What do you do about bad Yelp reviews?
Well, I hate to say it, but there is not a whole lot you can do to remove the negative reviews. Trust me. I've had to try.
I've also done some research on companies that claim to be able to get rid of your bad Yelp reviews, and, unfortunately, that seems to be misleading information.
So let's first take a look at why Yelp reviews matter.
Below is a screenshot from an automotive dealership. This was how many leads they got in one year from Yelp and the estimated revenue that brought in.
While that may not be a HUGE number for a dealership, it's definitely significant and legitimizes the importance of Yelp.
You can imagine how a positive rating affects that end number. Specifically, 78% of online Americans aged 18-64 agree that online reviews help them decide whether or not to purchase a product, according to MarketingCharts.com.
Now that you may be convinced of the power of Yelp and why having good reviews is important, let's look at what you can do about bad Yelp reviews and how you can maximize Yelp for your business:
1. First, create a business account and claim your business page. Once you have done that, complete the owner profile. I suggest adding a photo as well. The more detailed and complete your profile the more you can communicate information about your business and appear as an interested owner. Now that you are officially the business owner, you will have access to analytics about your Yelp page (like those pictured above) as well as be able to respond publicly as the owner to comments.
2. Respond to comments! When you do get those bad Yelp reviews, respond to them! Keep it professional, don't call them a liar, don't attack them. Apologize. While it may not take away their bad review, it will show everyone else looking at the review that you cared enough to respond in the first place.
While it's important to respond to the bad Yelp reviews, it's also important to respond to the good ones. Thanking someone for their good review will only help enhance your reputation with that person and again, show that as an owner you are appreciative for the business.
3. Flag reviews if they are breaking Yelp guidelines. As an owner you can "flag" certain reviews. When you flag a review, a Yelp employee will look at the review and remove it if it's breaking content guidelines. (See guidelines below.)
DO NOT flag a review if an unhappy customer is explaining their negative experience. Yelp won't take down a review just because you don't like it.
4. Encourage reviews. Ethically, of course. You can't pay for reviews, this is a big no-no. However, most people no matter how good their experience with your business is, aren't instinctively thinking about writing a review for your company on Yelp. That's why a friendly reminder can go a long way.
Here are some acceptable ways you can encourage reviews:
- In-house flyers
- Have an iPad or tablet out that customers can use in the store
- Send an email out once a month to new customers asking them to talk about their experience
5. Treat others as you would like to be treated. Yup, the Golden Rule. All the Yelp review technicalities aside, the number one thing you can do to keep your reputation shining, is to actually be nice to people. Practice good customer service. Trust me, I know it's challenging! I worked in the restaurant industry for a long time so I know that can be difficult at times. But good customer service truly is everything! It can, and will, make or break some businesses.