Yelp Negative Reviews 3 Ways To Protect Your Business

Protect Your Business From Yelp Negative Reviews

Getting Yelp negative reviews is frustrating! Now Yelp is labeling businesses as racist. Doing these 3 things with your employees will help you get more positive reviews that you deserve.


3 Ways To Protect Your Business From Yelp Negative Reviews:

  1. Hire The Right People
  2. Have A Clear Vision For Your Intended Guest Experience
  3. Set Expectations For Both Customers And Employees


We all love good stories. I’m sure you can relate to each one either laughing or learning how to handle the situation better in the future. If you want to avoid Yelp negative reviews then keep reading!

I have a rule for the negative reviews I write on Yelp. It’s a rule I stick to, no matter what. This is a rule I think is important after having spent years working in different capacities within the hospitality industry. My rule is: I will never post a negative review after only one negative experience. This is difficult to remain committed to at times depending on the circumstances. Unfortunately, most people don’t have a rule. They lash out immediately. Sometimes they are right to be angry. Sometimes it has nothing to do with anyone but themselves.

We all have bad days. I don’t think any of us can deny this with a straight face. If you’re currently trying, you’re likely denying your own humanity. Since we all have bad days as humans, in general, adding to that the title of employee or business owner can certainly make things more complicated.

Recently Yelp announced that they would be taking a “firm stance against racism,” by warning customers when a business has been reported for racist behavior. Their blog mentions “there is a clear need to warn consumers about businesses associated with egregious, racially-charged actions to help people make more informed spending decisions.”

So, how can we protect ourselves and our business from Yelp and negative reviews?

We can argue this policy and it’s various contributing factors until we’re blue in the face and it will likely not change the reality that these are the times in which we live. Anyone can say anything about my business and immediately affect my reputation and livelihood. So, what are we, as business owners, to do? I think it’s important to at least address the things we can control.


Hire The Right People

Hire people who display a strong aptitude for EI (emotional intelligence).

While we can train someone to smile and ‘shout a friendly hello’ to customers as they enter our establishment, it’s much more difficult to teach someone how to read a person and interact with them in an appropriate way for the moment. This is something that people with emotional intelligence are able to accomplish naturally.

Hiring people like this will improve the guest experience which will likely result in increased positive reviews over time. If you’re suddenly nervous about having hired your pain in the neck nephew, read on. More can be done.


Hiring Those with Emotional Intelligence


Have A Clear Vision For Your Intended Guest Experience

Your vision must be clear and must be clearly communicated to your staff.

“Where there is no vision, the people perish.” I like this biblical quote. It happens to apply to business. You must have a vision. Like everything else in life, responsibility starts with me. So I must be clear about the direction in which I want to go and then be able to share it with my employees in a way that creates engagement. Not only will this help me stay active and interested in my own purposes but will likely result in helping the people that work for me be intentional in their own lives. A happy and fulfilled person interacting positively with customers is the best possible advertisement!

Take some time to think about the experiences that you’ve had as a consumer. What are the things that you liked about your interaction? A great way to think through these things in an organized way is to use your five senses. Many times we trudge through our day like overloaded donkeys on a jagged path. Our senses are picking up these details but we don’t necessarily have the bandwidth to process them.

Taking the time to make a list of these easy-to-miss details that you’ll find are plentiful when you’re paying attention, will help you to craft a consumer experience that will rival the best of the best.

If you are like most of our customers when they first came to our site, you have lots of happy customers but your online reviews don’t reflect it. Getting consistent reviews is part of how you get visible and show up on Google.

With our LOCAL 5-step process, most are focused on how to get more reviews. Learn more about our Local SEO Packages.


Set Expectations For Both Customers And Employees

Make sure your customers know what to expect from your business and make sure your employees know what to expect from various encounters.

We all know what a disappointment it is when something hasn’t gone the way we expected. Similarly, we all know what it’s like to ‘know’ what we can expect from the beginning of something. Even if our experience is less than perfect, we already knew it would be and are therefore less disappointed than we would have been otherwise. If we are intentional about what we want our customers to experience and have done the work to make our vision clear, it’s easier to create a plan for a standard customer experience. This plan will include the bullet points we expect our staff to hit with each customer interaction.


Expectations for Customers and Employees


My husband and I are in the market for a pre-owned vehicle. We had been ready to purchase a car prior to things getting so dicey with the pandemic and were ready to pull the trigger on two different cars that ended up being sold just before we arrived at the dealerships. We had generally positive experiences with this particular dealership and would return if they currently had cars that met our desire and needs.

Two weeks ago we found a car that had mostly everything we wanted. My husband mostly handled the transaction and had told the dealership that the final sale was contingent upon two issues being resolved. The air conditioner didn’t seem to be functioning properly and there was a malfunction with the rear hatch door that needed to be addressed.

When we went to pick up our new-to-us car, neither of these issues had been fixed. We were told by the young salesperson who was presumably sent to ‘handle us’, that we shouldn’t worry because they will fix both of these issues, but that we should take the car ‘for now’ and bring it back to have it repaired. We knew that if we drove it off of the lot we would be taking the car ‘as is’ and we would have no reasonable expectation that they would remain true to their words. I mean, come on, used car salesman have a certain reputation for a reason, right?

This young, inexperienced, and seemingly put-off-by-a-strong-woman sales boy kept repeating

“It was working for me last night, just take it and bring it back later to have it fixed.”

Over and over we heard these words and each time my husband replied with,

“No, the sale of this car was contingent upon these issues being fixed, so we won’t be taking it until they have been.”

This seems both logical and reasonable to me. But that’s me. We came to discover that they had, in fact, tried to repair the issue with the air conditioner but were not able so they transferred the car to a dealer for that particular manufacturer. It turns out the repair was more expensive than they would have hoped for considering the price for which it was sold. This made it a relatively simple decision for them to cancel the sale and return our money.

What I find unacceptable about this experience is that once the car had been sold, it became the ‘problem’ of the young man they charged with completing the transaction. He didn’t listen to us or care about what we felt was the right thing. His only purpose was to push us off the lot with that car so that they could wipe their hands of us. Well, they sure accomplished the latter. That dealership will forever be crossed off our list – no matter what!

Finally, it’s important to lead our employees by helping to set their expectations for customer interactions. Pre-shift meetings are great for this kind of thing. Let them know that they will inevitably encounter customers who are having a bad day. Let them know there is no reason to take anything personally. Let them know how you expect them to handle themselves in these types of situations.

Navigating the world of online reviews is fraught with challenges and can be a cause for extreme anxiety. Implementing the above steps will at least provide you with an additional layer of protection from the ever-expanding world of online trolls eagerly awaiting their next opportunity to pounce.

Now, it’s your turn to respond. Have you experienced a local business doing something racist? What’s your plan to NEVER get that racist label from Yelp? Leave us a comment below.


Want Help With Getting More Yelp Reviews?

Like I mentioned earlier, we can help you navigate the world of online reviews whether you get good reviews or some Yelp negative reviews. Watch this video about the review system we set up for you.

Our review system can be used for a single location, multilocation, or franchises. If you are trying to be visible on Google Maps or Google in your local area you need to have an online review strategy and someone to help you manage the process.

Schedule a call with me.


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