Negative Yelp reviews can hurt your business. For web designers, bad Yelp reviews can feel like the end of the world, with so many users checking Yelp before considering your business. But this is only part of your reputation management strategy.
Read on to find out how to bounce back from bad Yelp reviews.
1. Eliminate Fake Reviews
As long as you are in business, you will generate reviews on sites like Yelp. Sooner or later, you will get a negative review. When this happens, you might feel awful. But, before you do anything, you have to make sure the review is genuine.
If the bad review is not a genuine complain, but part of a competitor’s negative reputation management plan, you might be able to take it down.
First, read the review and identify if it touches on a valid issue. If it’s too vague and doesn’t seem right, you should look into the reviewer themselves.
If your reviewer is not anonymous, search their other Yelp reviews and Google their name. There are certain telltale signs of a fake review, including:
- Too many similar reviews of different designers
- Unrealistic persona
- Lack of detail in the reviews
- Too many verbs and first-person pronouns
If a fake reviewer tries to pass off as genuine, they will write in more “friendly” tones even when bashing your business.
Now, if a review is indeed fake, Yelp will probably filter it with their strict algorithm. You just have to report it and dispute the review as fake. It works more often than you might expect and it can get rid you of most fake reviews.
2. Write Diplomatic Replies to Genuine Reviews
Now, if you have a genuine bad review, you must remain calm and address the issue. What made the client dissatisfied with your web design services?
Identifying the problem is the first step, so read the review carefully. Is this just a random outburst, or a serious complain you have to address. Even if the negative review is not very constructive, you should still reply.
Make sure you remain calm when writing your reply. If you are frustrated, you will end up writing a rant that will hurt your business even further. Instead, keep calm and consider the issue.
If the reviewer is indeed touching upon a problem that you can improve, you may want to respond to them privately first. A private comment will acknowledge the reviewer’s problem. If you are polite and helpful, the reviewer may revise their review, or remove it altogether.
If you write a public response to the bad review, it will appear under the review and be visible to all Yelp users. Be polite, calm and helpful in public too. This will uphold the good image of your web design service, even if one client is still dissatisfied.
3. Get More Positive Reviews
Getting more positive reviews is the only way to move forward. Online reputation management will keep you in the game and help you overcome any number of negative reviews. But how do you go about generating more positive reviews?
First, you have to monitor your reputation to make sure everything is fine. You can get an expert to audit your listings and then work on getting more reviews on them.
The Yelp rule states that only 1% of users will create content, 9% will comment and share, and the remaining 90% will just consume content. The 1/9/90 rule means that just a few people can make a lot of difference in your online reputation effort.
One trusted method is to email your best customers and ask them for a review. This works best right after you have delivered a website. A satisfied customer will be willing to leave a positive review if you ask them after you deliver their project.
Video testimonials are another powerful tool. These are harder to fake and more expensive to produce, so they carry more weight. However, finding customers who are willing to record themselves for a review might be challenging.
4. Improve Your Business
You can’t avoid negative reviews, but you can limit their frequency if you just get better at your game. Web design is a complex process that is never perfect or complete. If you make a constant effort to offer the best service you can afford and address negative comments, you will eventually improve.
Clients do take notice of improving businesses and this will reflect on your reviews. Some clients might revise negative reviews or add new ones if they see you improving. Focusing on quality over quantity is perhaps the surest way to get more positive reviews.
In addition to improving your business, you can also improve the way your business looks through your marketing efforts. The market for digital services is extremely competitive and you won’t go very far without a solid marketing plan. If you want to know more about web design marketing, check out this page.
5. The Rebranding Solution
Finally, if your web design business gathers too many negative reviews, perhaps the only solution will be to shed your old brand and adopt a new one.
Rebooting your online reputation efforts may feel like a big hassle, but if you have overwhelmingly negative reviews, this will be your only option. You can always try some other angle with your new brand and leave old mistakes back.
Still Struggling With Bad Yelp Reviews? We Can Help!
Bad Yelp reviews can ruin your online reputation, but we can help! Here at Reputation Results, we are experts in improving the online reputation of businesses of all sizes and scopes. Come on in and find out how to improve your online reputation with proven tips and expert advice from Reputation Results.