A friend, who owns a furniture store, has been plagued with bad reviewsstemming from a decision by a manufacturer to use materials that failed. He’s trying to rectify each and every situation, but that hasn’t stopped the bad reviews.
He asked me my advice about dealing with them. That’s not my area of expertise, so I asked a client whom I knew had also experienced bad reviews, especially on Yelp, and had successfully dealt with the issue.
After speaking with him, here’s what I advise:
1. Contact the person who wrote the review to repair the situation.Usually, the person has never contacted you in the first place. Take care of the problem promptly. In my client’s case, one customer was so pleased he pulled down the review on Yelp and wrote a new one raving about him.
2. If it’s a slanderous review, very personal, where the person seems really off, write to the directory (Yelp, Google Plus, etc.). They have a moderator and if you explain the situation they will take it down. They are being watched closely from a legal perspective and pretty much take anything down these days.
3. Get good reviews as much as possible. The directories don’t like you to solicit reviews, but there really isn’t anything wrong with asking happy customers to spread the word. You could send a thank-you-for-your-business note to people with a Starbucks card and a note saying while they are enjoying their coffee they might write a review for you.
One final note, there are companies that will write fake reviews and submit them to all the directories. I don’t recommend that. Anything fake on the Internet eventually comes back to bite you.
Easy Web Tip #203: Take positive steps to fix bad Internet reviews.