“Help! How Do I Handle a Negative Online Review?”
You’ve worked hard to build a great business, providing amazing service experiences for both employers and job seekers. You’ve built a service model that has checks and balances. You’ve trained your staff on the right way to work with employers and job seekers.
And then it happens.
You get a disgruntled troll who wants to tell the world how horrible your company is…how your service is terrible…you don’t care about people…you’re unresponsive…and how you are not even nice to your own children. You know they type!
Your first instinct is to go on the defensive or to delete that comment immediately. I get it. Sometimes a bad review can seem like a slap in the face. And more times than not, it is not justified.
The truth is, most of the time it wasn’t your service that was the problem. It was just that the candidate didn’t have the skills or experience your clients needed, and you couldn’t place that person.
But put yourself in the candidate’s shoes. That poor person has probably bounced around to a few different agencies. Maybe he was laid off and can’t find work. Maybe he didn’t know where to turn next and feels helpless. That candidate needs a job and is probably pretty upset about being rejected. Now he needs to vent his anger at someone—and you’re an easy target.
So what should you do with a bad online review?
Don’t delete it or hide it. Instead, address it in a proactive and helpful way.
Step 1: Address complaints directly on the platform, then look to move the conversation offline:
Here’s an example:
[This is you] Hi [Name], thank you for the feedback, I’m very sorry to hear that you didn’t have a great experience. We pride ourselves on helping people find great job opportunities. Whenever we hear that someone didn’t have an exceptional experience, we want to know about it so that we can fix things. If you could call our offices at XXX-XXX-XXXX, we would be happy to speak with you and help in any way we can. Again, thank you for sharing your feedback, and we look forward to turning things around for you.
Step 2: Don’t engage in a back-and-forth commentary online–you won’t win.
If the candidate won’t listen to reason and continues their onslaught, consider banning them from your page.
Step 3: Be more honest with unqualified candidates.
Most internal recruiters are very nice people and have a hard time being honest with someone that doesn’t have the right skills. It’s much easier to say “I’ll call if anything opens up,” than it is to say “I’m very sorry, but you just don’t have the skills that my client(s) are looking for, and I don’t have an opening for you.” The problem with this type of soft response is that it gives candidates false hope, and they will be really upset when you don’t call!
Step 4: Put a proactive plan in place to build more positive reviews.
You’re in the people business, and at some point you’re going to deal with a bad review. The best way to combat bad reviews is to overwhelm them with the positives. The more four and five star reviews you get on Yelp, Glassdoor, Indeed and Google Reviews, the better.
We recently had a client in the Kansas City area who had a 1.5 star rating on Yelp—and a few nasty comments from their own trolls. With a proactive strategy to build positive reviews (and some new technology from Haley Marketing), we increased their average review to 3.5 stars in just 3 days! And we collected 36 positive candidate testimonials in just three weeks.
With a proactive plan to build good reviews, you can ensure your happy candidates far outweigh the unhappy one’s on social media and review sites.