Prime Rep Group

How to Find and Remove Negative Reviews

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, Blogs 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, especially Yelp, are criticized for not deleting or moderating false reviews & holding businesses at the mercy of disgruntled customers. 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.

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 (Yelp especially) 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.



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