Two clients this week approached me about online reputation issues. The first client received their first bad Yelp review. The second client wants to address issues, where bloggers have written bad articles about the product. With the Internet, this allows everyone to voice his or her opinion. Obviously, not everyone will always have something nice to say.
Let me explain how I handled each of these situations:
Bad Reviews on Yelp
My client calls me hysterical that they received their first bad Yelp review. The person wrote a personal attack to the owner, and less about the business itself. Client A was very upset and their feelings were hurt. I told client A to relax until I was at a computer, and I can evaluate the situation.
I read the review, and it came from a name that did seem to be made up. This person made the profile (not completed—no pictures or other information), wrote the bad review and the profile has no other activity. The first step I did was search the name because it seemed a little outlandish. I searched Google, Facebook and Twitter. Not one profile or spec of information came up with a person even having that name.
The second step I did was look at similar businesses. I read how the employees responded to their poor reviews. From there, I began writing a response back to this upset Yelp reviewer. Here is what I came up with:
“Hi XYZ. Thank you for this feedback. I am sorry you did not
have a better experience with us. Our goal is to give every client a
perfect ****. If something is not right, we will do what it takes to
resolve the situation.
We also recommend clients to wear what they are most comfortable in
while receiving the service. If at any point you were uncomfortable,
again, we are very sorry to hear this. It was not in our intentions
to make you feel this way. We will work harder to do better for
I went tonight to see client A, and they did not write an owner update yet. A few of the loyal clients wrote Yelp reviews almost attacking the bad reviewer and how wonderful client A is. This is nice and all, but now they are drawing attention to the bad review.
Client A wanted to rewrite the response to make it more personal. I thought this was a good idea, and we rewrote the owner update response. I told client A to tell others to not mention the upset Yelper when writing a review. I said you could always suggest to your other loyal customers to write a review about the service. Eventually, the bad review will be buried.
My goal here was to address the Yelper, whether they are real or not, and not to come off attacking or angry. When a person does this, it automatically puts of a wall to the receiver and retaliation can occur. In my opinion, I believe the owner should always respond. Address the issue because it could be something so simple and misunderstood.
Bad Blog Posts about a Product and/or Service
The second client was upset because many bloggers have written articles about the company’s product in a negative way. The majority of the articles did seem like a simple tech problem that could be addressed. My suggestion was to respond on the comments to the articles. Again, never come off angry or attacking.
The first step I did was research and collect the upset posts. I put them together and read though each one. I then went through the person’s website to see what kind of background this person had. What I did notice is a few were using affiliate links to promote a similar product, while talking poorly about client B’s product. I even found one that was using client B’s affiliate program and promoting the product on an older post.
On the comments, here is what I recommended saying:
“Unfortunately, I cannot fully comment on this particular case without
looking into the account to see what happened. If there was ever an
issue, one can contact us at support@ABCD.com, or the live chat
option available on the website.
If we are contacted with an issue like this, we will try to assist.
Please let us know if there is anything, we can do in the future for
In conclusion, when someone receives a bad review it is best to respond. Let the person know this was not the intentions of the company and offer a resolution. If it was a personal attack to an employee, wait until the anger subdues before responding. Before clicking the submit button, read the review and think how you would interpret the response as an outside party.