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Help! We’ve got a negative Yelp!
At least you know. What if people are posting negative online reviews about your business and you don’t even know it? Not good, right?
Here is help for a negative Yelp online review.
Yelp is a free review site that lets consumers rate businesses on a five-star scale. Other review sites that encourage customer feedback and ratings include Google Places, Yahoo! Local Listings and Facebook Business.
Have you recently looked at the feedback that your customers are giving you? Are they mostly positive (four or more stars) or are there a lot of negative reviews? Do you even know if your business information — address, phone number, services provided, etc. — is current?
Google maps recently showed the local outlet of a major chain sporting goods store as being “out of business.” That was a big surprise for the store manager!
Customer opinions are formed and choices are made even before they step foot into your store or call your business. Potential new customers listen to what your past customers are saying. And so should you.
Some may say, “Yelp? What’s that? I didn’t sign up for any Internet gimmicks. Leave me out of this.”
Too late! Yelp, Google and the rest already have your company’s public information posted. So those reviewing opportunities are live and available right now. The important question is, have you “claimed” your business? Type in Yelp and your business name, city and state. Then click the “claim this business” button in the lower right margin.
“Unclaimed” means you have no control over the information about your business and no ability to respond to comments. Here is a comment on unclaimed doctor’s office: “Ridiculous!!! My mom had spine surgery ten days ago and they are making her and other patients wait almost an hour. What could the doctor be doing?” The physician and staff probably don’t know about these negative review have been posted for all to see.
Claiming your site is free and lets you update photos, contact information and other information to make your site more appealing and accurate. This also allows you to respond to reviews.
Claiming is not a cure all, though. You have to maintain it. A classy local clothing store that had been claimed on Yelp was neglected. Several negative reviews were posted for all to see with no responses from the owner or staff.
Happily, my local auto repair shop claimed its site and has almost all five star reviews. In fact, most of the area’s auto repair shops were claimed and had active review sites.
Denial and neglect are dangerous so take charge of your business review site:
Responding to negative reviews is challenging. Here are some tips:
Now that you have help for negative Yelp reviews, consider taking this to the next level by taking a proactive approach to gaining positive reviews. Who will give you a positive review today? It’s OK to ask them!
John Parker is the founder of Professional Development Adventures and an instructor for the UC Davis Center for Human Services. You can reach him at email@example.com.