As previously reported, Yelp has launched a system to allow business owners to address reviews left by their customers.
The new system will finally ease the frustration of businesses not being able to share their side of the story–especially when facing a very negative review. The system will look like this:
Now, before you rub your hands together in delight, Yelp’s well aware of just how over-bearing business owners can be, so it’s going to be very strict in what it will and won’t allow business owners to post. Here are the guidelines for business owners planning to respond:
Public Comment Guidelines
Use public comments to:
* Tell the community what you’ve done to address a specific concern raised by a reviewer.
* Provide correct information when a review contains something inaccurate or out-of-date.
* Provide your version of a difficult situation when you’re unable to resolve a dispute through private messaging. Remember to be polite and stick to facts since your comments are public and can be seen by potential customers.
Please don’t use public comments to:
* Make personal attacks. Avoid name calling or belittling your reviewer. Even if the original review was offensive, customers expect you to take the high road.
* Advertise. This is not the place for promoting unrelated offerings or events. If you want to share some general information with your customers, post an Announcement instead.
* Offer incentives. Don’t offer gifts or other incentives in exchange for a more favorable review. Even if it’s well-intentioned, it can be perceived as dishonest.
* Thank a user for their review. Sending a Private Message is a more appropriate for a simple thank-you.
You might also want to take a look at my previous advice for responding to customer reviews of your business.