The Importance of Responding to Negative Yelp Reviews

Yelp negative review

Yelp can be both blessing and a curse for your business. It’s awesome when customers sing your praises and talk about the delicious food and stellar service they received. These are the reviews you want everyone to see! But, unfortunately, not every customer will be happy, and these unhappy customers are often the ones who take to Yelp to voice their opinions. It doesn’t matter whether their food wasn’t what they wanted, the service wasn’t up to par, or they were just having a bad day…you’ll be hearing about it.

So what should you do when you’re facing negative Yelp reviews? It can be tempting to just ignore them. After all, you don’t want to egg on an already unhappy customer. But totally brushing off negative reviews isn’t the right strategy. So why is it so important to respond to negative Yelp reviews?

For starters, it’s a good idea to appease the unhappy customer. Just think about what you would do if that customer was in your restaurant, complaining in person. You wouldn’t ignore him or her, would you? There’s a good chance that by simply addressing the customer’s problem, you can make the situation right and gain back their business.

The other thing to consider is your other customers (and potential customers). Remember, everyone can see your negative Yelp reviews, and if there’s no response from you, they may just assume that what the unhappy customer said was true. If you respond politely and apologize, this will show other customers that you value your business and take customer satisfaction seriously.

However, there’s definitely a right and wrong way to respond to negative Yelp reviews.

Here are some dos and don’ts:

DO be polite. Your customers are human beings!

DON’T respond immediately. It’s totally okay to take a bit of time to clear your head and think about the best way to respond.

DO reach out privately. Although there’s definitely value in responding publicly, remember that Yelp also allows you to respond privately to reviews. For a particularly combative customer, this might be a smart idea.

DON’T take it personally. A complaint about your restaurant isn’t an attack on you.

DO apologize. Even if you don’t think you did anything wrong, you can say you’re sorry that the customer had a bad experience. Many people just want to be heard!

DO be grateful. Thank the customer for his/her feedback and time, even if their review is negative.

DON’T make excuses. This can lead to an argument between you and the customer, and the last thing you want to do is get into a heated, public argument online.

For more advice on how to handle negative reviews, check out this explanation of how one business owner handles his negative reviews.

Responding to negative reviews may be tricky, but it’s essential if you want to provide great customer service.  If you’d like to utilize this review site to the fullest, check out a previous article on 9 Ways to Get the Most Out of Your Yelp Account.

How does your business respond to negative Yelp reviews?

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