A glowing Yelp page is a dealmaker. A Yelp page bruised by bad reviews is a deal breaker. A study by Michael Luca, a professor at Harvard Business School, found that a one-star increase in Yelp ratings leads to a 5-9% increase in revenues. If a frustrated customer decides Yelp is the venue to vent, it’s unfortunate, but it isn’t the end. You can take steps to counter the attack and either have it deleted, buried, or revised.
We deal with Yelp everyday, helping brands regain control of their reputation. Here are a few lessons we’ve learned.
1. It’s Very Difficult
You cannot delete a review from Yelp, but Yelp can. However, it’s very difficult to convince Yelp to delete a bad review, unless the review is littered with expletives. Yelp doesn’t want false reviews on its page (this is debatable, but let’s give Yelp the benefit of doubt), but it only removes reviews if they are deemed inappropriate.
If it is indeed, contact Yelp and they will remove it without a problem. If it isn’t, you have to go guerilla.
2. Disarm Them With Kindness
A bad review can be an opportunity to showcase your care. If you handle a bad review skillfully, you can convince the reviewer to delete their bad review from Yelp.
It’s impossible to know what people are going through. An angry customer isn’t always angry at you or your company’s service. Sometimes he or she just woke up on the wrong side of the bed.
If you get a scathing review on Yelp, the best thing to do is to respond thoughtfully. Don’t react in anger. Don’t stoop to their level. Being human and mature will redeem you in the eyes of your disgruntled customer, as well as in the eyes of prospective ones.
If there was a lapse in your company’s service, apologize. Address the customer’s concerns and find ways to improve the customer’s experience. The last thing you want to do is allow a complaint to go unaddressed. On Yelp, silence is condemning.
The added benefit of being proactive and engaging the customer in a conversation is that you remind them that you are a human. It’s harder to be mean to a human than it is to be mean to an abstract entity, like a brand. If you’re proactive, you may convince the customer to revise or remove the review.
If the bad review is false, do not treat the customer as though he or she is right. Be firm (but respectful).
3. Ambush Them With Good Vibes
If courtesy and kindness does not convince the reviewer to delete their bad review from Yelp, you may have to bury the review with positive ones.
Sometimes, you’ll have a customer who will not budge. You offer well-reasoned points, solutions, apologies, and everything under the sun to make this customer happy. But the customer will not be satisfied. Some people enjoy being unhappy or even outraged.
Do not let these puzzles of nature slow you down. Be proactive and reach out to more positive forces. You want to bury their review so that it is not the first thing that shows up in a Google search.
Reach out to your customers and ask them to record their experiences on Yelp. Yelp does not encourage this, but it is perfectly ethical to ask people to share their experiences on the web, and there are a number of ways to do so without being pushy.
You can also run a deal on Yelp to help bring more traffic to your business and Yelp page. If there’s a bad review on the page, the last thing you want is stagnation.
Make sure that your Yelp profile is filled out and linked to your website and social media profiles. You want it to be easy for your customers to fill out a review.
We hope these tips help–we want to see you thrive! If you have any questions, or would like to discuss any issues in reputation management, please call us at Jack My Rep.