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How to Remove Bad Yelp Reviews?

 

In this week's episode we detail the steps you need to take when your business receives a bad Yelp review.

First step, respond publicly and be courteous!
Then respond privately - maybe they made a mistake?
Lastly, report the Review using our tips from the podcast!

When should I report a review?
Get a Second Opinion after Yelp Determination

Adam:  All right. I had another exciting week. Hey Jamie, thank you very much. Well today I want to start off, I have a lot to go through, but I wanted to start off cause I know you, you love dad jokes. So here's a good one. Hmm. What is Yelp? I will give you an answer but I'll let you go. Okay. Thank you. Yelp is the sound a dog makes when you step on its tail. And that's actually what we want to do, actually what we want to connect to, to today's podcast. Oh, cool. The sound of complaining, that's what Yelp is all about, especially if you're a business owner. Right? Yeah. You got to respond now. Yup. You do. So today, actually I wanted to go through how to remove a bad Yelp review. Okay, good one. Yeah. I got a call from a future client and they are under a coordinated attack of bad Yelp reviews.

Adam:  Wow. Yeah. You can pay people to do that. It's sucks. And when it happens, you have to respond. So those Yelp reviews, there's really no dollar amount on how much they can help your business or hurt your business. But because we know that 80% plus of people, they check online reviews before they do any, make any shopping decision that these can be really, really important for making money for your business. So definitely you definitely want to respond to them. So what do you think the first step is? Well, first determine if it's a real one of your, if it's run of your clients or not. Yeah, that's definitely part of that process. So we want to make sure that it is a client. So but first we want to respond publicly. So a Yelp gives you a the ability to do that.

Adam:  You want to respond publicly. You don't want to poke the bear. So if it's a crazy, crazy, crazy person on the other end of that Yelp account, you only want to respond once. You want to be courteous, you want to show that you are not the crazy one in this interaction. So no antagonizing language. We recommend for our clients to write out our response. Don't send it, wait a day, and then revisit that response. Generally you, you try and get some emotional distance. When you do get a review, you, you know, you're innocent. You're, you know, you're what you want to do. And what you should do are definitely two different things. So you don't want to lash out, use bad language or anything like that because these reviews are in your responses. They are going to be looked at by future customers.

Adam:  So be courteous, be kind, thank them for their constructive criticism and invite them to return again if they can to maybe have a better experience. So that's the first step. And that's if it's your actual customer, right? Yeah. Yes. So even if it's not your actual customer you want to be courteous and so you want to use language that is not angry. There are for some clients we have some clients who are restricted by HIPAA regulations. They can't publicly say anything. So when, if that's the case, then you just want to respond and say due to HIPAA requirements, we can't respond to reviews, something like that. Just to let people know that you're, you're aware of this review and then you're working on it. Next thing you want to respond privately, if this is a customer or even if it's not, maybe they made a mistake.

Adam:  Maybe they just wanted your attention to see if the business owner cares. If you're listening to this podcast, that means you do so you want to respond privately to them, make sure that you understand that once you respond privately to them, they can screenshot that. So you want to make sure your language, once again is courteous responds to their concerns specifically. And then how you're addressing those concerns. Those are easy, right? Yeah. Okay. The next thing you want to do a Yelp gives you the ability to report that review. So have you ever reported a review? I have, yes. Okay. And then what happened? I got an email back from Yelp saying our team will review it. And then they turned it down. Yeah. Yeah. Okay. So you got to kind of imagine that the Yelp hive mind these reports when you report a review the way I have heard it ha it's handled is goes to a 23 year old, he or she is really not paid to do anything but say no.

Adam:  So one way we try and get around that or try and elevate our concerns is we specifically address which of Yelp's terms of service that review should, could be violating. So when you're reporting that review, so there's a dropdown, you can choose a, the review is not from a customer's perspective, it's not a personal experience. Maybe it's from the, for the wrong business, which we've had happen. The big one that we like to address if it's not within, in, within any of those is a review that we think includes a threat lewdness or hate speech. So any displays of bigotry, stuff like that. Those are easy ones to point out. So if the Yelp reviewer, you know, calls the business shady or something like that, then we can use those words, the words we believe this violates Yelp's terms of service because it contains a display of hate speech.

Adam:  It uses the word shady when describing an employee of ours or some of our big business practices, something like that. So when we do that, when we have a specific violation of a terms of service and we use that kind of language, we make it very easy for that 23 or 24 year old to kick it up to the next level to an actual person who might actually care. And so you want to, in that little box that Yelp gives you, you want to give as much information, personalize it maybe, you know, use the, the, your violin when you're when you're riding it and be very specific about why it, you believe it violates Yelp's terms of service.

Jamie:  Should you be writing it as if you are talking to a 23 year old who has no, you know, they've never owned a business. They don't know anything about it, but appeal to like the Wolf.

Adam:  Yes. Yeah. Yeah. You can. Yeah, definitely. I would. Anything that pulls on the heartstrings of anyone reading that review is is good. And so will that work 100% of the time? No, of course not. Because like I said, that 23 or 24 year old, he or she is not paid to say yes. So when this happens a lot of times Yelp will respond right away within a couple of days and they'll say the review is gone, which is, those are great notices to get. We get those all the time or the review, sorry. We've reviewed it and the review stance. So when that happens and we see it with clients with new clients coming on that they flagged the review and then, sorry, they didn't follow any of these these tips, then it's there. So now you can go back and you can respond publicly or just move on.

Adam:  So I, we generally recommend, we just move on. We kind of we put in systems to generate more Yelp reviews to encourage our customers or the customers to check in on Yelp and, and other stuff like that. So that way that review generally can get pushed down. But just understand this happens to every business after, you know, a few years. It just, you're going to get bad Yelp reviews and when they happen, you just have to understand this is the process that Yelp gives us. And sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. And if it doesn't, you just gotta move on, kind of let go. And not along your yellow page. No, you definitely want to realize that it's, you know, you'll never be able to forget it. That's what I think a lot of people don't really understand when you give, when you go in there and say, this was the best, whatever service I've ever had, I'll, I would recommend this to everyone in my family.

Adam:  I can't wait to go back tomorrow. Four stars. Yeah. So that, yeah. That as a business owner, when you get that you, I mean, what else can we do? So when that, I, I think there's people just don't understand how personally we take our businesses and so when it happens, when we get a one star review, if it's a crazy person, we can kind of rationalize it. But yeah, the, Oh, this was the best ever three stars. I mean, on the flip side though, we do have, you and I run into businesses all the time where they don't care. They don't care about their Yelp ratings. They don't care about what the customer says as long as they have new business coming in. What did, you know? They don't care at all. And so yeah, you just said, you know, because we care.

Adam:  Yes, there are quite a few businesses that do not care at a level, well, they're not listening to this podcast. So we're okay. True. Once they do realize though that, that these reviews and positive ones and their responses, they make money. I mean, they, they bring, they show your, your customers and future customers that you care. And that's kind of, you know, it comes back to the bedrock principle if we want to do business with, with businesses that care, that care about us. So that, that's what all of this kind of boils down to is showing you care, trying to get rid of the, the negative reviews that violate Yelp to terms of service. There's a process in place, follow the process, and most of the time you'll be fine. Sometimes you won't. Sorry. Yeah, it's our Yelp algorithm. All right. So do you have any concluding thoughts on this very important topic? Nope. That's all for listening, everybody. All right. Made sure to visit us our, our Facebook page. Make sure to rate us on Apple iTunes five stars kindly. And especially if you liked it, please write a nice comment. Thanks again. Thanks. Thanks everybody.