Rep mgmt: Should I improve or push down negative Yelp review?

12 replies
I have a friend who's business was hit with tons of negative online reviews from one angry customer. They tried reconciling with the customer but had no luck. The customer not only posted negative reviews to a bunch of sites, but also multiple negative reviews under different names.

So, 3 months ago, to help them out, I found a group to outsource this to. In 3 months, they've done a decent job pushing down some of the negative links off of page 1 of google, but one tricky one remains: Yelp.

It still remains the #3 result when googling their business name. The company I outsourced this to, has tried to push the Yelp link out of the top 10 with no luck so far. I've recommend a different strategy to this outsourcing company of trying to contact actual customers and get legitimate positive reviews onto their Yelp page to drown out the negative. Their outsourcing company however, is highly against this approach and recommends continuing trying to push yelp off of page 1.

So just curious on your thoughts to the best approach to this tricky negative yelp review. Should we continue trying to drop the Yelp link from Google results or should we work on getting positive reviews to drown out the bad? Or something else entirely different?

Thanks
#improve #mgmt #negative #push #rep #review #yelp
  • Profile picture of the author NutraCash
    I would think more positive would outweigh the negative
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  • Profile picture of the author Life Naturally
    I would employ a two phase strategy. First, continue to flood yelp and other rating systems with positive reviews to outweigh the bad ones. Secondly, i'm not sure if Yelp allows this, but you can also "reply" to the bad review and explain the situation. I've seen this done successfully by companies. I would take responsibility, explain that you have corrected the issue, and then offer the person a refund or some other way to remedy the situation.
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  • Profile picture of the author Goalie35
    Thanks for the advice so far. I should also include the reasoning as to why the guy we're outsourcing to is concerned about adding add'l reviews to yelp. His opinion is that adding reviews, good or bad, will help strengthen Yelps ranking when googling their business name. He feels we'd be better off adding no Yelp reviews & work on knocking Yelp off page 1 of google rather than messing with adding add'l reviews.

    Thanks again.
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  • Profile picture of the author @tjr
    Well, seems simple but has the company or the rep management firm reached out to the angry customer in an attempt to make things right/better?
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    • Profile picture of the author Goalie35
      Well, seems simple but has the company or the rep management firm reached out to the angry customer in an attempt to make things right/better?
      I know at one point, they did try to reach out to the customer to correct things. I'm not sure to what extent they went to, to try to appease their customer but I do know several add'l negative reviews have been added by him since then.
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      • Profile picture of the author @tjr
        Originally Posted by Goalie35 View Post

        I know at one point, they did try to reach out to the customer to correct things. I'm not sure to what extent they went to, to try to appease their customer but I do know several add'l negative reviews have been added by him since then.
        Seems to me at least that there are a few things that could be happening here:

        The Customer Was Not Placated: They feel that whatever caused them to be wronged has not been remedied, or that the attempt to do so was not in line with what they wanted or thought was fair. Not saying that the people you are talking about did anything wrong, just that it is how things are being perceived. Perception is everything.

        The Customer Has Motive For The Business To Suffer: Perhaps they're not actually a customer, but a direct competitor. Maybe they're the friend of a competitor. Maybe they, like the firm you hired, are working to boost up another company and they stand to benefit by having the first company look poor. Hard to say.

        The Customer Is A Loon: It's a thing. If you figure out how to handle that, let the rest of us know!
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  • Profile picture of the author HuiBang
    Having negative reviews on Yelp can be harmful for local business and cost business owner lot of bucks. As Yelp.com has proven they will not work with business owners to remove false and misleading reviews unless they violate Yelp’s policy.


    So its better to push down yelp negative link from the Search results
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  • Profile picture of the author sameera
    One can go with both the activities. You can try adding positive reviews and explain the whole situation to the angry customer. All you need to do is to keep yourself calm while replying to the bad comment, You can also work simultaneously on displacing that negative review by smartly adding that negative search term in those positive profiles created by you.
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  • Profile picture of the author kk075
    Originally Posted by Goalie35 View Post

    So just curious on your thoughts to the best approach to this tricky negative yelp review. Should we continue trying to drop the Yelp link from Google results or should we work on getting positive reviews to drown out the bad? Or something else entirely different?

