Improve Yelp Reviews: Responding to Yelp Reviews Can Raise Your Star Rating
Is it possible to improve Yelp reviews and get more customers from Yelp, when the Yelp review filter is always picking and choosing which of your reviews it’ll let stand? Absolutely, and the answer comes through tried-and-true review management practices we will detail here.
We get it. Yelp reviews can be a big source of frustration.
As a business owner working hard to provide good customer service, it can be disheartening and frustrating to check your Yelp reviews one day and find that someone posted something negative and unfair (and even untrue).
It can be more maddening when the review filter allows certain negative reviews to post to your business profile and bring your star rating down.
And if you have tried contacting Yelp about a review on your company’s profile that isn’t true – you already know that it’s a battle not often won by the business owner. Yelp firmly stands by its review filter algorithm.
We know that Yelp and its users are here to stay, so we strongly encourage business owners to work through this and monetize Yelp as much as possible. For a lot of businesses, Yelp’s a great source of leads, so there is a bright side here for your purse strings.
How Consumers Feel About Your Star Rating
Check out the chart showing consumers’ attitude toward star ratings.
There’s a major difference in the number of customers who will do business with companies sporting a 3-star review rating versus a 2-star rating.
Given this strong consumer sentiment toward star ratings, we recommend that companies with an overall rating of 2-star or below on Yelp should wait to run Yelp ads until they’ve gained at least a 2.5 star rating.
By doing this, you won’t waste money trying to bring prospects to your page that are unlikely to convert into customers.
The chance that you have competitors with higher star ratings is big, so we advise against spending money to bring users to your Yelp profile before it’s ready to wow customers.
Improve Yelp Reviews & Build Your Star Rating
How you manage your reviews can be a great testament to how you operate your business. It can also directly affect your star rating on Yelp!
A Harvard Business Review study found that when companies responded to reviews, they began receiving more reviews and saw their star-ratings improve.¹ So, the payout is there for managing reviews. It matters, and it works to help your online reputation and improve Yelp reviews.
Managing reviews can help you rebuild your star rating in two ways:
1. It improves customer relations. We all want our customers to return and do business with us again. It’s not uncommon for reasonable customers to post a negative review, then edit that original review depending on how happy or unsatisfied they are once you’ve responded and followed up with them.
While it’s not guaranteed the consumers will behave this way, you can suggest they consider updating their review after you’ve taken care of their concerns.
We’ve also seen this in reverse – a Yelper will leave a positive review for a business and then encounter a new or recurring problem that they thought should have been fixed. They then edit their original review to lower their star rating and add additional context as to why they’re now unhappy.
The point is, reviews and star ratings aren’t final — they can be fluid. Use this to your advantage, even with older negative reviews that never got a response from your company in a timely fashion.
“Hey Mrs. Smith, we’re so sorry that we didn’t respond to this review and that you were unhappy with your experience with us. We hope you’ll give us another shot at serving you. “
The above is a legitimate way to create a touchpoint for that customer that felt under-served however long ago.
2. It shows prospective customers that you care. Great customer service and work ethic are things that Yelpers actively seek when they open Yelp up. Responding to negative reviews diplomatically will show prospective customers that, even though you have a lower star rating for now, you make efforts to satisfy ALL of your customers.
Yelp users aren’t without critical thinking skills when they’re skimming your reviews. We’d bet that a lot of them have service experience and can commiserate with both your customer and you as the business, too. They know that sometimes, things go awry. Your positive response to reviews could go a long way when someone is deciding whether you look trustworthy.
We’ve also provided some helpful guidance on the process of handling negative Yelp reviews. Get help here:
Now that you’ve covered reviews, are you ready to learn why Yelp Ads work specifically for auto shops? If so, follow the link below.
Auto shop owners, follow here:
¹Harvard Business Review Study found at https://hbr.org/2018/02/study-replying-to-customer-reviews-results-in-better-ratings