One of the biggest gripes small businesses have about local review sites is that not all of them provide an opportunity to respond to a customer complaint. Popular review site Yelp is hoping to address that issue with the launch of a new set of tools to help business owners manage their Yelp profile.
Along with new features, such as…
- Allowing business owners to claim their Yelp profile
- Update their Yelp profile and add images
- Send messages to customers
- Receive email alerts of new reviews
- Add free Yelp badges to business web sites
…Yelp also offers some practical advice to business owners looking to manage their reviews.
- DON’T review your own business anonymously or get your friends to do the same.
- DON’T overestimate the impact of a single negative review. It happens to even the best businesses. That said, if you see a trend of negative reviews, you may want to take this feedback and determine if there is a way to improve your business.
- DON’T lash out at the people who have written negative reviews about you. Tempting as that may be, we see that backfiring in some cases as the Yelp community may up the ante and even engage in “vigilante justice” by spreading more negativity. Try to remember, “the customer is always right”.
- DON’T offer incentives or payment for your customers to write positive reviews about your business on Yelp. This sort of “shilling” often causes ill will with both current and potential customers. In addition, these paid reviews violate Yelp’s Review Guidelines and will be removed.
- DO review your own business, clearly stating that you are the business owner. Full disclosure is important here, and will be critical in earning the respect of the Yelp community.
- DO take the feedback to heart but remember that each review is just one single opinion, sand it’s the entire set of the Yelp reviews together that really matters most.