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How Negative Yelp Reviews can Ruin Your Business

yelpYou must do everything in your power to try and remove negative Yelp reviews and in this article we will explain why!  While there are other factors involved, a study out of Harvard’s School of Business points to a correlation between stars on a business Yelp page and revenue for that business. The study says that every star increased in a review leads to a 5-9% bump in revenue, potentially. Even when fake reviews are present, which a growing volume of articles suggests is the truth; users still view the Yelp rating of a business as extremely important to their decisions to use a service.

It should be clear that negative reviews have a potentially catastrophic effect on your business, but you can take steps to improve your potential revenue.

Revenue Losses

If your business is rated three stars by Yelp, you’re bound to get more people applying a scrutinous eye to the negative reviews on your page expecting to find something convincing. If they recognize a pattern of behavior, such as expensive menu items or terrible customer service, you’ll probably lose a potential customer.

The average rating system also fails to highlight what works about your business, so customers who don’t feel like sifting through reviews will use the star average system to make a snap judgment.

The difference comes for chain restaurants, which do a fairly decent job of standardizing the quality of their food/product/service. Independent businesses tend to be met with a more critical eye.

What to Do

Knowing that these losses equate to a dip in revenue, the simple answer is to ask customers to leave reviews on your Yelp page.  If you have existing negative Yelp reviews, then you must try to get them removed. Some reviews can be remove if they are against the terms of service of Yelp and this simply can be done by flagging and explaining your reasoning. Some others may require a legal letter to Yelp legal department with more evidence why you think the review is false. In our experience less than 10% of negative Yelp reviews have a chance of getting removed. If you need help with getting your negative Yelp reviews removed, contact us.

Another way to get a review removed would be to contact the original poster. However, be aware that Yelp is against offering incentives to your customers for removing the review. You may offer them a refund or an incentive, but do not make that a condition of the removal.

Finally, if all above fails, you should respond to the review from your business account and explain your side of the story or apologize publicly.

Final Thoughts

When you think about the average user searching for your business, it’s no wonder Yelp or Google reviews play a role. They are most likely searching on a mobile device, probably very close to your area at this moment. If they are hungry, or in the mood to buy, they want results delivered fast. The star rating provides a simple method to convey that information. If your stars aren’t looking bright, you might want to take steps to correct that.