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Help for Yelp – How to Deal with Negative Reviews

November 9, 2010 | By | No Comments

Help Yelp / They yelp for help.

When Dr. Seuss wrote that Hop on Pop rhyme in 1963, he had no idea that nearly half a century later, a website named Yelp would have businesses calling for help.

Yelp is a search and review site that allows users to rate as well as post comments about businesses, from restaurants to photographers and everything in between. According to the website, more than 38 million people view the site in a one month period.

The site has its share of critics. Some companies suggest that Yelp has manipulated reviews after businesses refused to advertise on the site. In early 2010, the company was hit with a class action lawsuit, accusing the site of extorting money from businesses.

No matter what happens with the suit, the reality is that in a socially networked world, businesses need to find a professional, reasoned way to deal with any less-than-kind reviews.

Look for a pattern

It’s normal to bristle at a criticism of the business or product you’ve spent so much time nurturing. But if you’re willing to really listen to online reviews, you may find an opportunity to make your brand even better. For instance, if you read a litany of comments saying the store manager is a snippy witch, then, perhaps you and the manager need to assess how to change those business-busting perceptions.

Remember your manners

Andy Beal on Marketing Pilgrim posted a screenshot of a restaurant owner’s backlash against a negative review on Yelp. The response reads in part:

“As for you having the Patio all to yourself unless you have been living in another PLANET it is summertime in ARIZONA MORON!!! Only TRAMPS and LOSERS want to sit outside in 110 temperatures!!!”

Okay, it’s likely that many of us would love to say something similar to certain customers, but it’s a social media faux pas of epic proportions. Andy writes that after the owner’s post, additional 1-star reviews soon appeared. And, it doesn’t matter if those reviews were posted as a backlash by the original customer’s pals; they still appear on the site, just waiting to be read by potential customers. So make sure your team knows to respond politely and professionally, even when they may not want to.

Need help with Yelp?

If you need an outsourced team with the social media savvy to engage customers on Yelp and other review sites in a positive and professional way, call the team at Social Strategy1.

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