Popular review websites like Yelp and Google are increasingly being used by users to share their opinions on goods or services they acquire. The bad news is that when a consumer has something negative to say, they are frequently more compelled to submit a review.
It’s only reasonable to want any negative review taken down. But is it possible to remove Yelp reviews? Stay tuned to find out and learn about other implementations you can make if you are unable to remove a negative Yelp review.
What Are Yelp Reviews?
Yelp is a well-known internet resource for finding local establishments, including bars, cafes, clubs, and restaurants, as well as salons, spas, convenience stores, and any establishment you can think of.
Its listings are organized by business type, and results are further refined by price range, location, special offers, delivery, capacity for reservations, etc.
Did you know that a whopping 53% of people who used Yelp to place an order from a restaurant had never heard of it before? Yes, it is that influential.
Is It Possible to Delete Yelp Reviews?
The author of the Yelp review is the only one who can remove it. A company owner cannot pay Yelp or do anything to delete a negative review if they think it’s unfair. Only if it violates Yelp’s policies, for example, if it is profanity-heavy, racist, prejudiced, full of useless facts, etc.—will they consider removing it.
Things You Can Do to Address Negative Yelp Reviews
You must move fast if a bad Yelp review is posted about your company. The more harm the internet review can do, the longer you delay addressing the issue. However, it’s crucial to understand that when you answer and how you do it are both equally significant.
If It’s a Fake Review
You can ask to have a review taken down if you believe it to be unreliable, spammy, deceptive, or otherwise in breach of the platform’s Content Guidelines. You must flag the problematic review in this procedure so that Yelp moderators can evaluate it and decide if it needs to be deleted. Here are some specific justifications for reporting a Yelp review:
- There appears to be a conflict of interest with the reviewer.
- They are connected to the company and are being compensated or given rewards for their review.
- They are from a former worker.
- They are promoting rival businesses.
- The reviewer’s personal experience isn’t the primary focus.
- They contain inappropriate language.
- They show hate speech: racism, violence, sexism, homophobia, or any other type of discrimination.
- They include sensitive data about business owners, other clients, or staff.
- They seem to have been copied from another source.
- They describe remarkable external events, including the pandemic and media-driven stories.
- They are based on or portray (even if accurately) another person’s experience.
So, how do you report a bad review that has any of these characteristics?
- Log in to your company’s Yelp account. If you haven’t, you can claim it.
- Go to the Reviews section.
- Spot the review.
- Click on the three dots in the right corner above the review.
- Click on “Report review.”
Tip: Do not reply to the platform review directly. Not only does this lessen your chances of having the review removed, but it can also make the undesirable review more prominent.
Once you have reported the review, Yelp moderators may take a few days to look over the review and get back to you. You can see the progress of your review report by clicking on the flag icon on it. You will be informed via email if Yelp has opted not to remove your review or whether it is still for revision.
If It Is a Fair Review
Not every bad review has to be fake or inappropriate. No business is perfect, and no matter how well your business works, there might be bad reviews from people who visited it and caught you (or someone from your staff) on a bad day. You cannot report those reviews, but you can take steps to fix them.
By doing that, you will have more opportunities to enhance your online reputation and offerings and win back the customer’s trust. Additionally, it will provide you the opportunity to make future customer experiences better.
- Get back as soon as possible. Try your best to reply to the review quickly. The consumer experience will be enhanced. You will have more control over the story before anybody else, which will give your business a better impression in search engines.
- If you provide excellent customer service, you might be able to convince the reviewer to delete it. If you contact the customer, further explain the situation, and offer a kind solution, they could agree to remove the review.
- Do not use the same response for every complaint. It can sound robotic and frivolous to the customer. Use the reviewer’s name and write a distinctive response to each review.
- Do not be uptight or self-justifying. Some unfavorable assessments may relate to things you find absurd or beyond your control. Be open and ready to help, even in those situations. Aim to solve problems and gain knowledge. Reassure the reviewer that you are working to ensure the problem doesn’t recur.
