Yelp is a hugely powerful marketing tool. Millions of people scope its pages daily to choose where they’re going to spend their money. It’s easy to check out what others say about any company or prospective purchase, so people do their homework.
But Yelp is double-edged. If people are vouching for your company left and right, new clients will feel comfortable doing business with you. But if there’s a bad review near the top of your page on Yelp, you can your prospective client will see it. And if it’s bad enough, he or she will probably shop around.
A negative Yelp review is a bruise. It doesn’t matter if you have 99 glowing tales about the quality of your service. The one written by the nag who woke up on the wrong side of the bed, or by the former employee who went rogue, will stand out like a black eye.
But a bad review doesn’t have to be true to knock the lights out of your business. It’s possible to get rid of them. Yelp will delete a review if it is inappropriate—if it uses explicit language, or contains slander or personal insults. In these cases, you can flag the review and Yelp will go over it. However, Yelp does not delete reviews for merely being inaccurate. So if it isn’t flagrant, you’ll have to take another course of action.
First, make sure you claim your business on Yelp. If someone gives you a bad review, you’ll know immediately and be able to respond. You always want to address a negative review. Silence in these situations is condemning. But addressing customer concerns head-on will demonstrate your commitment to the customer who made the complaint, and to prospective clients.
Don’t approach it from the stance that the customer is right, but approach it as a concerned, respectful human. The more that you remind customers that they are talking to people, not a company, the more understanding they’ll be. Everybody makes mistakes. Everybody understands that.
Send a personal message to the distraught customer. Likely, there is a misunderstanding on both ends. You may be surprised at how receptive somebody is when you make that extra effort. It can be hard and time-consuming, but you may be able to convince them to change their review.
Otherwise, be proactive about your reputation. Cherish your customer. Anticipate his or her needs. Be a customer service superpower because your customers will love you for it. And if they love you, they’ll want others to know. They’ll write positive reviews and stories about your business and send you customers in droves.
Don’t be afraid to reach out to your best customers and influential customers in your network. Don’t be afraid to email them and ask them share their experiences. Yelp does not want business owners eliciting positive reviews, but oftentimes customers don’t think to share the good aspects of your service. There’s nothing wrong with asking them to share their experiences.
At JackMyRep, we’re committed to defend, protect, and enhance your online reputation. Sometimes that means soliciting existing customers for positive reviews (and burying the negative content), and other times it means helping you craft a strategic public relations response. Might that negative review still dissuade some customers? Maybe, but it’ll be less of a nuisance and you’ll get your business back.
Contact us and we’ll give you a free online reputation assessment and personal consultation. We’re just touching the surface of your options. We want to see you flourish, and if you don’t control your reputation, someone else will!