Bad Reviews on Yelp? 5 Sure-Fire Tactics

Bad Reviews on Yelp

Is your business burdened by bad reviews on Yelp?  Are you concerned about the impact on your business reputation?  Do you have a business reputation marketing strategy to effectively deal with a problem like this?

Many thanks to Jean Dion for these 5 tactics to respond to a bad Yelp review.

Most small business owners quake in their boots when they think about bad reviews on Yelp. These supposedly “true” views about the products we’ve made or the services we provide can have a deep impact on the company’s bottom line. If the reviews are bad enough, in fact, they could put us out of business altogether.

But there is some good news: Yelp’s founder suggests that reviewers take their work very seriously. In fact, they’re so committed to writing a good review that they rarely whip out their smart phones and start tapping minutes after a purchase. They need to come up with the right words and phrases and snarky sentences to make their reviews pop. They need time in order to do all of that.

This little delay could give you the opportunity to intervene and make things right, long before that nasty review hits the web. And that could make your reputation management work so much easier, as you’ll have a smaller mess to clean up.

So if you are dealing with an irate customer right now, here are five things you can do to make it right, before that person starts typing bad reviews on Yelp.

Bad Reviews on Yelp

 1. Apologize sincerely.

Never underestimate the value of saying you’re sorry in an honest and sincere manner. If you’ve screwed up, or someone who works for you has done something wrong that you know about, it’s time to dig deep into your inner wellspring of humility and say you’re sorry.

2. Explain what happened.

If you know exactly why a specific problem took place, explain the issue clearly. Perhaps the meal was slow to arrive because an unexpected party came into the restaurant. Perhaps an item was broken in transit due to a new employee in shipping. There’s no need to be defensive and give too much information, but if you can, explain what happened in your own words.

3. Offer some kind of bonus.

Providing a little perk, award or bonus is a great way to demonstrate that you are really and truly sorry. It doesn’t have to be massive or budget-breaking, either. A small token that demonstrates that you’re really concerned about the issue and want to make it right could go a long way toward changing that person’s mind about you and your company. Good gifts might be:

  • A discount on the past purchase.
  • A discount on future purchases.
  • A small freebie, like an appetizer or a haircut or a coffee.

4. Provide your contact information.

Your conversation might be taking place in a crowded spot, like the center of a restaurant. Sometimes, it’s that lack of privacy that drives people to write on Yelp. They want to be heard, and sometimes, that seems difficult when the room they’re standing in is full of other people.

You can help by providing a business card that contains your contact information. Ask the person to get in touch with you at any time about the issue, especially if the person wants to discuss it in detail and doesn’t feel comfortable doing so in the spot in which you’re standing.

5. Check back in.

If the conversation is going smoothly, ask the person for a return business card. Then, check back in with the person within 24 hours. Here, apologize again for the incident and give the person yet another opportunity to explain what happened and why it was so upsetting.

Worth the Work if you have bad reviews on Yelp

Now, all of these steps take time to complete. You might be tempted to skip the whole thing. But consider this: research from 2013 suggests that Yelp reviews impact about 93 percent of researched purchases. Clearly, the site has power. If you can take a few minutes and please a customer, you might block a bad review before it’s even written. And that could really help your bottom line. To me, that’s work well worth doing.

Bad Reviews on Yelp