Joel Gross

How to handle bad Yelp reviews

Coalition Technologies has worked extensively in LA reputation management and has helped a lot of businesses resolve negative publicity on the international scale, and on a smaller scale. Perhaps one of the most important and most difficult indicators to handle is the Yelp review and other customer review sites (Citysearch, Yelp, TripAdvisor, etc).

The key with bad Yelp reviews is to make sure you address them quickly. The longer that you let the Yelp review sit, the less course of action you have in correcting it.

Addressing a negative yelp review quickly helps to make sure that your input is the first one heard, and that you have the opportunity to resolve slightly disappointed customers before they become disgruntled customers. When someone posts a Yelp review, it usually is in the heat of the moment, after they’ve had the experience and are looking for ways to lash out. By responding quickly (especially if you are a manager or owner) you can address their concerns and have the chance to change the impression and review.

Catching negative reviews on Yelp also helps to head off potential fraud in the Yelp system. Its just as easy for a competitor or someone else to post a negative review about your business. If you catch it early, you can post a fraud notification with the Yelp team, and can also factually address the review. Make sure you stick to facts when addressing these types of reviews- repeat the dates or lack thereof and the oddity of the situation and let the other people looking at the review know that the entire review is a falsehood.

IF a review is based on an actual experience from one of your customers, address each and every single one of their specific complaints. Don’t leave anything outstanding. If you run a contracting business, and someone felt like your were slow, expensive, and gave a poor quality of product, be sure to address each with facts. Tell them why there was a delay (and make sure it is clearly explained so it doesn’t feel like an excuse), explain your costs as a business owner or what determines your price, and explain your experience and quality of your products. Finish by offering to fix the problem or address their complaints in person. Always stay calm, cool, and direct. No need to incite an online tiff that might go viral for its humorous content.

Most of our clients find that they are able to easily address bad Yelp reviews by following this advice. Catching them early allows you to be the one who controls the dialogue and the exposure that it gets. You can either expose a fraud from a competitor or spammer, or you can defuse a negative situation between you and a good client. It helps if you have someone monitoring your reputation online. Then you don’t have to be responsible for constantly checking every source of reviews.

Contact a good LA reputation management firm who knows and understands how the web works and how it can be used to benefit you, rather then detract from you.

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