Importance of Company Reviews - How Crucial is it?

HOW CRUCIAL IS IT?

Company Ratings and Reviews - Good and Bad

'Reviews aren't important I was told last week'.  How wrong that statement is and I hope it doesn't come back and bite those that think this way.

In a world full of opinions at your fingertips, company reviews are a shop window for others to decide at the click of a button, who or what you are as a company, on show to the big wide world.

 

Potential employees, customers and suppliers are becoming much savvier at checking people out before they make the leap.

Whilst they can all check public financial records it is the honest reviews of others in-house knowledge becoming more of a consideration above all.  Why wouldn’t you listen to those that have been there and had the experience?

Are they good, bad, or indifferent payers?  Do they keep to their word and deliver on their promise?  Is their product/service as good as they shout from the rooftops?

Anyone can have an all singing, all dancing website, or post regularly on social media ‘telling’ everyone how good they are.  Its individuals that deal with the companies and the people within them with an honest opinion that is now more important and credible.

How often do you go to the reviews before buying a product? Or even search on the number of stars it has been rated?  We've all done this on Amazon.

 

 

Google Ratings

Everyone knows Google nowadays, my word I know some who wing their way through life by it.  Google is the leading search engine that much of the world depends upon as their bible of information.  Should your company have a less than average rating on google could be the crunch of you getting that new client, customer, project, funding or addition to your workforce.    It’s there in black and white……. or gold stars usually on a review as we know it.

With Google it is extremely difficult for businesses to hide or delete a bad rating……should they act in this way we all know the trick of getting all and sundry in the company; the director’s wife, mum, dad, kids, and their dog to write a good review to get the rating back up (Names tend to give that away).   Fluffing the ratings determines that the company is probably not the honest, transparent company that you would want to do business with or work for.

You may go along the lines that it's an ex-employee with sour grapes or a grudge, a competitor trying to do damage.   This may be true, however the reader is thinking ‘Aahhh that old chestnut’.  The question is then; why do those writing the review feel the need to write this down in the first place, going to the trouble of saying anything at all?  There’s no smoke without fire as the saying goes.

 

 

Online Jobsites

Reviews are fairly new to online jobsites; an employee’s opportunity to cast an opinion or insight of the company as an employer.  The added information available also includes being open and honest regarding salaries.   This can be 'death by jobsite'.  In days gone by people were worried about having an opinion and maybe even upsetting others.  Salaries were a secret or a taboo awkward subject.  Nowadays with the freedom to say from afar, employees are opening up and writing down their true thoughts about their employers.  Potential employees want to know what the post and salary is on offer, in a bid to eliminate those awkward conversations and enables them to realise their value and own potential.   Goal setting and having a vision to better yourself would be wasted on a company that offers a reduced salary or not the level you are hoping to achieve.

Previously the salary situation has been a bit of a game; the employee twisting the truth of what they are currently paid and the employer hedging their bets of how they can ‘save’ money.

This can be such a problem for businesses trying to recruit.  Not being honest or clear with job descriptions, pay or how they perform as an employer can become clear in the reviews.  Once companies and management teams have gained a reputation as a poor employer this tends to stick……we all know bad news travels fast.

 

 

There are benefits to reviews too

Reviews can be good and bad, it's like a governance from within and in that respect it doesn’t let the bad companies and employers hide behind anything.  On the other side of the coin, it can be a good tool to demonstrate to the outside world those businesses that are good, fair, and kind employers.   It can give companies and potential employees peace of mind that they are a good company to work with, honest, pay on time or that their services or products are worth recommending.

People only go to the trouble of writing a review if something has touched them personally and they feel it is worthy of doing so.

Unfortunately, we live in a society that aren’t great at commending others, quicker to criticise and pull someone or something down, causing irreparable damage which maybe wasn’t even the intention.    As a business, it is crucial to maintain high standards, fair trading, be who you say you are and just as importantly be a good, kind, considerate employer.

Gone are the days businesses can be flippant and think they can replace a customer or employee; times aren’t so easy and having a bad reputation can make or break a company.

 

 

It is more expensive to replace a customer than to retain one and the same consideration for losing your skilled workforce.

 

It takes roughly 40 positive customer experiences to undo the damage of a single negative review. The ratio is derived from a combination of human behaviour, math, and logic.

 

 

If a single bad review can undo the value of 40 good experiences, then the best solution is to focus on customer satisfaction and an excellent management model. If it isn't already, customer and employee happiness should be just as important to your business as the product or service itself.

All businesses should have good clear values engrained throughout the company.  If you're confident you are a good employer, a good company, then you should be proud of the excellent ratings and reviews you deserve.

So are company ratings and reviews good and bad, crucial to a business?..........Absolutely.

A good habit to get into is also responding to those reviews.  This shows you care what people think of you and how you are perceived.


Looking with a Fresh Perspective

TJ was asked to write for East Midlands Chamber magazine, Business News

Here's what she had to say;

TJ Duncan-Moir, a former director at a family run manufacturer, now acts as an improvement and growth consultant to other companies as owner of Business Glu.  She explains why it pays to have a different set of eyes viewing a business from outside.

 

During my 30 years gathering the experience I have, by working my way through a business from bottom to most senior, I started to understand that while 'in' the business, you're so busy firefighting you can only ever see and know what's exactly in front of you.

Business leaders often get the year off to a positive start with all the things you're going to accomplish throughout the year. Two weeks in, you're back with your nose to the grind doing what you've always done, the way you've always done it.

Its so easy to become operationally blind.  Getting a new pair of eyes, which don't get distracted by other urgent tasks, to help is a real gamechanger - and a skilful way of becoming unstuck while bringing new excitement to your team.

Understanding this position has made me passionate about helping others to achieve results they didn't think possible and creating awareness of how beneficial outside help can be to a company.

 

HOW EXTERNAL SUPPORT CAN BE BENEFICIAL

Businesses rarely recognise when change is necessary because getting the work out the door is a challenge in itself.  Engaging with an external specialist, with their own set of skills, knowledge and experience, can open new doors - while bringing new an innovative ideas to the table that internal members probably wouldn't have been able to see on their own.

Many challenges faced are often put off for another day.  But having someone plan with you - prompting you to achieve your objections, using the correct tools in a controlled way and working with you to keep everything on track - quickly realises a return on your investment.

Clients eyes are opened to new plans, opportunities, products, markets and processes, all while the business continues.  Nobody is taken away from their  day job, morale is boosted and the change that worries leaders will not be rejected.  It becomes the norm as the team feels part of the improvements and a sense of achievement is enjoyed across the organisation.

 

BOTTOM LINE IMPACT

Reviewing departments, processes and areas of the business that don't usually get considered can be rewarded with huge cost savings.  Clients benefit from an objective, unbiased evaluation that drives them forward and has a positive impact on their bottom line.

This is driven without involvement in office politics or making savings on employees costs, and the only objective for the external specialist is the continuity plans of the business and its success.

The management team is relieved of the pains faced with running a company.  It has the confidence that someone has their back and has learned new skills it can continue to use long after the external involvement has left the building.