A positive online review can enhance a company’s reputation and stimulate their brand name. However, a negative review has the complete opposite effect and can hurt sales and tarnish customer trust. Depending upon the dedication and platform of the person writing the review, it could even go viral and that in itself could be a good or very bad thing. Smart businesses welcome reviews and use their feedback to provide better customer experiences. With that being said, we’ve put together a few things to do when monitoring online reviews that can help you make the most of them.

Effectively Monitor Your Brand’s Online Reviews

1. Daily Monitoring

Make it a part of your everyday schedule to look at review sites. Set up alerts that will flag and report comments as they are posted. Also, make sure to respond to meaningful posts about the guest experience. Whether they are good, bad, or otherwise, make sure you always reply within 24 hours.

2. Create a Process

Know which sites to monitor. Whether it’s Facebook, Yelp, Twitter, or something else, figure out who within your management team will be responsible for responding to it. This is normally a social media manager or business manager, but they should be someone who can respond quickly, with little or no oversight, and deliver an appropriate response.

3. Clear Communication

When responding to a post, write in a clear, straightforward language that leaves zero room for misinterpretation.

4. Positive Reviews

All you need to do with positive reviews is to say “Thank you.” You can repeat their praises and make sure what you heard was in fact, what was said, but keeping it short and sweet is usually the best way to go.

5. Negative Reviews

With negative online reviews, always make sure to acknowledge the guest’s complaint and then try to take it offline. Offer them direct contact information so the customer can contact you so the issue can be resolved.

If the review is neither negative nor positive, you should generally treat it as a negative review, as it may come off as negative to any other reader. Make sure to recognize the writer and let them know that their comment is appreciated.

6. Removing Negative Reviews

No company likes having a negative review and every review site has varying policies for removing negative reviews. If the comment left is deemed legitimate, it can be pretty tough to get it taken off the site. However, you can take steps to first reach out to the writer of the review. First, see if you can take it offline and resolve the issue. If so, it may be appropriate to simply ask the writer to delete or update the negative review. Many times, customers will comply once their issues have been resolved.

7. Learn From The Truth

Though most people who take the time to leave a review will do so when they’re unhappy, reviews still have a measure of truth to them. One of the most important things to do when monitoring online reviews is to learn from the customer’s experience and make sure to deliver on brand promises of product and service.