Your Business vs. The Bad Yelp Review

Like it or not… in the eyes of Mr. Jane & Joe Public, Yelp has become the foremost expert on your business. From how quickly one store may have greeted them to how fresh the dinner role was, the days of secret shoppers and ACTUAL food critics is over. Want to opt-out of Yelp? YOU CAN’T! Your business is there whether you like it or not, so make a point of paying attention to what people are saying.

As a business, how do you combat the bad reviews?

  1. Breathe.  Don’t jump into defensive mode & insight a virtual screaming match, even if they’re completely wrong. Take a lap, deep breath and count to 10. Then…
  2. Check for accuracy!  Make sure they’re not confusing your location with one down the street. If they are, leave a very nice message letting them know they have the wrong place and to please remove their comment. This is your reputation, be nice… but be fair to yourself. If they don’t respond, report the comment.
  3. Respond.  Yelp provides you with a very cool option… you can reply to their comment privately (just you and them see it) or publicly. It is recommended that you always reply for two reasons. First, they took the time to write a review… either thank them for their time, or recognize their bad experience. Secondly, responding isn’t just for them… it’s for all of the other people visiting your yelp page that will see their review. A reply is also a comment to every single one of them! Most importantly, do this consistently
  4. Watch for Trolls.  Remember, the internet trolls are out there, and they love Yelp! Don’t get into a back-and-forth with someone purely in it for the wow factor. Report them and move on with your life. After all, you have a business to run!
  5. Lastly, the only real way to fend off negative reviews on your Yelp page is to flood it with good ones!  From every happy customer you know by name, to those you just met and had a wonderful experience with… ask them to leave you a positive review. You can go as far as buying little business cards with links, but often-times a simply request works magic. 1 bad review buried amongst 25 great ones won’t mean a thing! But 1 bad review all by itself speaks volumes.

Hi, I’m Travis Ford, owner of Rock Harbor Marketing, a Digital Marketing Agency on California’s Central Coast. I welcome opinions, helpful critiques and comments of admiration. Leave me one here, Follow us on Facebook, or tweet me and we can chat further. As always… I like to end each post with a shot of Irish Whisky and a chest bump.

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