Do you monitor Online Reviews?

When do you need online reviews monitoring?

For many businesses, you would suspect nothing happens. People are innately good, and should just share legitimate experiences.  As a result, most businesses strive to meet or exceed customer expectations, and the online reviews speak for themselves.  However, in situations, where people have nefarious motives, unmonitored reviews can be detrimental to a business.  When a consumer looks up restaurants near them, and the top 5 online reviews are negative; what is the first impression that you have?  Probably, I’ll keep looking for another place.  Right there, the business lost you as a potential customer.

However, if that same business takes the time to monitor reviews, perhaps the experience goes differently.  The business should reply to the reviews, good and bad.  Replies to negatives tend to change the perspectives consumers opinion, slightly.  It shows the business cares, they may be embarrassed that an employee had a bad day, or perhaps whatever the issue is, has been corrected.  If the perspective consumer continues to look the reviews, it they average out to 4 or 5 stars, there is still hope to “wow” that person.

The above is very straightforward, but how do you deal with the nefarious motivated type people. For example, the consumers who go to the restaurant, enjoy their meal, leave a respectable tip, and leave without a peep of any issue.  At the end of this transaction, the team assumes they did a good job, and carry on with their day. BUT, what if the person leaves a negative review, that is unfounded, and the sole purpose is to get a freebie???

In regards to Restaurant Reviews

Over the past 3 years, I have had two restaurants that I work with, receive about 6 of these in total (3 each).  Each time there is a review that I am monitoring for the team, I typically send a screenshot text to the owner, and say, “What’s up with this?”.  Each time, the owner stops what he or she is doing, and researches it.  The owner speaks with the server, the hostess, and the chef.  Typically, none are aware of an issue.  At this point, the owner ends up frustrated that it looks like his team did their job, yet the business reputation is now tarnished, slightly.

A professional reply is posted; acknowledging the issue, explaining they want each guest to have a five star experience, and providing a contact information.  It appears that most are just looking for a free gift card, to appease them. The stressful part, is when you know (strong suspicions( this is the case, and still go through all of the steps.

The interesting part of monitoring is that even with all of the right moves, some damage is done, but we can mitigate it to smaller degree.  If the post is left unchecked, not replied to, and we do not motivate other consumers to share their reviews; that one outlier may cost a business, hundreds of dollars a year. If not more!

Does your business have any stories like this?  Comment below!