Yelp reviews can either boost the reputation of your company or potentially damage your image and drive away business. We’ll show you how to deal with Yelp reviews, both good and bad.
Yelp is the new mafia of business reviews, and having a bad rep on Yelp can end up burying your business, potentially cripple your ability to gain clientele, and keep customers happy. What’s even worse is that a single bad review can pull down your score significantly, and therefore bury your chances at staying one of the best rated in your area. It’s no surprise to us that business owners sometimes freak out worse than nerds do when they find out their favorite comic is being discontinued.
But what can you do to reverse bad reviews? Well, you have a couple of options, some better than others.
- Encourage regular clients to post Yelp reviews. This is another honest and legal way to improve your standing on Yelp. Many happy customers won’t rate or post until you tell them to do so. It’s much easier to rant and leave negative reviews when something goes wrong than it is to give praise when everything is perfect. So, make sure to tell them to give you a thumbs up!
- Pay others to post good reviews on Yelp. Seems simple enough, right? Don’t do it! Even though this is somewhat common, it’s against Yelp policies and technically against astroturfing laws in a number of states. This means that you’re running a risk of getting sued and removed from Yelp. So, while it would offset your bad reviews, it is generally not a wise move. After all, one bad review is better than not being on Yelp at all. We’ll say it again, don’t do this!
- Reply professionally and courteously to reviews, both bad and good. Hands down this is the best way to do damage control and improve your reputation on Yelp. It shows customers that you are attentive to their needs, willing to reply, and a most importantly, a human being. It’s also a good sign for potential clients, since they know you’ll address any and all problems they might have with you. Being active on Yelp is a great way to stay in touch with your customers and earn their respect. Furthermore, people are appreciative when you acknowledge their praise. Take any negative reviews to heart and learn from them. It will let you know what to fix, and what to keep doing if you are doing it well!
- Above all, keep your cool. Lashing out at a vocal, angry customer will only make you look bad and them look justified. Even if they are calling your company every dirty name in the book, keep it professional. The result of a professional, non-insane sounding reply will only improve your image.
Even though most business owners generally don’t want to have to deal with reviews online, it’s a part of business in the 21st century. Approaching it with a logical mind like Spock’s will most likely be the best way to handle it. It’s also important to remember – you can’t always please everyone, so as long as your reviews are generally positive, people will see your company as a quality one. Inevitably, it’s easier to perform a good service in the first place than it is to fix a bad reputation after the fact. Always present your business in the best possible light and you’ll have no problems keeping bad reviews at bay.