing her friend’s name show up with her stellar review of the institute, prompted her to check the school out. And just like that, she enrolled. It was a quick win for the school.

Birdeye Surveys

While reviews were a good avenue to get input from customers about high-level operations, the team at the Southern Careers Institute wanted to collect more in-depth feedback for continuous improvement and greater student satisfaction. When Birdeye launched Surveys, they were quick to sign up.

Justin now uses Birdeye surveys in a lot of creative ways to get in-depth feedback from students. He uses surveys for both enrolled and graduated students to get in front of them to see how their experience is or was with the school. Apart from the ability to get detailed feedback from current students, Justin loves that he is able to reach out to over 30,000 graduates via a drip campaign.

Apart from using surveys to get active feedback, Southern Careers Institute also uses them to collect critical information about the respondents that helps them make future business decisions across different departments. For example, they collect information about what career path their graduates eventually settled with and where they are working. This helps their Career Services department and they use this data to enhance their marketing information to influence future students. So surveys help them not only get reviews but more information they can use across departments. 

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Birdeye Ticketing

As part of the feedback process, when issues surface, Southern Careers Institute has a ticketing system in place within Birdeye to manage them. These tickets are assigned to the Campus Director so that they are managed efficiently. This helps them to ensure that all grievances are taken care off in a timely manner to prevent further escalation. 

Birdeye’s ticketing tool helps convert reviews, social mentions and survey responses into support tickets, and helps resolve issues before they escalate.

Birdeye Reports

Justin also uses the reporting for his campus meetings. He sends a weekly “reputation report” to all executives and key senior members. It’s super quick for him to take a screenshot and paste in an email to the execs. 

“The system is super straight forward,” says Justin. “With Birdeye and reputation management, it makes it very easy to see where we were and where we are now.”

As an organization, they understand that the world we live in today, we have to manage the negative feedback. “It’s a major part of who we are. And Birdeye plays into that mission.” 

He uses the reports to create his strategies for each campus. Every week he uses the “Reviews over Time”, “ Reviews by Location”, “NPS Report over time”. Reports show the highest trend of all time they’ve ever had. It shows a clear proof that Birdeye is working for them, and a reason for them to rely on Birdeye.

“The reports are extremely helpful and quick to pull. They are GREAT to show my executive team a quick snapshot of our reputation improvements, opportunities and how we are addressing them. These features made my job much easier in showing my CEO and COO that Birdeye is worth the investment.”

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Birdeye Insights

Southern Career Institute also uses ‘Athena’ - Birdeye’s Natural Language Processing based algorithm to derive key insights from all the feedback they receive. Birdeye helps them dig beneath reviews, ratings and customer feedback, to discover what's working, what's not, and where.

It helps monitor sentiment from customer feedback to understand their strengths and weaknesses and discover trending topics in their market as a whole.

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Driving Growth with Birdeye

The school’s reviews increased by 400%, and rating jumped to 4.3 stars since using Birdeye. They are connecting with more of their constituents than ever before in a timely manner and overall their organization's communication and culture is improving. Best of all, this quarter has the best NPS rating they had ever seen in their history, one of the highest average review ratings, and second highest number of reviews - a big deal for the school!

Justin concludes by saying “We have used other platforms, but Birdeye has outperformed the others. It is an excellent reputation management platform. I see a long, bright future using Birdeye. Did I mention the implementation team was AMAZING?! They are fantastic!”

Birdeye: The Obvious Choice

Winning over 400 awards for 10 quarters in a row, Birdeye is the most-awarded and highest-rated customer experience software for businesses of all sizes.

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