What to do When an Employee is Mentioned in an Online Review
- Businesses in the disaster restoration and commercial cleaning space need to anticipate and prepare for when an employee is mentioned in an online review.
- Because this type of customer feedback publicly assesses an employee’s performance, business owners must take great care and thought in their response.
- This situation presents a significant marketing opportunity for the business to improve the customer experience and attract more customers.
Has your business ever received an online review where the customer mentions one of your employees by name in the comments?
Much has been said and written about the best ways for businesses to handle online reviews from customers. But what about cases when an employee is named in a review?
It’s a scenario that is playing out more and more in online customer feedback. And, it’s one that is very likely to happen to property damage restoration and commercial cleaning businesses.
Employees of these businesses are not only onsite at the customer’s property, but sometimes are there for days – even weeks – completing a project. Because they are seen more often by the customer, these employees are more likely to be mentioned in an online review.
This can be good – or bad.
Either way, businesses need to be properly prepared not only to address what can be a delicate situation, but also ensure a positive outcome for the organization.
So, what should you do when an employee is mentioned in an online review? Below are the steps you can take to address the situation. And, note that time is of the essence as you typically want to respond to a review within 3 days.
Prepare Your Staff for Good and Bad Feedback
Today, businesses participate in a “feedback economy”. That is an environment where customers post online reviews about their experience with a business.
The purpose of reviews is to provide businesses with feedback to resolve customer issues and improve their operations. It also provides prospective customers with an unbiased review they can use to decide whether to purchase from that business.
With the continued growth of online reviews, it also means that employees are being called out by name more and more in review comments.
For the employee, this situation can be very stressful – even if the comments are positive. That’s why it is important for ownership to get out in front of this issue by talking to your employees about it.
Let them know that it can happen. But also reassure them that they have your support and that you will work with them to deal with the situation – regardless of the outcome.
Doing this is important because you do not want your employees to be fearful or hesitant to do their job because of the potential of getting poor comments about themselves from customers.
Prioritize Customer Experience Training
How your employees deliver on the customer experience directly relates to the type of online reviews your business will receive.
That’s why every business should have a process for delivering a great customer experience consistently. Part of this process is to train (and retrain) your employees on what an exceptional customer experience looks like in your business and the importance of delivering that experience every time.
As part of this training, you should cover the potential for employees to be called out by name in online customer feedback. The purpose of including this in your training is to let your staff know what to expect and how they should handle it personally and professionally.
A good idea is to go over examples of the types of customer feedback – both positive and negative – that employees might receive. Make sure to let them know that in these situations you will take into account the employee’s side of the story before taking steps to address the situation.
Taking the time to explain this to your employees will ensure they focus on delivering a great customer experience – not worrying about possible negative feedback.
Monitor Your Online Reputation
This goes without saying, but businesses should be on top of what is being said about their brand online. This includes monitoring your online reviews.
You should be the first to know when a review is posted about your business. Especially if it’s a review where one of your employees is mentioned by name. This is information you don’t want to learn from your staff days or weeks after it is posted.
Assess the Review
As with any online review, business owners should approach the reading of customer feedback that includes comments about their employees with an open mind. If one of your employees is named in a review, jot down your notes and questions, and make a copy of the text of the review. Before talking to the employee, have another staff member read it and get their feedback.
From there, gather pertinent details such as, the customer’s contact information, their business transaction and any information from other employees that may have been involved, etc.
If it’s a poor review in that the employee did something wrong, that’s not good. Not only is it bad for your brand’s reputation, this can put a lot of stress on the employee.
Conversely, if the employee is being praised by a customer, this is good for the business and the employee. In this situation, it’s a good idea to recognize the employee in front of their peers.
Making a careful assessment of the review will help you when discussing with your employee and in crafting an appropriate response to the customer.
Meet with the Employee
You might think that the only reason to meet with the employee is because the comments about them were bad. However, whether the customer comments in the review are positive or negative, you should speak to the employee and go over what was said.
When meeting with the employee regarding a positive review, it would not be just to praise them for the positive comments from the customer. Although that is important. The real opportunity is to find out what the employee did to make that customer happy. Then you can look into replicating that behavior throughout the business.
If the review in question is negative, ask the employee to give their side of the story. It’s important to not jump to conclusions, even if it the answer seems clear. Listen to what they have to say and provide any additional information to help provide an accurate picture of what happened.
Whether the employee mentioned in a review did something bad or good, the business should be grateful to the customer for letting them know. If the customer said nothing, the business would have never known which employee was performing poorly – causing a leakage in sales. Or, about a great customer experience an employee was providing that could positively impact sales across the business.
Respond to the Customer
Another important step is for the business to post a prompt response to the review. For most review sites, this should be done within 3 days. If the feedback was left on a social media site, you need to respond more quickly.
In the case of a negative review, you should always try to reach out to the customer, apologize and work to resolve the issue. However, in some cases where a negative review mentions an employee by name, you might consider not replying publicly. This is especially true if the review is toxic or contains inappropriate content.
Why is responding to reviews where an employee is mentioned important?
- For negative reviews, it’s an opportunity to fix an issue, improve your operations and turn negative into a positive.
- For positive reviews, it’s an opportunity to highlight your amazing employees, boost your SEO and catch the attention of potential customers.
It’s important to remember that responding to an online review is an opportunity to make a positive impression on the customer that left the review and anyone else that reads it.
Use in Marketing Content
A key to building your online reputation is creating and publishing case studies and testimonials. However, when you have the opportunity to highlight your customers endorsing your company and recognizing your people – makes this type of content even better.
An employee being mentioned in an online review is a great premise for a case study. Everyone loves a good story. So, tell the story of how your employee saved the day, solved a problem, or went above and beyond for a customer.
The reality is that your employees are likely to be mentioned in online reviews. And, whether the review is good or bad, the business has the opportunity to make sure the outcome of the situation is a positive one.
Like with anything in business, to manage this situation successfully, it’s all in the planning, preparation and execution.
Talk with your employees about online customer feedback. Let them know what to expect and how they should handle good and bad criticism. Reassure them that ownership will support them in these situations.
To help ensure positive feedback, businesses should emphasize customer experience training so that your employees know the correct way to engage with and treat customers.
Take advantage of employees being mentioned in online reviews by using customer feedback to improve the customer experience, create case studies for marketing and attract new customers.
What strategies have your business used for dealing with situations when an employee in mentioned in online review? Let us know in the comments.
At ReviewIgnite, we help property damage restoration and commercial cleaning businesses leverage their online reputation and grow sales. Our software can help you see all your online reviews so you can take action to protect and grow your online reputation. See our software in action. Click on the link below to see a self-guided demo.