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How To Respond & Remove Negative Reviews: Yelp, Google+, CitySearch
Responding & Removing Negative Reviews: Yelp, Google Places, CitySearch Etc
With the emergence of online review sites everyone shares opinions, positive and negative, true or false, useful or just rants - and for a lot of businesses these reviews have a significant impact on the bottom line. While research is still in it's early days, it's widely accepted that a 1 star increase (on the basis of 5 stars) can result in a 10% lift in business and vice versa. With that in mind, a highly regarded business has lot to lose while a poorly rated business has a lot to gain from investing in online review management. Yelp along with Google Places, CitySearch, UrbanSpoon, Yellow Pages, Angie's List, and many more, are establishing themselves as the go to websites for customers to research/find companies/services as well as tell of their experiences.
The onus is now on business owners to monitor, effectively respond, and potentially remove negative reviews from Yelp, Yellow Pages, Google Places, CitySearch & other prominent review sites. Yelp, Google Places, CitySearch & Yellow Pages are just some of the most popular business review sites on the Internet. They allow customers to talk about their experiences with companies and lets business owners talk about their company to consumers. These review sites have strict rules about not deleting or moderating false reviews & unless they are break any guidelines set by the review site. But all hope is not lost - while it is rare it is possible to have some reviews on Yelp removed, and in cases where it's not we have some free & cost effective ways of nullify negative reviews on Yelp, Google Places, CItySearch, Yellow Pages, etc.
Claim Your Business Page On Yelp, Google Paces, Or Any Review Site
Claiming your Yelp, Google Places or any review site business listing is highly important, doing so enables you to communicate news to customers and respond to reviewers. This is the first and important step in learning how to remove negative reviews on Yelp and other sites. Once you've claimed your listing you'll have control over the business details and be able to make amendments and updates as changes occur. This is also the first step in being able to monitor all your online business listings from one convenient dashboard, but we'll get to that a little further down.
Here is how to do it:
- Go to www.yelp.com, or www.google.com/places/, or do a Google search for the appropriate review site.
- Search for your business. Click on it when you find it to bring up your business page.
- Within the profile you'll have the option claim your listing, just look for a link like, “Is this your business?” or "Manage this page" - Click on that.
- You'll then be ask you to enter a series of simple information.
- Upon filling in all required fields, you will have to complete a phone authentication process (or potentially via snail mail). When your phone rings, which will be nearly instantly, enter the confirmation code in the appropriate section.
You are now ready to use your Business Page to effectively respond, resolve & potentially remove negative reviews.
Responding To Negative Reviews
Although you may run a good business, you can’t always be perfect, so your business is bound to make a few mistakes here and there. Given that people are likely to make more noise about a slip up versus a great experience, it's important to apologize publicly to a negative comment and then reach out to the customer privately to resolve the situation. Be open and honest about how a mistake was made and what you have done to correct it as customers will not trust excuses, but they will listen to real changes. People don't expect you to be perfect 100% of the time, but they will undoubtedly appreciate your effort to improve the situation and may remove their negative comment or follow up with a positive comment - this will speak volumes about your business and will turn a negative review into positive experience for future customers to draw from.
Resolve False Reviews
Sometimes, a negative review will be completely false. Unfortunately, many review sites (Google, Yelp, YP.com, etc ) won’t delete reviews unless they are profane. If you run into this situation, the best thing to do is publicly respond by politely, but firmly explaining why the review is false. Again avoiding excuses in these instances is imperative, as is maintaining composure and professionalism.
Of course, even if you clarify false reviews, they remain on the Internet, affect your star rating, and impacting your reputation every time they appear in search results. In these siutations there's realistically only one way to effectively handle false reviews: having an overwhelming majority of positive reviews will discredit & nulify any false & misleading reviews. While this strategy works as a highly effective response to negative reviews, it will cost you business during the time it takes to have actual customers post real reviews - it's a far better approach to be proactive enabling you to build up positive reviews over time, creating a active defense against any false or misleading reviews that will eventually come.
Managing Your Online Presence
Your businesses online presence can be divided into two buckets: Reviews & Search Results. While these two buckets of your online presence are similar, in fact they are inherently different, and the possible strategies that can be implemented to manage each situation are vastly different.
Reviews - Yelp, Google Places, YellowPages, CitySearch, Angie's List etc
Your business may have reviews/comments on a multitude of reviews sites such as Yelp, Google Places, YellowPages, CitySearch, RateMD, Angie's List and many other prominent sites. Unfortunately there is not one particular review site that is more important than another as customers and potential customers don't discriminate against a particular site if contains information and reviews about your business. This means that it's extremely important that you not only have a listing with the correct information about your business, but also that you consistently monitor all these reviews sites for new reviews, especially negative ones so that you can limit the damage done to your business reputation. One negative review that you're unaware of could potentially cost you a vast number of customers if there are not enough positive reviews that act as a defense. For instance if you were looking for a dentist or physician online and there was one positive review and one negative, what's the likelihood that you would use that business? Now imagine that a dentist or physician had one negative review but also had 10-20 positive reviews, the likelihood of you using that business would be far higher than the first example.
At Reputation.com we've recognized that every business large or small relies heavily on their online reputation & online reviews, and after consulting with many review management experts across the US, have developed specific service, Reputation for Business, to assist in monitoring, improving, defending and repairing online reputations and reviews. Imagine having your online online marketing & PR team that manages all your reviews, effectively resolving negative customer experiences and building a broad volume of positive reviews from your actual customers - to learn more about this service give us a call, 877-258-6338 and we'll gladly review your situation and give you some advice on what service, if any, you should consider.
Search Results - Google, Bing & Yahoo
While reviews that customers post on sites like Yelp, Google Places, YellowPages, CitySearch, RateMD, Angie's, etc are one form of your online reputation, there are other ways that your businesses good name can be tarnished online. The most typical ways that someone can trash your business online (excluding review sites which we've discussed) are through blogs, news articles, and 3rd party websites. There is no law that prevents people from publishing negative and most likely inaccurate content online about your business, which means that once it's indexed by a search engine there's almost now way to have it removed. Have you done a search for your business name on Google lately? Anything negative showing up? Although it's practically impossible to have any of this content removed (in about 1% of cases you can persuade the owner of the site to take the information down), you can have it buried so that when someone searches for your business all that they can find in Google, Bing & Yahoo is positive or neutral information around your business.
In situations such as these Reputation.com has developed a very specific service, ReputationDefender, which can suppress negative content about your business with techniques that we've perfected though $40+ million in research and development since 2006. This is certainly not a service that we would recommend for most businesses, but if your business is being trashed, or runs a high risk of having its name tarnished online, then ReputationDefender could be the answer you've been looking for. If you not sure if this would be the right option for you business or you'd just like some more information or advice about how to handle your businesses online reputation, feel free to give us a no-obligation call on 877-258-6338 and we'd be happy to assist in any way that we can.