Help For Yelp -- Make The Most Of The New Public Comments FeatureHelp For Yelp -- Make The Most Of The New Public Comments Feature
Now that a bit of relief is on the way for small businesses who feel burned by bad reviews posted on Yelp, it's up to you to make sure your business takes advantage of the online review site's long-awaited agreement to let businesses publicly respond to bad reviews.
April 16, 2009
Now that a bit of relief is on the way for small businesses who feel burned by bad reviews posted on Yelp, it's up to you to make sure your business takes advantage of the online review site's long-awaited agreement to let businesses publicly respond to bad reviews.As noted last Friday in the bMighty News Flash, this new capability is due on Yelp next week, and should help mollify the legions of small businesses who have long felt unjustly slammed by unfair reviews. (Other sites, including TripAdvisor and eBay, have long allowed businesses to respond to reviews.)
Yelp says that the the public comments should be used for only to: Tell the community what you've done to address a specific concern raised by a reviewer. Provide correct information when a review contains something inaccurate or out-of-date. Provide your version of a difficult situation when you're unable to resolve a dispute through private messaging. Remember to be polite and stick to facts since your comments are public and can be seen by potential customers. Yelp says it will remove comments that are flagged as advertisements or personal attacks on the reviewer. Oh, and don't offer incentives for good reviews, either. Allowing businesses to respond to reviews represents a big change for Yelp -- which had often insisted that no such facility was needed. And it's a big opportunity for business owners, but only if you take advantage of it. If your business is reviewed on Yelp, you had better make time regularly check your listing and use this capability to respond. Just be careful. You don't want to make things worse by going ballistic because someone didn't like the soup of the day. Follow Yelp's advice and be clear, respectful, and polite. Stay away from flame wars. And be aware that while a response to an isolated problem is likely to be believed, your protestations and excuses won't carry much weight against a slew of bad reviews. Don't Miss: How To Make Your Business Look Good Online Of course, the ability to make public responses is only one of many things that retailers, restaurants and other public-facing businesses have been asking for from Yelp. (To be fair, last year Yelp did allow business owners to edit their company profiles.) But the change doesn't address long-standing concerns that Yelp gives special treatment to its advertisers (making good reviews more visible) and punishes those companies who refuse to advertise by highlighting bad reviews. Despite plenty of reports, Yelp has repeatedly denied those charges.
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