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Online reviews are critical to every business. This is because 88 percent of online consumers will trust these reviews like they would personal recommendations. Therefore, bad reviews, especially on Yelp, can hurt your business. Here is how to counter bad reviews on Yelp.
1. Claim Your Yelp Page
The lack of a Yelp business page does not prevent you from getting bad reviews on the site. In case the online reviews site knows about your business, they have already come up with a page for you. All you need to do is claim your business page, which is free. This allows you to present your description and vision. You can post pictures, update your contact details and operating hours, and include other business content. Claiming your Yelp business page also allows you to report a review as abusive and ask Yelp to remove it.
2. Manage Bad/Positive Review Proportions
Having a few negative reviews will aid in adding credibility to your business page. Every business never lacks some dissatisfied customers. But it is critical to look at the proportion of negative reviews relative to positive ones. To counter negative reviews, implore clients to post good reviews. However, Yelp does not allow you to ask clients to leave great reviews. You also cannot incentivize customers to leave positive reviews. Yelp advises you to request clients to look you up on Yelp. They even provide badging for you to utilize in your marketing for the promotion of your presence on Yelp.
Informing your favorite clients of your Yelp page will aid to promote your Yelp presence. Focusing on awareness creation will ensure that your favorite clients leave you plenty of good reviews while you follow the terms of service of Yelp. If Yelp finds a business that is trying to cheat the system by filling their page with great reviews, the company’s filtering algorithm will suppress the reviews.
3. Reviews Have Credibility
Yelp has an algorithm that weighs reviews. The company prioritizes reviews that appear helpful, reliable, and credible. Reviews that have low credibility, whether negative or positive, will miss from your overall rating. They also won’t be easy to find. Yelp considers a review’s credibility by checking the writer of the review and the response of the community. Yelp has their ‘Elite 16’ or ‘Yelp Elite Squad,’ who are strong users that the site officially recognizes as reviewers who are highly credible. Getting a bad review from one of these reviewers means that you prioritize making a response to them. A review can also be rated by the community.
4. Respond Tactfully to a Bad Review
If you get several bad reviews, consider looking into your business in the areas mentioned by the reviews. Then decide on the reviewers whom you will respond. Since Yelp allows for update of reviews by reviewers, positive interaction between you and the reviewer could lead to a revision. The likelihood of the revision being seen depends on its position in the review queue. Hence, utilize review placement together with the reviewer’s credibility to choose whom to reply to first.
If you have claimed your business page and uploaded your image as the business owner, you can contact the reviewer privately. You can also respond publicly while you remain professional. As you respond, be sure not to be defensive and personal. When sending a private message to the reviewer, offer the same customer service experience you would offer your best client. In case they have a point, inform them of your strategy to improve.
5. Be Cautious of the Vicious Reviewer
You might have a few negative reviews, but terrible ones. If the reviewer appears problematic, people will know, and you don’t have to respond. In case you respond to these vicious reviews, and you fail to resolve the issue, you can ask Yelp to remove them. However, Yelp does not like to remove reviews. Instead, they make low credibility reviews difficult to find. Formally, the company will remove a review if it does not follow their content guidelines, including conflicts of interest, releasing of private details, and more.
If you want your business to attract the current online consumers, you need to follow these steps to counter negative Yelp reviews. You will not only boost the image of your business, but you will also be attracting millions of consumers who visit the site on a daily basis.

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