A few months ago, we wrote about how Yelp is cracking down on paid reviews (check it out here) and that they were increasing their filtering service to try to deter companies from producing fake reviews. Now, along with the help of Yelp CEO Jeremy Stoppelman, chatmeter would like to give some tips and advice on responding correctly to reviews. Responding to reviews can be an extremely helpful tactic if done correctly; but if done incorrectly, you may just be adding fuel to the fire. These tips should be directly incorporated into your review management strategy and referred to whenever you respond.

Yelp has developed a new video series, called Inside Yelp, which is designed to help customers and businesses better understand their services. In one of the first videos, CEO Jeremy Stoppelman explains the reasons behind the review filter and also offers a few points on how to respond to a negative review. The first thing he says is that you need to accept that you will receive negative reviews. Bad things are bound to happen that may be out of your control. You can’t expect that every single person who comes into your business will be 100% satisfied. Things do happen. Here are his 3 tips:

  1. Take a deep breath and think about it. You want to give yourself time to really think about the comment and reflect on it.
  2. Think about the “big picture.” Consumers know that they will see negative reviews on your business page. One review will not be the end of your business and that one review doesn’t count for everything.
  3. Take the negative review as constructive criticism. You want to take these reviews to heart and learn from what your consumers are saying.

Although these tips are a great place to start, we think there are some other things you need to consider before you respond to a negative review.  First, you need to thank your reviewers. They took the time to write about your business, so you need to show your appreciation, even if you don’t want to hear what they are saying. You don’t need to respond to every single review, we recommend that you respond to the negative ones and 1 out of 5 positive ones. Next, you need to be nice with your response. You don’t want to get into an online argument with an angry customer. Not only will this make the customer even angrier, other people may see this threat and think negatively about you. You want to keep your responses courteous, useful, and relatable. The last tips, is you need to make sure you don’t take the reviews personally. Your customers are reflecting on their experience, not about you personally. You want to reply in a manner that addresses the experience.

Just because these tips were primarily from Yelp, they should be considered when responding to a review on any type of review site or social media site. These tips should also be taken into account for all businesses, regardless of your size. It doesn’t matter if you are a franchise with 100 locations or a small mom and pop shop with only one, correctly responding to a negative review is extremely important. You need to remember that just one bad review can cost you upwards of 30 new customers! Consumers based websites are not going away so you need to make sure you know how to manage them correctly. The biggest takeaway you should get is that you should not respond irrationally. You need to think about what you are going to say and it should reflect your business and the experience you want your consumer to get.

We’ve also done the research and here are some of the review-based websites that allow your business to properly respond:

  • maps.google.com
  • local.yahoo.com
  • yelp.com
  • yellowpages.com
  • yelp.ca
  • blogsearch.google.com
  • facebook.com
  • twitter.com
  • foursquare.com
  • citysearch.com
  • insiderpages.com
  • superpages.com
  • tripadvisor.com
  • yellowbook.com
  • urbanspoon.com
  • dealerrater.com
  • hotels.com
  • apartmentratings.com
  • edmunds.com
  • cars.com
  • merchantcircle.com

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