There’s nothing like the stomach-dropping feeling when your company gets a negative review. Disgruntled people rarely hold back when they’re upset, leading to one-star, sometimes scathing, reviews. But whether the reviewer is telling the whole story or not (sometimes they are), your greatest worry is probably your reputation.
Online reputation is everything in the trucking industry. When truckers look for a new fleet, they will turn to the internet. Besides looking at the company’s social media accounts and website, they’ll also see if there are reviews from others drivers.
And if those reviews are poor, it can really hurt your company, reputation, and ability to hire and retain drivers. This is especially true because many trucking company reviews come from current or previous drivers who are/were employed there.
But you don’t have to sit on the sidelines and pout about how everyone hates you. You can take actual steps to improve your company’s online reputation so that drivers see your true potential.
Respond to Each Bad Review in the Right Way
Bad reviews are scary, but your response is the most meaningful part you can control.
Respond to the review publicly from your company’s account, and follow these steps:
- Stay calm. If you respond from a place of anxiety or anger, it will show, which can hurt your business even more.
- Apologize for the poor experience, and acknowledge any potential failures on your part.
- If you know who left the review, reach out to them directly. If you don’t know their contact information, provide a way for them to contact you to discuss the details.
- If there’s a way to resolve things, offer it. Mention how you will do things better going forward.
Some brands can offer a replacement or something free for the bad review. When it comes to trucking, reaching out to apologize and find out what went wrong is typically best.
Even if the reviewer doesn’t change their mind (and they could), the benefit of responding is immense. In fact, your responses are mostly for prospective drivers. They’ll see that you are willing to admit any faults and fix issues as they arise.
Check Your Company Reviews Regularly
Check often to see what people are saying. That includes reviews on Google, Yelp, Facebook, and the Better Business Bureau (BBB). The longer you leave a review unanswered, the more time prospective drivers and customers will have to see it.
Respond to negative reviews as quickly as you can in the above-outlined ways. You can have a template ready for how to respond, but don’t just copy and paste the same response — personalize it so that people can see you care about actually resolving issues.
Learn from the Bad Reviews
Bad company reviews are crucial data, so don’t discount them. You can learn a lot about the general consensus on your company or what issues are most important to those you work with. Even if your first reaction is, “What? That’s not true!” take some deep breaths and try to understand what the reviewer is saying.
And if there is truth to what the review mentions, plan to fix it — or at least address it — ASAP.
Ask for Reviews After Positive Encounters
If there are one or two bad reviews in a sea of generally positive ones, online lurkers will probably take the negative with a grain of salt. Therefore, building up more reviews can help your case.
You can add to your online reviews by asking for them:
- Send “thank you” emails to clients after finishing a job, asking for them to leave a review at the end.
- Check-in with clients to see how they are doing, and ask them to complete a survey or fill out a testimonial form.
- Send out feedback surveys with open-ended questions where customers can describe their experience with your fleet.
- Ask employees to provide their feedback on the company.
You never know unless you ask. Ask more after good client or employee interactions, and you’ll probably be surprised by how the positive reviews add up.
What About Fake Company Reviews?
While we’d like to think people are honest, we all know better about the internet. Fake reviews do happen, and if you suspect them, you have some options. For example, you can request a removal from a Google business profile. Every platform will have its own rules — you can search for how to take down fake reviews on each.