It is never fun when you get a bad review on Yelp. It can make you feel like you are drowning in negativity, and the effects of these reviews can be disastrous for your business. But there is hope!
This blog post will discuss ten steps to help you deal with negative reviews and turn them into positive ones (or at least less negative).
Determine if the review is real or fake.
If you find that your business has been hit by an unfair, unprovoked attack from a negative reviewer on Yelp, take action!
Reach out to them and try to figure out what exactly they are unhappy about. Sometimes these reviews come from competitors who want revenge for not getting some service from you or people who have never patronized your establishment and want to vent their anger.
If the review is real, there’s a good chance that other users will read it before they decide whether or not to visit your restaurant/business/salon. So how do you respond? The answer: Publicly, in the comment section.
Do not try to take matters into your own hands by communicating with this user privately through Yelp’s messaging system. Doing that will only make things worse and look like you are trying to cover up something shady. So instead of keeping quiet or deleting the review altogether (which is also a bad idea), be very clear about what you are doing to fix the problem and regain their trust.
If this person has written a fake review, it’s important not to let them know they’ve been caught!
Instead of responding publicly, tell them via Yelp’s private messaging system (which is easily accessible on each user profile). Let them know that you are sorry they had a bad time and offer them a gift certificate or some other perk to try your business again. If it’s a competitor, apologize for their behavior and promise not to give them any more trouble in the future.
Remember who your audience is Yelp users come from all walks of life!
Most people will use Yelp as a tool to research their options and make the best possible decisions for themselves. When you respond publicly and try to win back your negative reviewer, keep this in mind: Do not get into an argument with them or take things too personally! Just let them know that they are valued customers who will be well taken care of when they come into your business.
Deal with the problem privately.
This process can be exhausting, but now is not the time to give up!
Remember that you are doing this for future customers who may read these reviews and make judgments about whether or not they want to patronize your establishment (no pressure).
If it’s a serious issue, make sure you get their medical bills covered and apologize profusely.
Do not retaliate.
This is the most important step! If they write another review about how poorly you handled this situation or if it’s just been too long and they have forgotten all of the details, do NOT take matters into your own hands. Do not threaten them, do not write fake reviews about how amazing you are, and do NOT try to get revenge by making the negative reviewer’s life a living hell (online or offline).
The good thing is that most people understand what it means when businesses retaliate like this and will usually remove their original reviews as a result.
Respond publicly to the new review with a link back.
This is your chance to win them over! When you see that they have written another negative post about their experience, go ahead and respond once more in public by linking back to this initial incident so users can get the full picture of what happened. By doing so, you will most likely win this person over and get them to see your side of things. If they refuse, you can always try sending a private message in case it’s just an oversight on their part!
Go back and respond to old reviews.
Respond publicly and privately to all previous negative reviews so users will understand what happened (and hopefully remove the negative review altogether). This will put your mind at ease knowing that everything has been taken care of, plus you can make new friends this way!
Track the results.
Keep track of what type of people leave negative reviews and how many times they have done so in total.
If a regular customer is unhappy with something time and time again, you will have to face the music and figure out how to make them happy. If it’s a competitor trying to sabotage your business by leaving multiple reviews on different pages, ignore it! Don’t respond at all… this person has an ulterior motive that doesn’t involve helping customers or improving customer service everywhere – they are just mad that you are doing well.
Think about your next steps.
If the negative review comes from someone who doesn’t know what they’re talking about or is just a fluke, think of different ways to improve customer service and make sure everyone knows how highly valued they are as customers!
By taking these simple steps, you will put the negativity behind you and keep moving forward!