While the old adage “there’s no such thing as bad publicity,” may be true in the entertainment industry, bad company reviews in the healthcare industry can be disastrous, both for patient census and for hiring. There are now multiple options for creating online employee reviews of employers, and according to a Glassdoor survey, 70% of job seekers look at company reviews when making career decisions. Clearly reviews matter. Here's how to put a process into place for monitoring your company’s reviews, increasing the number of positive reviews, and handling bad reviews.
WALK A MILE IN A JOB-SEEKER’S SHOES
According to Glassdoor, a majority of job seekers read one to six reviews before forming an opinion about a company. What kind of picture do six online reviews of your company paint? If you don’t know, it’s time to find out. Put yourself in the shoes of a job candidate and visit a few review sites (Glassdoor, Indeed, Facebook, Google, etc.). If you are happy with what you see, that’s great, but don’t rest on your laurels. Put in place an ongoing audit process to keep up with the current reviews.
NO NEWS IS NOT GOOD NEWS
If you are not seeing much at all about your organization online you will need to put some effort into creating some (hopefully good) reviews. It is not appropriate to directly ask for positive reviews, but you can solicit them through a survey process. Send out surveys asking for honest feedback from patients and employees. Use the negative surveys to improve your organization, shore up weak areas that need improving, and create an environment less likely to bring about negative reviews.
Next, send follow-up thank you emails expressing your appreciation for completing the survey. Let those who have given a negative survey know that you are addressing the issues they identified, and invite those who gave a generally positive survey to share even more of their opinion by leaving an online company review. Make it easy for them by including a direct link to a review site.
HAZARD AN OPINION
A recent Forbes article indicates that 84% of people trust online reviews as much as they trust friends’ personal recommendations. This is a sobering statistic if you’ve discovered your online reviews are less than stellar. Negative reviews must be addressed head on, but be careful how you approach them. See them as opportunities to fix problems and improve processes, and make sure you drill down into that review to get to the heart of the problem.
WORK THE PROBLEM
A recent article in Inc.com recommends you first acknowledge the review and ask some questions of the reviewer to clarify the issue. Validate the reviewer’s feelings and try to enlist him/her as a partner to solve the issue (you can suggest taking the conversation offline to hammer out the details). If the issue is resolved, you can then politely ask him/her to consider changing the review.
IF YOU DON’T TELL YOUR STORY, SOMEONE ELSE WILL
If the issue with a particular reviewer can’t be resolved, then at least you have an online thread that shows you acknowledged the review and have tried to resolve the problem. In fact, it’s good general practice to acknowledge all company reviews, both negative and positive, quickly. This will show review readers that you are a responsive company that cares what people think of your organization, and give you at least a modicum of power to craft your online review narrative.
Negative reviews don’t have to be an endpoint. They can be the springboard to creating a better organization.