5 ways to respond positively to a negative Glassdoor review

23rd Aug 2017
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For a significant proportion of professionals, a company’s Glassdoor review is equal to validation of the company’s reputation and employability. Since the reviews – be it favourable or unfavourable, are given by employees, past and present, it can be considered as hearing from the horse’s mouth itself. Hence, it is imperative that companies keep a check on the reputation they have garnered on this particular platform – which acts like a lithium test of sorts — considering its role in the accessibility to talent within the workforce.

Image: Shutterstock

Image: Shutterstock

According to a report conducted by 2016 Glassdoor U.S. Site Survey, about 70 per cent of people look to reviews on the site before they make career decisions, out of which 62% say their perception of a company improves after seeing an employer respond to a review. It also stated that the average candidate reads about six Glassdoor reviews of a particular company, before forming their opinion on the same.

To this end, here’s how you can respond positively to a negative Glassdoor review and turn it around for both your company and alleviate the doubts of future candidates.

Acknowledge the review

Go back to the basics – be gracious for the review. Acknowledge the reviewer’s perception of the company, and offer them feedback for the same. The truth is that when you are handing a negative review, you can either grind your teeth or take it in your stride and look for ways to bring about improvement to the subjects at hand.

For instance, say a bitter former employee X said “The work culture is extremely chaotic and managers need to be more organized in handling their employees.” The best way to respond to this would be: ‘Thank you for your feedback, it has been duly noted and reflected upon. We strive towards becoming better at what we do, and this is a matter we will certainly look to improve upon in the future.’

Address each point

After you acknowledge the review, it’s time you address the issue/s head on. Instead of a standardized ‘we’re working on it’, evaluate each of the points the reviewer has put across and put forth your arguments, thoughts or comments on the same. This will not only give other readers the impression that your company responds diligently to feedback, it will also help negate or reduce the blow of the review, given that your counter-arguments were effective and evocative.

Get the top authority to respond

As mentioned above, 62 per cent of candidates respond favourably to any review, when the employer themselves answer directly to it. So when you have a figure of authority from the company – say the CEO, Vice-President or some other senior manager, making an effort to douse a fiery review, the impact lasts all the way more.

For instance, when negative reviews were posted on Glassdoor about ‘Sprout Social’, it was its CEO Justyn Howard that responded to the same in full and managed to revive a general positive outlook towards the company.

Provide examples of improvements

Like everything else in life, people base their opinions on facts. Thus, the best way to win over the people from a negative Glassdoor review, is to offer credible proof and examples of how the company has in the past or present, countered this very point via a particular project, deal, policy or change. You could even explain how after implementing this, the problem mentioned in the review was nullified in total- and thus stands void, in terms of the company’s functioning, today.

Don’t standardize your responses

One of the most important things in terms of a review, is that people appreciate the response and the effort put in to keep it as organic and pertinent to the matter at hand. To this end, if you offer a standardized response to each of the reviews, you won’t make any headway to convince people that you are taking the problems, issues or complaints seriously. Avoid the practice of copy pasting templates to a review or complaint, talk to the reviewer just like you would talk to an aggrieved client or consumer – give them that respect and attention, and you would stand to gain from the interaction.

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