How to Respond to a Negative Review on Yelp

A negative Yelp review can do more than just ruin your day — it can have a lasting impact on your business. Because prospective customers rely on Yelp and similar sites to provide accurate information and make decisions based on what they read, a single bad review can cost your brand thousands of dollars over time. 

Unfortunately, scammers know how much you value a good yelp review — and so does the site itself. Reports of Yelp extortion began surfacing as the site gained power, and many small business owners have found themselves facing a nearly impossible situation — a bad review that the site itself wants money to remove. 

Because Yelp makes money from premium buyers — those who pay to advertise their restaurants, stores and services — they are less likely to help those who don’t pay up. Yelp extortion is on the rise, and you should be aware of what this is, how it impacts your business and the reasons behind it. Yelp faced a series of lawsuits in the last decade about this very topic. Discover the details here and see if this common scenario sounds familiar. 

Learning more about negative Yelp reviews and how they impact your business can help you craft a response plan, before you’re hit with one. Here’s what to do if you’re on the receiving end of a bad review on Yelp or another site. 

3 Things to Do Immediately After a Bad Yelp Review

Cool down, then respond: One of the worst things you can do after a bad yelp review is respond with anger and emotion. Your response is going to be read by every person who researches that business, and needs to represent your brand in a positive way. Take some time to research the actual incident and craft a response that is directed to future buyers — not the actual complainant. 

Even if you are very sure the complaint is unfounded, start by thanking the review for their time and for pointing out their problem. According to Forbes, your future customers care more about how you respond to the complaint than they do about the complaint themselves. Take the time to write a careful response that addresses the concerns and lets future customers know you take their experiences seriously. 

Promote Good Customer Behavior: If the bad review is one of your only reviews on Yelp, it will stand out. Bury it with good reviews by ensuring a great customer experience and asking happy customers to review your brand. One bad review alongside hundreds of good ones swiftly loses its bite. 

Get Professional Help: If the review is having a significant impact on your brand — of if you just can’t stand seeing something so unfair another day – it is time to get professional help. Online reputation management can help remove a bad review and dramatically reduce the impact it has on your brand. Having an online reputation management team in place from the start can prevent a lot of headaches when it comes to Yelp reviews. 

The best time to act when it comes to bad Yelp reviews is before you receive one — and every brand that deals with or serves the public gets a bad review eventually. Having a plan in place can ensure you react quickly and that any damage done is minimal. If you’re not sure how to prepare or worried about what a bad Yelp review would do to your brand, we can help. Get in touch today to take a proactive shance and protect your business from those who seek to harm it. We’re here for you when you need us most. 


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