Industry Insights Uncategorized

Dealing with the Occasional Negative Yelp Review

November 17, 2011

How do I deal with negative Yelp reviews?
We often get questions from agents about negative reviews on Yelp and what can be done about them.  Unfortunately, Yelp and most review sites have strict guidelines and rarely remove content.  Here are the best steps to deal with negative reviews:

  • If the post contains clear violations of Yelp’s content guidelines, it should be reported to Yelp for review (it has to be a clear violation; an unfavorable review that includes “misleading” information will not be removed). You must have a Yelp account to flag reviews.
  • If you have proof that what the reviewer said is false and want to take further measures than just reporting it to Yelp, always consult your manager before proceeding.
  • You can attempt to contact the reviewer directly to clear up any misunderstandings and offer solutions to whatever problem resulted in the negative review.
  • If you own a business account, you can “claim your business page” on yelp and respond publicly and directly (however, this should be done with caution as it is public).
  • Aim for higher client satisfaction.

Yelp does have a filter in relation to what content and reviews it shows. Based on how long a user has been a yelp member, the diversity of their reviews, etc. Yelp determines some reviews to be more useful and trustworthy thank others.  Reviews that are overtly positive or negative from new members are often not displayed. Additionally, Yelp’s filter is skeptical if a large number of responses are submitted quickly. For this reason, Yelp discourages businesses from soliciting customers to submit reviews; often this content will be flagged and never displayed. The best way to increase positive reviews on Yelp is to produce positive experiences for your clients. Overtime, negative reviews will be pushed down the page and or treated as less useful and reliable.
Yelp has frequently asked questions from business owners here that deal with common issues about reviews, Yelp’s filters, and best practices.
Below is a video that explains Yelp’s Filter in more detail:

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