Bad Reviews: Should Companies Leave ‘em or Delete ‘em? (If That’s Even An Option)

July 31, 2017

No matter how hard your company might try to do what’s right for your business and for your employees, you will inevitably run into situations where someone is unhappy. And in this world of online forums, review websites and plentiful outlets on which employees can air their opinions for the world to see, it’s only a matter of time before you might find a negative review of your company on websites such as kununu, or on personal blogs, websites and social media. And since every company wants to maintain a positive image online, one negative review (let alone many!) can feel like a real blow.

But before you start researching ways to delete or otherwise get rid of that negative review, you should first determine whether or not it is something that you want to have deleted. In fact, you have another option that does not include outright deletion and that option can actually be much more beneficial to your business in the long run. 

Stop! Before You Try To Get Rid Of It

Your first instinct when coming across a negative review is to do everything in your power to get it removed or deleted…and then pretend it never even happened.

However:

  1. This is not even possible on some websites, and
  2. Ignoring an issue doesn’t actually make it any better.

Even in the rare case that you actually do have the ability to remove a negative comment or review, you probably shouldn’t. Because instead of deleting the comment, your better course of action is to make the situation right in one of these ways:

  • Reading the negative comment and getting to the root of what the problem is from an organizational standpoint. From there, you can make a game plan to attempt to make the employee happy again if they are still employed there.
  • Opening the line of discussion – if appropriate, you can also reach out to the person who shared the negative review (whether they still work at your company or not) to discuss or address the issue head on. Openly acknowledging and working to fix exactly what caused that negative review can give you an even better outcome than if the negative review never existed, which is showing that you care and changing that person’s negative opinion.

How You Can Actually Benefit from Negative Reviews

While addressing negative reviews head on may feel like opening a can of worms, there are some serious benefits that your business can enjoy if you do take the time to respond to them in a constructive manner. These are real benefits that are good not only for your business in the short term, but also for your future growth and your current and future employees:

  • The Ability to Change the Conversation. The upset employee did not seek your business out just so they could leave a negative review. They left the negative review because they were upset about something and they want something to be done about it. If you approach your negative review in this way, then you can completely change the conversation from a negative one to a positive one. You need to really listen to what they are saying to make this positive and when they feel as though they are being listened to, you are more likely to find that they do want things to be made right so they can continue to work for you.
  • A Way to Demonstrate Your Passion for Your Employees. If you delete a negative comment, you have also deleted your opportunity to showcase your how much you care about your employees. Take the time to show them that they matter and it will be noticed by others who are considering employment there. When you respond in a positive manner and make an effort to improve things, you show how much you care about your employees and that can go a long way.
  • A Method To Gain Actionable Feedback. No company is perfect and when you get a negative review, it is the perfect time to use the information to make sure that you do better in the future. Instead of thinking about it as a negative comment, you should think of it as feedback. You can take that feedback and make some real changes to make things better for everyone. When you delete the comment and make no action, then you miss out on valuable feedback that can help you grow as a business and employer.

No company wants to find negative reviews online. But instead of looking at them as negative reviews, you can find a lot more benefit from them when you see them as an opportunity. Respond to them in a smart way and you’ll make your employees happier and your business better.

The next time you get a negative review, think twice before you delete it and try to find a way to make it a positive situation for your company.

We talk more about the importance of honest reviews from current and former employees in the context of hiring in one of our comprehensive resource guides – The New Expectations of People Looking for Jobs. [Download For Free Here]

Linda Le Phan
Content Marketing Manager

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