In an increasingly digital world, negative online feedback can make or break your business, and this is especially true for Yelp reviews. This popular platform is used by countless consumers to screen local companies each and every day. If your business has a low Yelp rating or a few disastrous reviews right at the top, you could be missing out on a number of conversions and a wealth of profits. Here, San Diego digital marketing professionals discuss how to handle negative reviews.
How to Delete Yelp Reviews
If companies could go in and streamline their Yelp profiles to show only positive customer feedback, Yelp would not be the trusted and widely-used platform that it is. That being said, there’s only one way to have a negative review deleted and that’s by flagging it and showing that it’s in violation of Yelp’s terms of service (TOS) agreement. This tactic only works with reviews that contain profanity or that launch unnecessary and unwarranted attacks. Given that there are a lot of gray areas here, cleaning up your Yelp profile via this method can be time-consuming, challenging and fraught with frustration. More importantly, it isn’t guaranteed to be all that productive either.
Burying Negative Reviews on Yelp
You may have a few reviews on Yelp that aren’t directly tied to the services, products or customer experiences that you’ve supplied. For instance, Yelp can be the ideal platform for disgruntled ex-employees who want to vent or tarnish your name. You’ll also find that the majority of negative Yelp reviews fall well within the platform’s TOS. When this is the case, your best bet is to encourage more customers to talk about their service experiences online. An influx of new positive reviews will bury the old unflattering ones and boost your overall rating.
Understand How Proactive and Reactive Reputation Management Differ
There are two types of online reputation management that companies can use. These are proactive and reactive reputation management. Proactive reputation management is everything that you do to bolster and build your commercial image ahead of an attack. It is the most powerful and effective method of the two, given that it makes your commercial image a lot more difficult to tarnish. Conversely, reactive reputation management is everything that you do after image concerns have already reared their heads. Less effective and often glaringly obvious, reactive tactics are commonly referred to as damage control. Encouraging satisfied customers to leave feedback on Yelp is a proactive tactic. Attempting to delete or bury unfortunate Yelp reviews is reactive.
Getting More Satisfied Customers to Post on Yelp
Hand out business cards that have your Yelp address. Happy customers are more likely to comment if they can find your Yelp profile easily. Consider having this address printed on your receipts as well, or adding it to your email marketing campaigns. While you can offer people small discounts for posting about your business on Yelp, be mindful of the fact that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) frowns on incentivizing reviews and so does Yelp.
Use Yelp to Show People How You Solve Problems
While you can’t outright delete many of the unsavory Yelp reviews about your business, you can respond to them. The first step is to claim your business on this platform. Next, go through the feedback that customers have left and thank them for choosing your company and taking the time to comment on their experiences. When you find people who are less than satisfied, try to solve their problems. Offer them discounts on their next purchases, replacements for defective items or any other solutions that might change their minds about your business. Far more important than eradicating every negative Yelp review is showing people that you’re committed to giving good value. Best of all, if you’re able to appease irate customers, there’s always the chance that they’ll delete or update their negative reviews.
Managing your Yelp reviews, like anything else, takes time and other resources you may not be able to spare. If that’s the case, let us help. We specialize in San Diego SEO, social media, and AdWords management. To learn more about how we can help, call us at (858) 277-1717.