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DOs and DON’Ts of Responding to Reviews on Yelp

Woman holding a review with a business owner's response for DOs and DON'Ts of Responding to Reviews on Yelp

Responding to reviews is good for business

According to a recent study, 30% of consumers think how a business responds to their reviews is important when they are choosing a local businesses. As a business, responding to reviews is more important than ever. For a growing number of consumers, it’s no longer just what consumers say about your business – it’s also how you respond.

Responding to reviews shows people what to expect from you when it comes to customer service. It also shows that you care about your customers in a very public way. It’s a great marketing tool, but it requires a bit of strategy because reviews can be tough. We all know that not every review is 5-stars. Reviews can feel personal and hurt. You’re not alone in feeling that.

These Dos and Don’ts for responding to reviews will help you navigate responding to even your trickiest review. 

Do: Respond To Every Review, Even The Positive Ones!

You provide all of your customers with great service so why leave your biggest fans hanging? It might seem like a lot of work, but it can help grow your business. Respond to your customers to let them know you appreciate their words of praise. If you don’t have time to send a personalized message to every positive review you receive, consider sending a direct message rather than a public comment. You can also use the Thank Button in a pinch.

Remember, your positive reviews are something to be celebrated so share them with your staff, colleagues and social media networks.

Responding to a positive review on Yelp for Dos and Don'ts of responding to reviews on Yelp

Do: Select Your Review Response Method Intentionally

Through your Business User Account you have the ability to respond to your reviews with a Public Comment or Direct Message

A Public Comment can be viewed by anyone who is looking at your Yelp business page. Your response appears directly below the review you are responding to. That means your response doesn’t just speak to the reviewer, but future visitors to your business page too. A public comment on a positive review is a great way to thank the reviewer for taking the time to share their experiences. You can also use your response to highlight something within the review you want to amplify. Public Comments can also be used to address critical feedback. You can use them to highlight your customer service and highlight your business’ policies. You should always start the review response with a Public Comment.

A Direct Message works like an email communication between you and the reviewer. This is a great way to get more information and have that direct conversation with the consumer. It’s the perfect follow-up to a Public Comment if you want to learn more or take the conversation offline. RememberDirect Messages are still a reflection of you as a business, so keep it professional and avoid argumentative or aggressive language.

We recommend starting with a Public Comment. You can send a Direct Message as a follow-up to learn more and move the conversation offline.

Don’t: Delay Your Response Time

As it relates to critical feedback, timeliness is everything. If you aim to respond within 24 hours, you increase your chances of having a reviewer upgrade their review to a higher star rating by 33%. Additionally, a quick turn around time illustrates to people who are looking at your listing that you pay attention to, and prioritize customer service.

Business owner responding to a positive review on Yelp with a thank you for Dos and Don'ts of Responding to reviews on Yelp

Don’t: Lose Your Cool When Responding

Your initial reaction when it comes to responding to critical feedback might be to defend your business. You might event want to point out every part of a review that is wrong, false, inaccurate or misrepresents your business. Before you write that response, take a minute.

Remember to take the high road. You risk damaging your reputation if you respond negatively. Remain professional, respond publicly, and take the conversation offline as soon as you can.

A Public Comment to the review shows that you addressed the concerns and appreciate customer feedback. You don’t want to appear argumentative or closed off to customer feedback.

Responding to a negative review for dos and don'ts of responding to reviews on yelp

Do: Follow This Easy Formula For Crafting A Review Response

  1. Start by thanking the reviewer for providing feedback about their experience
  2. Highlight something positive they said in the review
  3. Address any concerns or share your business philosophy
  4. Conclude by inviting them back or with a way to continue the conversation offline like a direct message, your email or phone number

Responding to reviews is a great way to join the conversation with your customers online. Bonus, it helps reflect your customer service practices and builds buying confidence in consumers. You can start responding to your Yelp reviews today by logging in to your Yelp for Business User Account or downloading the Yelp Biz App.