Guide to Online Review Monitoring and Management

Trustmary teamTrustmary team
Last edited: June 17th, 2024
stressed woman on a laptop, reviews floating in the picture

Online reviews play an important role in a customer journey. They could act as the final nudge to convert customers, because people are typically skeptical of a brand’s claims unless they’re backed by third-party proof. 

Or they could act as a stand-alone awareness strategy. You can’t deny that a lot of people search for products on review platforms. 

Whatever the case, you need to have a strategy to monitor and manage your customer reviews. And this is the guide you need if you want to do so. We’re talking about what is review monitoring, how to do review monitoring and management using Trustmary, and some tips to take your review monitoring to the next level.  

What is review monitoring?

Review monitoring is the process of tracking customer reviews (or any other form of customer opinions) online in order to understand customer perception and optimize it. 

Customers leave reviews of your products on different places online. To new potential customers, these reviews are very important: they provide an objective opinion about the product they intend to buy. So these reviews play an important role in their decision. 

As a business, you can’t ignore these reviews. It’s true that online reviews are not owned by you and you don’t have any direct control over them. But it doesn’t mean that you can’t influence them. Online review monitoring enables you to keep an eye on these reviews to resolve issues quickly and improve brand reputation. 

It’s safe to say that review monitoring is the best way to control your brand’s narrative and continuously gather real-life customer feedback for future improvements. 

Remember, the goal is not only to deal with positive and negative reviews, but to have a good understanding of how your product compares to customer expectations. This is, hands down, the ideal path to a customer-oriented business.

Why does review monitoring matter?

Review monitoring can help you build a “customer favorite” brand. Because let’s be honest, we all love a brand that fellow shoppers testify to. We tend to have more faith in people than businesses.

So, by reviewing how your customers speak of you online, you can seamlessly build a brand that is well-spoken about! (pretty obvious, isn’t it?)

But this is just the gist of it. Here’s a list of the reasons you should invest in review monitoring:  

1. Identifying trends and patterns around your product reviews

Through review monitoring, you can identify patterns of negative opinions around your brand that can impact your reputation. 

For example, is there a particular feature in your SaaS software that almost everyone finds buggy? 

This is an important alert. Dive deeper into the problem. Get your development team involved, and try to fix the issue as soon as possible. Then respond politely to the negative reviews and inform everyone that the issue is solved. 

Or you might find an intentional sabotage campaign against you. Do you find a particular group of people intentionally dropping terrible reviews of your product clearly without using it?

Then you should definitely step up, ask them to be more particular and show proof of their problem, and explain how their review is an act of sabotage. In case you can prove your point, you can report these reviews and ask the review platform to remove them. 

2. Building customer trust

Human interactions are just as important in a business as a good product. You cannot simply build a product and wait for people to discover and fall in love with it.

Review monitoring is a great way to capture your customers’ honest feedback, and then use it to improve customers’ trust in you. 

In case you’re wondering why customer trust is so important, here are some stats: 

  • Users usually read 10 online reviews before they can trust a local business.
  • 77% read customers’ feedback when shopping in online stores. 
  • About 92% of customers trust the reviews and recommendations shared by people. 

For certain industries, like lawyers, reputation management is hugely important for success.

How to use review monitoring to improve customer trust? 

1. Showcase customer reviews on your website: 

A business website with lots of self-serving claims and no real customer reviews is not authentic. So showcasing honest customer reviews on a business website is necessary to build customer trust especially among digital-savvy B2B buyers. Displaying positive reviews from people who have a lot of influence in your niche (influencers, thought-leaders or any respected personalities) supercharges the effect of customer reviews on your website.  

Do you have to manually sift through customer reviews, take screenshots, or upload videos on your website? 

Nope, you just need to use Trustmary to automatically import reviews, and include them anywhere you want on your website with a simple widget.

reviews on a light gray backgorund

2. Turn negative reviews on their head: 

Negative reviews may sound like a big stain on your reputation online, but there’s actually an opportunity to use them in your brand’s favor. 

The process needs no fancy customer data analysis or language processing tools. It’s just good ‘ol customer service: identify the negative reviews, discover what the issue is, involve your technical team if necessary, and then respond with an apology and a note that the issue is resolved. 

You should also ask the reviewer to get back to you and confirm that the issue is resolved. This is a great way to turn your negative reviews into a customer support public show and tout your customer-centricity. 

Want to take this a step further? Feature these reviews alongside your 5-star reviews on your website. The idea is to strategically place negative reviews in your review timeline alongside other positive reviews to make them look more authentic. This can create an impression of “we have nothing to hide,” which can help you build more credibility as a business

3. Encourage customers to review your product

Review monitoring is the first step in a powerful brand reputation strategy. The ultimate goal is to increase the number of authentic positive reviews. If you notice that some review platforms have a stronger influence on your customers, you can always encourage more reviews on those platforms.  

So stay alert and monitor reviews in all the platforms your customers are active on. And while it’s always advisable to go as organic as possible with customer reviews, incentivized reviews can be your savior if you’re a budding brand desperately in need of some sort of social proof. Some tools such as embedded video chat tools with recording features can help you ask for video reviews easily. 

Win the game with Trustmary: Your trustworthy review monitoring tool

Trustmary offers a simple and effective review monitoring feature. It automatically gathers your customers’ reviews from different places online and displays them in your dashboard. 

Here’s how to use the feature: 

Step 1: Import reviews

After signing up with your email or Google account, you can start importing reviews.

You can connect Facebook, Google reviews, G2, Capterra, Tripadvisor, Yelp, Google play, Booking.com, Airbnb, and Trusted Shops. You can also do this later so don’t worry if you miss a platform. 

