In today’s ever-changing workplaces, news travels fast. Instant communication makes it possible for great experiences, fantastic opportunities and notable successes to be shared either in an instant, or at the perfect time to make the most impact. Unfortunately, the same applies to bad news, failures and terrible experiences. For employers, this is highlighted not only by the most commonly-used social media sites like Facebook and Instagram, but by websites aimed specifically at employees, jobseekers and employers, such as Glassdoor.co.uk.
A huge potential pitfall for customer service businesses with sizeable teams is how do you keep your employees happy when demands on your business might rise and fall significantly?
So, what is the Glassdoor effect?
Websites like Glassdoor and Indeed were set up to take advantage of the internet’s power to increase transparency in the jobs market, as explained in this article by JP Griffin Group. However, as those who work within customer service will know -whilst a happy customer might tell one or two friends about their experience, an unhappy one is likely to tell many more. This works the same way with employer review sites, where anonymous employee reviews on sites like Glassdoor enable them to tell many more!
In a helpful article by David Banks for Navex Global, there are two possible reasons given for why employees might prefer to post bad reviews anonymously online rather than dealing with them at work. One is the fear of retaliation within the workplace, but another perhaps more important reason is that reviewers receive more immediate affirmation from the audience outside the organisation. It just feels better for them to tell people and to receive sympathy online from random readers.
Job seekers are more likely to trust a review from someone like themselves than the published statements of a potential employer, so poor reviews do influence the ability to attract a good quality workforce.
Can you avoid it?
If you have team members who are dissatisfied, bad online reviews are not a problem caused by websites which allow anonymous reviews. They’re a problem caused by making employees (and ex-employees) unhappy enough to hit the keyboard. Bob Corlett, President and Founder of Staffing Advisors and HRExaminer Editorial Advisory Board Member in the US, says “If you own a restaurant, the solution to your bad restaurant reviews is not found online – you solve it in the kitchen”.
The Navex Global article lists some excellent strategies for businesses to minimise the chances of employees resorting to posting bad reviews online. These include focusing on any issues raised in reviews; showcasing and providing evidence of positive core values; enforcing a strict no-retaliation policy for anyone who reports issues internally and creating an environment where senior management supports employees in raising issues for the improvement of the business.
What if your workforce fluctuates to meet demand?
If you have a seasonal customer service business or if your demand is determined by a churn of clients, your risk of suffering from the Glassdoor Effect is higher than operations with steadier workforces. With every round of workforce reductions, there is a chance of poor reviews. With every poor review, there is a chance of others affirming complaints or posting their own.
Outsourcing to meet your needs at times of peak demand might be the answer. Not only does this allow you to focus on keeping your core workforce happy, it enables true flexibility so that customers can be looked after too. Of course, you have to identify and engage with outsourcers who can service your customers’ needs to a high standard and that can be a challenging process. Doing it right, though, helps you to protect your own reputation as an employer as well as meeting customer needs.
At Contact Centre Panel, we’ve built our business on helping brands to choose their perfect outsourcing contact centre match. Our scientific approach and industry expertise results in long-lasting, rewarding business relationships, whether that’s to help with seasonal demand variations or to deliver permanent customer service solutions – watch our short video to see how this works.
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