Today’s post was written in the first-person by Blake Pack, who runs our blog.
A few months ago a friend of mine who owns a restaurant had an event. They were understaffed, I had the night free, so I offered to tag along and help. After all, who doesn’t need a little extra spending cash now and then, right? 🙂
At this event, I got to see him at work and watch him interact with all sorts of people—not just the people who hired him to cater, but all sorts of people who were raving about how good his food was. It was fun to see, but at one point it got a little embarrassing.
A guy came up to thank me for the delicious food. He had a few drinks under his belt, so I don’t think he heard me when I told him that I don’t work with the restaurant, nor did I own it as he had supposed I did. He loved everything we served and wanted to be sure I knew it. It was a very kind gesture, but I couldn’t help feeling a bit bad about it. Back at the restaurant, an entire team of cooks, servers, accountants, and other staff were working away while I got the credit and was sneaking bites of food.
I did my best to set him straight, but ultimately, I took the compliment and continued working the event. But at that moment, I wished I had been an employee. Hearing how much a customer loves the business is as valuable to an employee as it is for the owner.
My friend has always been great at relaying these compliments back to the cooks and staff, but not all industries, business types, or job roles allow for the easy gathering of compliments or the trickling down to every level of employees.
Boost morale with reviews
I’ve worked in retail, as a local bike/ski/snowboard mechanic, and I’ve been a bartender and server. In all of those jobs, one thing has been consistent: staff morale is connected to the company’s success.
When the company was doing well, even when our workload was hectic, the team was generally upbeat. We’d pull long shifts, work overtime, and even sacrifice a free night or two to help the shop be ready for the coming rush.
When things were falling through the cracks, however, or we had customers coming into the shop to express grievances—something every business owner faces eventually—it was easy to feel beaten down, overworked, and generally not very good about things. We weren’t as excited to come to work or to go out on a project.
Back then, it was harder to measure the success of a business from the customer’s standpoint. Review sites like Yelp were just being created and Facebook was only for college students. We didn’t have the resources available to small and local business owners today that help them keep a finger on business’s pulse.
We couldn’t track trends or capture ratings or reviews from excited customers. Occasionally, we’d get an email or repeat customer who would express their gratitude. Sometimes, the customer would mention a project that one of our team members had worked on, and we’d see them blush a bit, but those moments were rare.
Today, these kinds of compliments and morale-boosting review don’t have to be. If you run a small or local business, no matter how niche or unlikely it may seem, you have a great opportunity to gather more and more of these kinds of reviews. They will help your business thrive, grow your customer base, attract new customers, but perhaps most importantly, it will help you let your team know how important they are to the company’s success.
Reviews show success—they don’t just tell you about it
People want to work with a winning team. More than that, they want to be a part of the team, not just a cog in the machine. They want to feel like the work they do, no matter how seemingly insignificant, matters to the big picture. When you’re stuck in the back of the store fixing broken bike chains, preparing a meal, or working on some other type of non-customer facing project, you don’t get that feedback. You don’t get to hear what customers are saying unless the customer-facing team took note and passed the message along.
Reviews give business owners an opportunity to show—not just tell—the team that they matter and that the work they do doesn’t go unnoticed. Show them that customers are pleased, that they love the shop, and that they are telling all of their friends about it. This will bolster morale and give store managers opportunities to highlight the work of team members who may be under-recognized.
If you’ve read any of our other posts, you know that we believe all businesses should think of their reviews as a way to grow and attract new customers, but the benefits don’t stop there. While there are so many financial and reputational benefits to leveraging your online review sites, one of the lesser discussed topics is how impactful these sites can be on your team’s morale. This especially matters for team members who may feel less connected to the team’s success because they’re not on the front lines. Review listings will make sharing the positivity much easier within your team, not to mention your customers.
If you’d like help claiming your online review apps and review website listing, we’d be happy to help. Womply offers a variety of tools to track trends that will help your business thrive in the digital world. We’ll be happy to get you started with your review sites and show you how our software will help you succeed. Learn more, plus get free reputation monitoring and customer insights when you sign up for Womply Free!