HR Tips: How to Handle Negative Online Reviews?

October 19, 201610:35 am538 views

People realise that today’s business cannot be separated from technology and virtual platforms such as social media, emails, official websites, make posting reviews, comments and feedback much easier. It’s the age of instant reviews and feedback where people are glued to their mobile devices almost at all times of the day.

Technology allows people to access company information easily, share reviews about products and services and brand trust factor depends on the positive comments generated online. This open platform allows everyone to join, view, critic, share, comment or recommend about a product or service experience to the world at large.

While every brand and employer expects positive feedback, critical comments, opinions and negative feedback are but unavoidable in the online world. Those customers disappointed with products or services offered or resentment to be expressed by an employee with a company is voiced out on social media platforms as a medium of venting out emotional discontentment.

Customer’s voice is predominant for today’s businesses. Testimonials and comments become incredibly important to drive more customers to trust and use the company’s branded products as well. Negative feedback on the other hand, only ruin brand reputation, impact market credibility, brand value and decrease trust of the customer thus denting profits.

Human Resources is one of the most important departments of an organisation, wherein the senior management always comes back to the managers to moderate the post about the company brand online. The job most likely done by brand moderators and image building associates. They are likely to be the representatives responsible for maintaining the brand repute consistently without flak across media platforms.

See: Overcoming Productivity Roadblocks

Suggested below are some effective ways on how managers should handle negative online reviews of a company:

Prompt Response. Respond promptly to the client’s complaints and bad reviews. This shows that the company really cares about its customers and values their opinion. While HR Departments are not always equipped and the right people to provide the best solutions to resolve the discrepancy in product or service offerings, they can help build a strong user-friendly customer brand by responding to critical feedback and complaints in a timely polite manner.

Handle the Issue Privately. It is better to discuss complaints and issues through a one-on-one meet in private rooms, rather than discussing them and allowing chances of miscommunication or misrepresentation of details on emails and social media platforms. Sometimes handling issues in public might seem the only way out, however, choose if you can still talk it out privately, rather than inviting more people to be a part of the discussion and blowing things beyond proportions to magnify the scale of impact.

Always Provide Alternatives. Provide customers with complaints and critical feedback, an opportunity to voice out their concerns with the right department. You can help them connect with the right people by providing an email address, contact numbers and name of the concerned personnel responsible for resolving the issue at company front. This discussion will steer clear of any issues on clients minds and would make them feel they are welcomed to argue and opine on a subject of mutual interest.

Make Feedback a Great Resource for Improvement. Instead of ignoring critical comments and feedback, HR Managers should take them positively and use them as great resources to fix certain procedural flaws, managerial issues, or even reshuffle employees within a department to assume more appropriate job roles that suit their personality type.

Ask to Remove or Replace the Negative Feedback. Once the issues have been cleared, employers can ask clients/customer to remove or replace the negative feedback with positive ones and share their experience on working with your company on personal blogs and social media platforms. This will help promote the company brand in a positive light. However, in case the customer expresses an unwillingness to delete the negative feedback in the past, you can hide those comments with help from the website developer or content moderator.

Handling negative online feedback requires tact and courage to accept mistakes while reminding yourself of the brand ethos to not compromise on customer satisfaction at the end of it all.

The attitude with which brand managers and HR personnel resolve the issue with tact, without blaming the responsible workforce or employers shows the strength and credibility of a brand to make a positive comeback. 

Every successful venture goes through its fair share of pitfalls in its journey to become a credible, trustworthy brand. Brand managers should possess the unique ability to see through negative criticism and false publicity, to be able to welcome new improvements with openness and positivity.

Read also: HR Tips: How to Optimise Productivity of the Team?

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