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Based on a Forbes magazine article, Vitaly Zdorovetskiy is a YouTube star whose wildly popular prank videos have earned him 10 million subscribers and over a billion views to date.

He has a legion of fans, but not everyone finds his pranks and personality charming. While Zdorovetskiy and his girlfriend were staying in the Boca Raton Resort this past New Year’s Eve, the resort staff discovered who he was and had him removed from the premises.

Put yourself in the resort management’s shoes and it’s pretty easy to imagine why they might have made a rash decision like that. Having a notorious prankster on premises on New Year’s Eve sounds like a recipe for disaster.

But according to Zdorovetskiy’s recounting of the incident, he didn’t do anything wrong. He recorded the evening on his phone and shared it with his fans on YouTube, encouraging his 10 million followers to post poor reviews of the hotel.

Could the resort have handled the situation better? Probably. But no matter who you think is right here, one thing is clear: the hotel’s management suddenly had a full-blown crisis on their hands. After all, 84 percent of people trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation and each one-star decrease in a Yelp rating can lead to a five to nine percent decrease in revenue.

Proactively Seek Out Your Angry Customers

Solving customer crises is a delicate balance, and to make matters more complicated, no two angry customers are alike. Some take to social media platforms like YouTube and Twitter while others leave reviews on Yelp and Google — and that really just skims the surface. With so many possible avenues for customers to express their opinions online, the first step for business owners is to stay on top of it all.

“Monitoring is vital, because the sooner you know about a potentially damaging situation online, the better placed you are to respond,” explains Patrick Whatman, Head of Content at Mention, a monitoring tool that lets you track social media mentions.

One of the most basic things you can do is set up Google Alerts for your company, CEO, and other notable spokespeople. Google’s alerts aren’t perfect, but they’re free and will notify you via email when your tracked keywords are mentioned in news articles and blog posts. You’ll also want to keep a close eye on popular review platforms and your social media notifications.

“Make sure your Twitter settings allow you to receive Direct Messages (DMs) from anyone and have a clear place on your website where people can get in touch,” suggests Hailley Griffis, Public Relations Manager at Buffer, a social media management platform.

The Best Defense Is A Great Reservoir of Positive Reviews

In the case of the Boca Raton Resort, no amount of responding to individualized reviews was going to help their newly earned 1.5-star rating. A more important and dramatic move was required: getting Yelp to intervene.

Is that always possible? Definitely not, but if you think certain complaints violate a platform’s guidelines, there may be avenues you can take to get the offending reviews taken down.

It looks like the resort was able to do just that. In the weeks following the New Year’s incident, folks who went to the hotel’s Yelp page found an Active Cleanup Alert: “This business is being monitored by Yelp’s Support team for content related to media reports.”

In other words, Yelp was notified of the incident and worked to remove reviews that appeared to be motivated more by the news coverage than the reviewer’s personal consumer experience with the business.

That’s great news for Boca Raton Resort, who has now seen their Yelp score return to a 3.5 stars after hundreds of 1-star reviews were deleted.

The answer comes down to proactively asking your customers to review you. Whether you choose to manage that process yourself or hire external help, read my comprehensive, 5-star blueprint to cultivating positive reviews. Implementing a plan like this helps to mitigate the impact of a vocal minority of dissatisfied customers, balancing out their voices with those of satisfied customers too.

A company’s reputation is best managed proactively — not just when there is a crisis. The organizations that learn how to do that most effectively will prosper in the reputation economy.