In our recent employment monitor we found that 33% of employers do not review what is said about them online. This is a huge missed opportunity in terms of selling your company to jobseekers but also to your clients and customers. Listening to conversations about your brand is essential not only for idea generation and innovation but also for ensuring your brand remains competitive, strong and successful. 

Publicly responding to any negative reviews is an opportunity for you to explain your side of the story but it also speaks volumes about your culture. Not engaging with bad reviews or attempting to reconcile makes your company appear uncaring about its customers’ needs and opinions. Online reviews are not set in stone. By reaching out and resolving an issue customers can amend their review to reflect the quality customer service they received. Ignoring negative reviews means that the world sees you in the light of a disgruntled few.

The weight that people put on recommendations is growing. We’re living in an age of communication fatigue and ad blindness. People trust their social circle. They trust their peers and no amount of advertising can cancel out the negative reviews that are circulating on Glassdoor or social media. Your brand is only as strong as what your people have to say about you.

Embrace the Online Culture

Yes it can be intimidating if you’re not familiar with the platform and it can be easier to ignore it. However, you can potentially damage your brand by not being aware of online reviews. Start by making yourself familiar with what review sites like Glassdoor and Irish Jobs have to offer. They are not platforms for angry employees and ex-staff. In fact 70% of employees on Glassdoor say they are ‘Ok’ or ‘Satisfied’ with their job and company and the average company rating is 3.4. Pay attention to what is being said about your brand. Set up a google alert for your company, this will pick up mentions of your brand in the news and media. Social media allows you to listen to your employees and your customers 24/7.

Use Your Greatest Grand Advocates – Your Employees

In our research we found that 45% of employers surveyed actively encourage positive online reviews to drown out the negative. At Cpl, we highlighted negative reviews as an issue and put in place a strategy to handle them. We started responding to anything negative and showed we were listening and that we would look to change it. We also encouraged our staff to share their experiences. In doing so there is the expectation that it’s not going to be all rave reviews – but that wouldn’t be believable to the outside world anyway. Giving a voice to your staff in such a forum is a great way to improve your internal culture.. Company review sites can be a fantastic addition to your internal recruitment efforts.

Brands are not what companies claim they are, but what customers say they are. The best brands embrace online and handle negativity head on. There is no trick to getting people to talk in positive terms about your company but start by making it a great place to work. We have strived to do that with internal project teams helping us build on a fun, competitive and rewarding culture and we have started to reap dividends with the winning the Great Place to Work award in 2016 and 2015 as well as the NRF Agency of the Year 2016. We believe that a positive organisational culture ensures loyal brand ambassadors. In today’s economy reviews and recommendations are king so stay in control of any conversations that are happening online about you.

Ted Rubin says it best “a brand is what a business does, reputation is what people remember”. 

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