Edge ILM: How can businesses deal with bad reviews?

Seb O’Connell, Cielo’s Executive Vice President and Managing Director for Europe, was quoted in the article, "How can businesses deal with bad reviews?" which was recently featured in Edge ILM. The piece explores how employers should respond to reviews on sites like Glassdoor, which are making comments about organizations more public and accessible than ever – whether they are truly from employees and former employees, or snide remarks from competitors.

Excerpts From the Article:

"'You’ve got to look at things in the round,' [Steve Rockey, head of people at Big Easy Restaurants] says. 'If you have somewhere online people are allowed to express opinions freely, you’ll get a range of them. It’s about accepting these sites exist and that you can’t be in control. You have to develop a thick skin.'"

"It’s also worth remembering that while it’s easy to fixate on the potential damage to your brand, readers are often savvy enough to take negative reviews with a pinch of salt. Just as they might view an overly-positive write-up cautiously on TripAdvisor (possibly supplied by the restaurant owner’s husband) – so, they also understand there could be an ulterior motive behind negative comments on Glassdoor."

"'We’re talking about a generation growing up who are very social media-savvy,' says Seb O’Connell, managing director of Cielo Talent. 'They know what feels authentic, what feels true to them, and I think that's what's guiding them when they choose an employer. So what you've got to make sure you're doing is explaining authentically, both through the site itself, and internally to your staff, why things have happened and how the company is going to address them.'"

"Employers have a right to reply on Glassdoor – and O’Connell confirms that this is your chance to show that your company takes criticism on-board and responds to it appropriately. Online responses should be polite, constructive and written in your brand’s tone of voice. 'That’s a really positive way of doing it, because it shows how you welcome comments and use them to develop your own culture,' says O’Connell."

"'Sometimes people don't understand why something has to change in the business,' says O'Connell. 'So maybe this is an opportunity to address an element of the internal communication process which hasn't touched that individual yet. Staff have a right to express themselves – and if you're not giving them the channels to do so internally then [review sites] are maybe the route for them to do that. I think the important point is not about the identity of the individual – it's the message that you're addressing and the point they're making.'"

Seb’s tips on protecting your brand online in an authentic, meaningful way are helpful to organizations in any industry. Read the full article "How can businesses deal with bad reviews?" on the Edge ILM website.