How to Handle Negative Yelp Business Reviews

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Online reviews are growing in importance and have proven to widely affect consumer’s purchase decisions. In fact, 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. A popular outlet for online reviews is Yelp, which most consumers use solely to look at reviews of a local business. How are your Yelp business reviews? Do you know how to handle negative comments? 45% of people share their bad experiences through social media, so it is important to know the proper way to approach this kind of feedback. Keep in mind these few tips the next time you receive negative Yelp business reviews.

Yelp Business Reviews

Public vs. Private Messages

If you received a Yelp business review from an unsatisfied customer, you have the choice of responding as a public comment or a private message directly to that person. If the situation needs to be further discussed, it’s probably best to send a private message. Also, if you are uncomfortable leaving your phone number on a comment, you are able to provide the customer with a contact for further assistance. If there is a complaint that you have resolved or if there is a change your business is undergoing that relates to the disappointment of a customer, respond in a public comment. This way other Yelp users are able to see it and your response may be more important than that negative review. For example, if there was a complaint about the food and you just got a new chef, write a comment letting that person know that.


One of the most common mistakes business owners are making is not responding to negative reviews. While you may think this isn’t a big deal, a heartfelt response could go a long way. A response to a negative review may surprise the customer…in a good way. It is not always comfortable dealing with an unhappy customer, but giving some sort of response lets the customer know their feedback is important and that you are trying to continuously improve. It also shows you business values customer satisfaction, since you took the time to try to resolve or at least acknowledge their complaint.


Stay calm when responding to negative Yelp business reviews and remember this is another person you are talking to. Put yourself in their situation and think about how you would want a business owner to respond to you. Be considerate and genuine. That being said, an automated response is not the way to go. Something that sounds like it’s sent from a robot or sent to every single person who has complained, no matter what their complaint is, doesn’t send the message that you care. Also, be thankful for their feedback (though that may seem hard sometimes) instead of being defensive. If someone is already unhappy with your business, fueling the fire won’t do any good. Remember if you insult or are rude to the already unsatisfied customer who left you a 2-star review, they can easily edit that review down to a 1-star.

Social media is a great tool to enhance the customer service of your business and your overall internet presence. If you want to increase your internet presence or have questions about social media for your business, we can help! We stay up to date on internet trends and love helping businesses grow through the internet! Call our West Palm Beach Digital Marketing Agency at 561-429-2585 or connect with us online today!

Jenna graduated with a marketing degree from the University of Alabama and has a tremendous amount of knowledge and marketing experience from her schooling and internship programs. Having handled many clients on numerous occasions, she is customer service oriented and provides assistance in a professional and friendly manner.

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