    Thanks
    It sounds like you started in the right place...customer outreach. But it really bothers me that a company would spend hundreds of dollars to make a review go away when they could just turn those reviews into positive ones with that same money. I face the exact same thing with my clients all the time and it drives me insane...it's so much faster and cheaper to make things right with the customer.

    So my initial advice would be to reach out again and MAKE THINGS RIGHT. That's why people complain and most will happily remove a bad review if they get the right type of outreach. With that said, your friend may have felt taken advantage of and called the customer without having the right attitude, which made things go from bad to worse. So I suggest you do the outreach for him....that's step 1.

    Step two is to start a review campaign with current customers...and businesses should be doing this anyway. Place a sign on the counter with a QR code embedded that says, "Review us on Yelp and be entered into a drawing to receive a $100 gift card." Or you can go with $1 off the current purchase....whatever. The key is to make it an impulse that customers will do while they're waiting to check out, and this solves the problem of bad reviews long term.

    Step three is to leave a two sentence response to every negative review. It should be something like, "I am very sorry you had a bad experience with us. Please contact me at your earliest convenience so we can find a solution to make you happy." This doesn't admit guilt and shows everyone that you're the type of company that cares about customers, and it softens even the hardest blows.

    Step four is to do the exact same thing for your positive reviews...thank the customer and try to get conversations started. This gives their review even more weight to naturally edge out the bad ones. Your goal is to simply get the bad review to page two, so you need about ten customers to respond to your response or hit the +1 buttons.

    Then start an email campaign with a similar offer from step two, and place a homepage banner asking for reviews as well. Honestly, your customers are better off with reviews on their own site as well since they can control them, so it's something to think about moving forward.

    I'm guessing you've already done a lot of this, but hopefully it covers a few things you missed. Again, the outreach is key.....save the headaches and just make things right with the consumer.
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    • Profile picture of the author Kay King
      The best reputation campaign I've seen was a guy who owned a pizza restaurant on the Coast. He had cards printed which said "tell us on Yelp and Facebook why you like XXX pizza" - and that card (with a link to the review added by the customer) turned into a $10 coupon.

      I'm not clear whether the "negative posts" are in the past or if the person is still writing negative reviews. Someone who is using different accounts in an attempt to damage a business is a bit of a kook. They want to be "right" and "be heard" and logic doesn't work with them. Contacting them can be a sign their campaign is "working" and they may renew their efforts. There is no more damaging "review" to me than "XXX offered me money to remove my honest review of their restaurant"....

      If you hired an expert to push down the negative reviews - I'd say let them do the job their way. If they aren't getting results replace them or try your own ideas. Depending on how insistent the negative person is - and how far they go in defaming the company, there are legal remedies for extremes of behavior...

      http://finance.yahoo.com/news/what-t...195542730.html

      Yelper Found Guilty of Defamation for Scathing Reviews - Eater

      Can You Be Sued If You Give A Bad Review On Yelp? - Forbes
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      • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
        If one person is using multiple names to post these negative reviews, and you can prove it, why not reach out to Yelp? They have a vested interest in keeping the reviews legit (or at least the rep for being legit). They might just solve your problem for you, without paying some outside company to flood sites with phony positive reviews to counteract the phony negative ones.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jeff Lenney
    That's a tough one - yelp IS difficult to move down due to it's traffic AND the fact that users like reviews by nature.

    I would try a two pronged response:
    1. Reach out to existing HAPPY Customers, explain the situation up front (since they'll most likely see the bad review) and ask them to leave an HONEST review on yelp about the business
    2. Build backlinks to existing GOOD content. If you need MORE good content, some good sites to build out are:
      1. Google Plus
      2. Youtube Channel
      3. Facebook Page
      4. Twitter
      5. Pinterest
      6. about.me
    3. Try to link THOSE all together randomly
    Hope this helps - good luck!


    Jeff Lenney
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