Turn Negative Reviews into Positive Engagement

For just about any business, Yelp can be your best friend, and even negative reviews can be turned into something positive.

There’s an old saying that states that any publicity is good publicity. Of course, that came about during an age when there wasn’t social media, 24-hour cable news, and instant communication via email, text, and video chat. In the era of Yelp and customer reviews, this is still true — if you know how to handle it.

Many business owners fear negative customer reviews. However, these can actually be a unique opportunity as part of your brand strategy to engage the customer. By responding constructively to negative customer reviews on Yelp and other social proofing sites, viewers learn that a business is connected, open-minded, and not above recognizing their own faults. A willingness to change can go a long way in building customer trust. That also means that your response should always be polite and professional — and don’t ever, ever edit or delete comments. Online users have a way of finding these things out, and it will look far worse than any negative review ever could.

To do this effectively, though, you’ll have to move swiftly. Social media momentum runs at a near instantaneous pace, and in order to effectively turn a negative Yelp customer review into positive momentum, any sort of response should be done within a few days. Fortunately, there are online tools available to help:

 Keep in mind that it’s worth your time to respond to positive reviews as well — a simple “Thanks!” shows that you’re tuned into what the community thinks. In addition, it encourages people to write more Yelp customer reviews. Since Yelp weighs customer reviews based on a variety of user variables, this also indirectly benefits your listing.

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Are you using Yelp and other social proof platforms to their full potential? Don’t fear negative customer reviews. We can help you learn just how even those negative reviews can benefit your business.

By Marc Apple