An article by: T.J. Whelan
Do you worry about negative reviews on Yelp hurting your business? If so, don’t worry too much about it. There are several things to take into consideration about bad Yelp reviews and numerous steps you can take to counter the negativity that takes place on your business.
When you are working in a service business and dealing with customers, customer satisfaction should always be your number one concern. If customer satisfaction is indeed your main concern then you have to find out what the customer likes and dislikes about your company. Your answer to the customers’ needs lay in the reviews on your Yelp business page.
The first step in the process is to claim your business page on Yelp. Once your Yelp page is claimed you should place a Yelp badge on your website so that people viewing your site are aware that you are on Yelp and would like reviews. You must also be aware that every customer isn’t going to visit your website so you have to get the message about your Yelp page through additional offline marketing. You might consider putting signs or flyers inside your business saying, “We are now on Yelp, please post reviews” so customers that come into your office become aware of your page and can begin posting reviews. Or offer discounts to customers and clients if they write a review about your business.
Now that more people have become aware of your Yelp page you should begin engaging yourself in it by responding to reviews, adding photos, and customizing your listings. There are two reasons why you should respond to as many reviews as possible whether they are negative or positive:
- Customers like to know their opinions actually matter so by responding you are showing the positive reviewers your appreciation for their support and letting the negative reviewers know that you care what they think and will make attempts to change their experience in the future.
- If your reviewers know that their posts are being taken into consideration they will continue to post which adds content to your page providing more reviews to improve your search performance. For instance, if you own a restaurant in Boston, Massachusetts and offer a wide variety of seafood and no one Yelps about it then your restaurant won’t show up in the Yelp search results when someone searches “seafood” as highly. Responding to reviews adds content, adding content provides more keywords, providing more keywords improves your search performance, and improving your search performance is the core goal of SEO (Search Engine Optimization). By simply responding to reviews you have begun a chain of events which results in a better search performance for your Yelp page and contributes to a part of what SEO (Search Engine Optimization) does as a whole. SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is no longer dealing with just adding words of content onto your website; SEO (Search Engine Optimization) now engages in Social Media, Social Bookmarking, Back End Coding, Blogging, and Quality Backlinking in order to improve your search performance on listing such as Google, Yahoo, and Bing.
Even after you have taken all those steps to satisfy the customer there is a chance that you may receive some more poor reviews on Yelp, but you can’t let that discourage you. The bottom line is that not everyone can be pleased and there will be negative reviews, but if you are
confident that you are running a good business and making a valiant effort to service every customer in the best way possible then you are bound to end up with plenty of positive reviews. The outcome that is ideal for any business on Yelp is that the people viewing your Yelp page are influenced enough by the positive reviews to become a future customer. A great way to determine whether or not your yelp reviews yield more customers than before is to look at your yelp reviews. Most likely there will be one obscenely negative review and one overly positive review; my advice is to forget about the high and the low and focus on the middle. It’s the same as determining the probability of any outcome; you simply drop the outliers and focus on the general pattern of the data. If you take these steps, remain confident about running a good business and continue to put customer satisfaction first, the majority of your reviews will be positive and you will have little reason to worry about the occasional negative review.
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