Check our pricing to find out how many sources you can connect in each plan.

screenshot from Trustmary onboarding where you can choose the review source you want to connect

In paid plans, Trustmary pulls your customer reviews automatically from the platforms you connected to your account every 24 hours. You can also fetch reviews anytime you want by heading to the “Platforms” section of your account.  

Step 2. Monitor your automatically imported reviews 

Once you connect the platforms you want the reviews to be pulled from, head to the “Reviews” section of your dashboard. 

This is where you can easily monitor your imported reviews and even reply to them from your dashboard. This section of your dashboard is updated automatically every 24 hours but if you need an update instantly, you can request that as well. 

Step 3: Display reviews on your website 

Why not use your hard-earned customer reviews on your own website and build more customer trust? Trustmary makes it easy with its review widgets.

To use our widget, just head to the “widgets” section of your dashboard. 

screenshot from trustmary's menu and an arrow pointing to the Widgets tab

You can see different types of widgets to add to your website. There are widgets exclusive for showcasing your customer reviews, widgets with user score badges, widgets for cool-looking lead generation forms and popups, widgets for creating chatbots showcasing customer reviews, and widgets that create CTA’s that alongside customer testimonials. 

screenshot that shows the different widget categories and examples

You can try any of these and customize them easily. To publish them, click on “add to website” and get the script to install on your website.

Not familiar with HTML codes? If you’re running a WordPress website, you can install our WordPress plugin. For other platforms, you can find separate guides here

Top tips to excel review monitoring and management

1. Identify the platforms where your audience hangs out quite often

While Google reviews are the most common platform for looking into what your customers have to say, there can be several other spaces unique to your business where customers tend to leave reviews for your business.

The first step to an insightful review monitoring process is to shortlist the platforms your customers leave reviews on.

Let’s say your principal product is an application. Google Play Store reviews are an absolute matter of importance for your business. Google, Amazon, Yelp, Facebook, Tripadvisor, Capterra, and G2 are some other platforms. 

2. Enable alerts and notifications for every time someone drops a review

Are you planning to schedule a particular day every month to sail through the sea of online reviews? Bad idea alert! 

If you’re not notified every time a review is live, you’ll miss the chance to respond quickly enough and stop a possible disaster. Customers expect a same-day response to their complaints.  

It’s always preferable to set up a regular scanning process where you check out your reviews in real-time. 

A part of your customer support team should entirely dedicate themselves to the monitoring and response procedures of the reviews received. Someone should be ready to dive in for every notification received.

3. Consolidate reviews in one place

While review monitoring is an extensive process, it does not have to be as daunting. 

Who would love to have “jumping from one platform to another to analyze reviews” for a job anyway? Hence, the advantage of consolidation.

While customers leave valuable feedback on different platforms for your business, you can read, respond, and analyze them through one interface. Yes, that’s possible. Sign up for a free trial of Trustmary and start gathering your reviews in one place automatically. 

4. Use sentiment analysis to go below the surface

Every review may, on the surface, look like an opinion. Advanced analytical techniques can go past the superficial and identify the emotions these opinions hold.

These procedures, like natural language processing, can scrutinize vast amounts of data and give you a final unified report on how customers “feel” about your product and service.

Such data can help you learn more about your product’s acceptability than the straight and simple feedback visible on your review panel.

5. Use it for competitor analysis

Competitive analysis plays a pivotal role in a business’s survival. So, why would review monitoring form an exception to it?

A comprehensive review monitoring process should not be limited to your business, it should also involve a generous peek into the customer feedback your next-to-neck competitors are receiving. 

What are the things that their customers love about them? What is it they complain the most about? How can you compete with them in their areas of strength? What can you do to fill in the gap they cannot cater to?

Finding answers and building strategies around these questions can help you build a competitive advantage in your existing market.

And lastly, what about the negative reviews?

Negative reviews are an unavoidable part of doing business. However, how you respond to them makes a big difference. It takes 40 positive reviews to undo the damage caused by a single negative review.

While transparency by displaying negative reviews is good, some reviews can really hurt a company’s reputation. The big risk is responding unprofessionally, which can make the situation even worse.

When responding to negative reviews, here are some best practices:

Personalize each reply

Don’t just give a generic apology. Tailor your response to the specific situation. 

Always cite reasonable issues associated with the negative review and clarify the same right away. It helps set your accountability and avoid misconceptions among the customers.

For example in the situation below, the cafe owners have descriptively discussed the reason behind the problem faced by the customer, requesting to allow rectification.

screenshot from a negative review and a response to it
Source

Ask for a second chance

Offer the unhappy customer a second chance, along with some compensation. This will show your commitment to satisfaction.

For instance, if you are running a hotel business, you could say: “We clearly missed the mark, but we’d love another opportunity to provide you with the great experience we’re known for. Please revisit us and your next meal/service will be on us.”

Know when to be brief

Some negative reviews are just attempts at defamation. Don’t engage too much – keep it brief. For offensive/fraudulent reviews, take necessary action.

A brief response could be: “We’re disappointed you had such a negative experience and appreciate you bringing this to our attention.” Follow up offline as needed.

The key is handling negative feedback professionally and proactively trying to make things right, while avoiding getting dragged into unproductive disputes publicly.

Collect More Reviews

Online review monitoring helps you stay on top of your online reputation. However, checking different platforms is daunting, and consolidating all your reviews on one platform makes a lot of sense.

You can see whenever there is a new review on any of your review platforms and respond to it in a timely manner.

In addition, you can make use of your new reviews on your website – automatically.

Lastly, collect more reviews for all your platforms continuously. This makes sure you receive a steady flow of new reviews, and the impact of stray negative reviews is mitigated.

Creating a review campaign for all platforms might be a useful exercise.

The best companion for online review monitoring journey is Trustmary. Try now for free!


Trustmary team
Trustmary team


Trustmary

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