Yelp has been hailed as the platform that has put the power in the consumer’s hands. Unfortunately, this is also the platform that has become a major headache for businesses. It allows anyone with a grudge to destroy people’s businesses. The influence of Yelp over other review sites is so high that even a single bad review can cause chaos with your company. A whole 90% of customers say a Yelp review influences their purchasing decisions.
So what are you going to do about it?
Should You Leave It Alone?
Your first instinct might be to simply move on. After all, people have told you time and time again that fighting customers based on personal pride isn’t going to do you any favors. But fighting online reviews isn’t about your pride it’s about protecting and growing your revenue.
Word of mouth marketing is so powerful that you can’t afford to leave a bad review to fester. It should be a matter of course that you check your reviews regularly and consider how you are going to the bad ones.
Set up a Google Alerts so you can be informed of any new reviews as soon as they appear.
Claim Your Yelp Page
It’s impossible to control your online reputation if you don’t gain control of your business. You have to go out of your way to claim your business’s page on any review website you come across, particularly in the case of Yelp. All review platforms allow customers to place companies on it without their permission, although you can take control if you make a formal request to claim that page.
Why Do Customers Post Bad Reviews?
Customers who post bad reviews don’t necessarily do it because they hold a grudge against you. It’s often the case that they are simply having a bad day and they are more tempted than ever to post a bad review. It only takes the slightest spark to get them to post a negative review of your business.
Once you understand this, it should tell you all you need to know about how you should respond.
Always Respond to the Review (in the right way)
As previously mentioned, you should never allow a bad review to go unanswered. The right way to respond to a bad review is to respond to it in a helpful manner. Wait until you are in a calm mood. Avoid any passive aggressive language or you are going to come off as bitter.
There are many examples of companies that have gone after bad reviews, only for it to turn into a minor hit to their stars into a major PR disaster.
Don’t ask the customer to remove the review. Apologize for their bad experience and ask how you can help them. They may respond to you with what you can change to make the situation right. Implement these changes and it shouldn’t take long before they see it and then decide to reconsider you.
They have then changed their review without asking. And people have seen this exchange so they are more likely to choose your business because you have demonstrated that you are an organization that truly cares about your customers, and not in a superficial manner.
What Can You Do About Fraudulent Reviews?
Unfortunately, fraudulent reviews are a major problem in all industries, with Amazon cracking down last year. In most cases, they are blatantly obvious and can be spotted from a mile away. The problem is in getting them removed. Issuing a polite comment below the review is usually the best thing you can do to deal with it.
Yelp tends to be less than helpful with removing fraudulent reviews. Unless the review is abusive, Yelp will usually respond with a default response about how every customer has the right to give their opinions.
Thankfully, fraudulent reviews are rarely worth focusing on because they represent such a small part of the overall review pool.
See the Bright Side
Sometimes it’s actually good to embrace reviews good and bad. People are suspicious about businesses that only have positive reviews. It usually means that they paid for positive reviews, and that can make the business look terrible. The occasional bad review adds balance and shows that you are genuine.
But you need to avoid negative reviews in clusters because this proves that there’s something fundamentally wrong. Try to space them out by constantly asking your customers for positive reviews.
How will you make sure that you get your review strategy right today?