The Problem with Bad Yelp Reviews
Positive reviews from Yelp are great! But bad Yelp reviews or fake reviews are disastrous.
There is nothing more frustrating for a business owner than coming across a negative Yelp review with its unwarranted feedback, criticism or poor characterization.
Negative reviews cause businesses suffer a reputation impact and a financial one. The latter is huge. In fact:
UC Berkeley economists, found that, a half-star rating increase on Yelp translates into a 19 percent greater likelihood that a restaurant’s seats will be full. – ReviewTrackers.
These Yelp reviews can make a world of difference to reputation, both right now and in the future. So even though having a bad review deleted can be arduous, it’s certainly worth trying, if businesses believe the negative review to be incorrect (the same rationale for fake reviews).
What is the Cost to Remove a Yelp review?
First things first – what will cost the business? to remove online reviews like Yelp? Nothing for Yelp, nor any of the review sites. This means businesses have no excuses!
What is the simplest way to delete a Yelp review?
Firstly, by responding directly to the consumer who left the comment, the business owner may be able to resolve the concerns that they expressed so that they decide to remove it themselves. Even better, the consumer might replace it with a positive review when they have realized the error. Remember that public responses on any platform can help the situation and elevate the business profile if done professionally. This public process, reviewing their issues and content must follow rules otherwise will cause damage to the business and author.
Even if the attempt is unsuccessful and the reviewer won’t change their mind, there is an upside. Specifically, that customers see and respect the businesses efforts. They know they tried to address the matter and manage the bad review. This by itself shows in Yelp and will influence other Yelpers that the business cares. The business might eventually get a positive review.
What if they don’t agree to remove the review?
If you are still sure that the Yelp post is incorrect, you may wish to contact Yelp and follow their guidelines. On the Yelp business policy page, find the post that you wish to remove and highlight the ‘Flag’ icon below. Dispute options will include – “it contains false information”, or “posted by a competitor or ex-employee”.
Once you choose the most appropriate option, then provide users with the reasons that supports the claim. Your request to delete the review isn’t guaranteed to be successful. However, if the reviewer has violated Yelp’s own Terms and Conditions or Content Guidelines, you may be in luck (though no guarentee!)
Bad reviews must always be responded with professionalism. Here is some sage advice from Womply:
If the reviewer still won’t take down their post , respond to them with professionalism and objective problem solving. Keep in mind that hundreds or even thousands of potential customers may see your response, so use this as an opportunity to bring in more business, not to shoot your business in the foot with an overly-defensive or emotional retort.” (womply.com)
How to Preempt Negative Feedback
Too many times, a negative review comes as a surprise to the business owner. The bad Yelp review is often read after the customer has left, leaving businesses no option to take the appropriate corrective action. So what are some steps to follow to preempt a negative opinion – rather than removal after the business review goes live:
1) Maintain your page – the customer experience and online reputation starts here. Users need the correct information so check how your business appears in search engines.
2) Dedicate the resources to monitoring social reviews – this means being able to analyze the reason for the negative review AND taking action to follow up with users – no matter how many times, or accounts used, or accusations levelled or inaccuracies contained in garbage content.
3) Pre-empt first. Rather than the surprise of a negative online review, without an opportunity to fix it first, we know there is a better way without confusing guidelines or potential conflict. Opiniator enables on the spot customer feedback via their own cell phone. It overcomes all the issues with comment cards because low scores immediately alert the right staff who now fix the issue and connect with unhappy consumers. This means there is no reason to defect or post defamatory reviews online. Even better is the opportunity for the happy user to deliver positive five star reviews.
4) Enable Guest Messaging at your location. Allow your customers to give feedback AND have the option to chat via SMS. This means you can connect, solve their issue and recover them before the resort to complaining online.
Social media including Yelp, is here to stay. Reviews for Businesses by consumers are critical – and a great chance the business to improve services and new customer acquisition – but should not be used in isolation. For more on this, we suggest reviewing ‘Turning Customer Feedback into Great Social Media”
Contact us today to get the on-the-spot insight your business needs to thrive.