If you’re an online merchant, customer reviews are everything. From Amazon to Etsy to some Squarespace outfit you designed all by yourself, a handful of negative experiences can quickly diminish your star rating from trustworthy to “red flag”. With so much competition out there, a less-than-stellar rating can obliterate your chance of success. There’s not much room for nuance in a five-star rating system.
But online merchants aren’t alone! Employers are also subject to this form of scrutiny thanks to sites like Indeed and Glassdoor, where current and former employees can tell the world what kind of employer you are. These sites offer savvy job seekers their first and possibly last step in researching your organization. Too many negative reviews can cost you a hire before the process even gets started.
Obviously, everyone wants to believe their company is too perfect for negative reviews. But even the best companies out there get them. Maybe they’re earned; maybe they’re from disgruntled ex-employees with an axe to grind. Regardless, they require attention.
We’ll discuss how to respond to negative employee reviews next month. For now, let’s simply look at why you should respond in the first place.
Even if you only respond with a blanket stock response, it shows future employees a higher level of care than they might expect. First off, you’re actually in there, reading comments. That’s rare enough. But you’re also taking time to engage and that’s possibly more important than the content of your comment itself.
Improve Company Culture
Any time you write about your company publicly, that is an opportunity to shower praise upon your current staff and point out whatever makes them so valuable to your organization. Remember, if you’re reading these comments, chances are high that your staff reads them as well. So here’s your candid chance to let everyone know how great your team is!
Set The Record Straight
Some comments will be driven by emotions more than facts. There isn’t much you can do about that. But some may arrive with stinging barbs of truth. By commenting, you have a chance to address these concerns publicly. If you truly are in the wrong, this can be an opportunity to change things behind the scenes. If that is the case, you should say so. Turn that L into a W by telling the world you heard the complaint and took action.
Next month we'll examine response methods that will keep you from looking insincere or overly defensive. Stay tuned!