More on why Yelp Sucks

This is part two of my original post WHY YELP SUCKS.

By the way, I totally predicted this.

Yelp sent a message out warning businesses about reputation management companies.  To me, they are  trying to put a stop at people’s only line of defense against YELP which is reputation management efforts.  What do you think? Is it legitimate concern, or another attempt to prevent businesses from doing damage control?

The message:

We’ve recently seen an uptick in reports about “reputation management” companies that claim to work with Yelp to remove your negative reviews or otherwise boost your ratings… for a fee (of course!). If you’re wondering how these companies can make good on this offer, the answer is simple: They can’t. There’s never been any amount of money one can pay — to Yelp or any third party — to manipulate reviews.

If you’ve been contacted by someone offering something along these lines, we’d love to get the details so we can prevent them from preying on others. Please use this form to loop us in. For general questions, contact our user support team at www.yelp.com/contact.

Finally, as we’ve said in the past, the best strategy for reputation management is to provide great customer service, and respond diplomatically to your reviewers.

To me this message is under the guise of trying to help you, by discrediting reputation management companies so you wont use them.  Granted there might be a few of these businesses making false promises, much like fixing a credit report.  People cannot promise to remove reviews.  Unless they are some kind of insider, this just isn’t possible.

HOWEVER,  DO NOT DISCOUNT THIS SERVICE AS A WHOLE!  There is many things that can be done to help you.  Many legitimate reputation management services available,  You still have options!

The legit companies simply  understand the system and can help by using perfectly legal ways such as report reviews violating terms of service, investigate reviewers and prove they are competitors, link build to bury bad reviews from searches, create or strengthen your website or web presence,  help claim your listing and optimize, and much more.

Always be wary before hiring a company to help you.  But don’t discount that there is help out there.  Be sure to stay tuned, I am working on some tips on how you can do your own reputation management.

bad online reviews

How to respond to negative Reviews

I have written about this several times in detail and have been on the news talking about it.  I still see people making big mistakes when responding to reviews.  Rather then go through all the details again I am simply going to give you 2 examples below that I feel will make the point.

REVIEW # 1 FROM TRIPADVISOR

The cabins of Volcano Village Lodge are located right in the middle of a rainforest, very close to Volcano National Park. Our room was small but adequate with a large closet/small kitchen (microwave & small fridge for breakfast. My husband and I have travelled to hundreds of B&Bs, lodges and inns in the USA and abroad, so I was rather surprised to find that when we arrived at about 4:00PM, there were no innkeepers. There was just an envelope with our keys and a note about where to find things.
Breakfast was put in the refrigerator each day to be warmed up in the morning. The next day an innkeeper was there but hospitality was at a minimum. Also because breakfast was in the rooms, there was not an opportunity to meet the innkeeper or other guests.
Our main problem was with the heating and lighting. The room and closet/kitchen was very dark and very cold. There was a small electric heater and a small stove, but the room was quite cold. Slippers were left to prevent wearing of shoes in the cabin which I agree with, but they were slippers quite well worn by other people. I do not prefer to wear used slippers, so I used my own inside the room. I was also surprised to see that the roll down shades were quite stained even though the lodge is only a few years old.
Because of the inadequate heat, darkness in the rooms and no diningroom facility, the next time we come to Volcano, we will go back to Kiluea Lodge where breakfast is served in their lovely restaurant by a roaring fire.

RESPONSE

“Dear Guests, We sincerely appreciate your taking the time to point out the areas of concern during your stay.

We sincerely apologize for not greeting you personally upon arrival, and not paying more personal attention to your wellbeing during your stay. There is no real excuse for this, especially at our lodge where we so delight in providing the best service we can.

As you may have noticed from our other reviews, our staff receive tremendous accolades for their services and helpfulness. This was an exceptional situation, and we hope will not happen again. Your stay was during the holidays. Our main innkeeper was on vacation, and, I learned later that the assistant innkeeper was very sick. The assistant innkeeper tried to handle the management duties, rather than calling in sick. Not feeling well enough, she apparently took many long breaks away from the lodge. I do not believe that was the appropriate way to handle the situation.

As for the slippers, we have already ordered a new batch. We buy the more plush types that can be washed everyday, rather than use the throw-away types. The frequent laundry tends to wear out the slippers, and we should have been more vigilant about replacing them.

We are checking the blinds in all rooms to make sure every one functions properly and are clean.

Again, thank you for your stay and the effort of writing a review that helps us do better. While some may consider these rather minor issues, we take our guest concerns seriously. Please be assured that we will continue to improve our services.

 

REVIEW #2 from YELP

This restaurant is awful.  Compared to the others in the area, it is embarrassing and worst yet, very overpriced.  The place is cramped, and very loud!  The service is good because they have more people working there than dining there, but the food is so bad, my dog wouldn’t eat the leftovers.  The fish was way to fishy, the braised short ribs was pretty much pot roast, the salad was a uncut wedge with all the stuff on the side it was so weird.  They cut and toss it in front of you like your are 5.  What the chef couldn’t be bothered to cut up the lettuce before it comes to your table??

They had to make by strawberry smoothy 3 times to get it right and the shrimp scamp appetizer was way to buttery.

Also there was weird maggoty things in the salt!  We didn’t see it until we were done, now I am  freaked out and afraid I have a tapeworm now and I felt SO sick for 2 days after I ate here.

Do yourself a favor, if you value your life don’t go here.

RESPONSE

Wow, this review boggles the mind and is really just blatant stupidity.   Our place is small for a reason, we want an elegant personal dining experience for our customers with excellent attentive servers.  If you don’t get it and can’t afford it, don’t come.  There is a Chilis just 2 blocks down, I suggest you go there as it sounds like that is your caliber dining experience.    I don’t eve know how to respond to your comment about the fish being fishy?  Really?  And clearly you know nothing about food, because braised short ribs is another term for pot roast.  The salad wedge, which is clearly explained on the menu and by the wait staff, is cut fresh so that you get the crispest freshest salad rather than pre-cut lettuce that begins to wilt after cutting.  It also adds to the personal touch our high class customers understand and value.   Yeah, and we don’t serve SMOOTHIES.  Idiot.

Oh and I really did laugh out loud at the maggoty salt comment.  I have shared that with all my friends and we all just laugh and laugh at the stupidity.  Honey, people put rice in the salt to absorb humidity and stop the salt from clumping.  It is not maggots and you don’t have a tape worm, it is all in your mind like the fictional smoothie you supposedly had.  Really, how you even got through the door is a mystery to me. Don’t come back.

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Let me ask, as a consumer, which place would you more than likely disregard the negative comment and give it a try anyway?  This is a good example of how a well written response can change your perception.

Keep in mind, you aren’t really responding for the sake of the person who left the review but for the numerous other people who are reading it.  Your goal is to show them that you are a responsible, classy business who cares and if they do have an issue, they know they will be treated with respect and care.  If you respond like he did in number 2, future patrons know they can expect to be berated and attacked if they complain.  This is not how you want people to perceive your business!