- Thank the reviewer for their input, even if it is unfavorable. Inform them that you value the time spent writing the review and that you are interested in their perspectives.
- Politely ask the reviewer to continue the conversation via phone or email. That will shield the discussion from prying eyes. It will also enable you to respond individually without disclosing the reviewer’s private information.
Hire Reputation Management Services for Yelp Businesses
Businesses with higher review traffic will want to show a certain level of sector knowledge. That is where purchasing reputation management services can be beneficial.
Online reviews have become essential to business in the current economy. These companies use different techniques to make sure a business has a good reputation when someone searches for it online. These techniques include positive material, handling fake or negative content and reviews, public relations, search engine optimization, etc.
Harmful Yelp reviews can have a detrimental influence on your company, but they can be removed and repaired using customized ORM services.
Offer Exceptional Customer Service
It may seem obvious, but it is something many companies disregard. Remember to offer outstanding customer service and a great experience. The more favorable evaluations will come your way, the more seamless the consumer experience you provide. Customers are more inclined to post a good review when they receive a satisfactory response from you.
What Can You Do to Enhance Your Company’s Online Reputation In the Meantime?
Take all reasonable (and ethical) steps to increase the number of favorable online reviews. It is a good way to successfully mask unfavorable reviews, as these would be lost as positive reviews increase. Review management strategies are an excellent method to improve your company’s reputation. Some of the extra steps you can take are:
- Have a transparent policy. Companies that are honest about their flaws, explain them, and then try to fix them are the ones that end up with the greatest evaluations.
- Take ownership of every online profile your company has at review sites. Complete them, and make them simple for customers to access. A solid online presence on review sites can be a useful tool for you to attract new customers
- We advise publicly responding to and thanking every review on your business page. That shows potential and current clients that you value their business and avoids the appearance of damage control when you respond to negative reviews.
What If Nothing Is Working?
You still have choices if you’ve tried contacting the customer and Yelp, but neither has come back to you. When all your efforts are unsuccessful, it can be discouraging, but you have some legal options available to get a bad review taken down.
You can get a knowledgeable internet defamation lawyer to issue a settlement demand or send the customer a cease-and-desist letter. If that does not work either, you can file a lawsuit to get a judge to order that Yelp review removal policy. Suing should be your last option, though. You risk starting the Streisand Effect and attracting additional unfavorable attention to your company if you don’t have a strong legal case.
How Long Does It Take for Yelp to Remove or Revise a Report?
The average Yelp response time is between 24 hours and seven days to consider your request after you report a review. If Yelp moderators determine that the review needs to be deleted, they will do so right away and let the Yelp user know that their review was against the site’s rules. The response time for escalations from Yelp’s support team is also this long.
How Can I Spot Fake Reviews on Yelp?
- Reverse image search the user’s profile picture. If it appears to be from a stock photo, the reviewer is likely posting false reviews to Yelp using a fake account.
- Checking to see if the reviewer was a real client is an excellent idea if you keep track of your customers’ purchases. If you are familiar with your clients, fake reviews would be quick to spot, and someone who has never even purchased from your business could be identified.
- You can tell whether a user has posted phony reviews if you notice that they all have a similar tone but relate to different locations.
- Observing the reviewer’s usage of words and phrases is another useful trick for identifying fraudulent Yelp reviews. The majority of fake reviewers are not from English-speaking countries.
- Fake reviewers usually target business rivals, therefore they would target businesses in the same niche. Finding multiple reviews from the same user on different businesses in the same industry is a red flag.
What Are the Benefits of Handling Negative Yelp Reviews?
- If they are legitimate, you get to learn more about your own company and your staff. It can help you improve certain areas.
- By actively handling reviews, you demonstrate to the public that you care about your customer’s points of view and that you are willing to learn from your mistakes to provide a better experience in the future.
- You can earn respect in your industry.
Yelp’s fake reviews can seriously hurt your business’s reputation and sales. To maintain accurate review ratings, you must take action and understand how to remove negative Yelp reviews. It is essential to learn how to handle these situations to restore or enhance your company’s online reputation. Follow our recommendations and start protecting your online reputation.