The popularity of such sites like Yelp and Trip Advisor have put a great deal of power in the hands of your customers. They can go through and either rip you a new one or praise your business to the heights.
Since anyone can log on and post feedback, many business owners don’t think much about these ratings. However, what they fail to consider is how these ratings can affect potential job candidates as well as their customers.
Review Regularly for Ideas
Career Magazine and other similar advice publications recommend that potential employees check on a business’s ratings on these social media fueled sites. This means that while you may have the best in applicant tracking systems, you might not get your ideal applicants because of negative feedback on these sites.
Instead of ignoring these sites, you should instead embrace them. While some of the feedback may be bogus by angry people or individuals who just want to do something to make themselves feel better, much of it can be genuine. In fact, you can glean some helpful ideas. For instance, if you read that people perceive your business as treating employees disrespectfully, ask yourself what could have caused this belief? In some cases, you can contact the person who posted on the site and then ask his input in understanding what caused the belief. Even if not, your own review can reveal weaknesses that you need to address.
Respond with Tact and Grace
In some situations, it is appropriate to respond to negative reviews as well as positive ones. This all varies based on the site and its policies. Some will allow you to post a formal rebuttal in which you make your primary case against the things that customers are saying. Other sites allow you to instead write directly to the individual making the complaint.
In either case, you want to make sure that you write respectfully and tactfully. You don’t want to come across as defensive. Unless the allegations are obviously false, it’s generally not a good idea to state that the writer is a liar. There are tactful ways to imply this without saying anything that could get you sued. Remember to avoid using all capital letters or profanity. Try to address the situation based on the facts given. Avoid using emotionally charged language.
Your responses will say a lot about your business. In fact, for future job applicants checking out your reviews, these responses can actually do more to help you than to hurt you. Those businesses that do respond tend to do so with anger and profanity laced sentences, complete with fragments and misspellings. If you are articulate and reasonable, that is the memory that is going to stick around more. It also gives you the opportunity to put part of your business policy into action.
The key is to not just let the reviews sit there without doing anything about them. You can’t respond with anger, but you can respond with grace. In doing this, you’ll be able to differentiate yourself from the competition and perhaps even gain loyalty as well.