We usually discuss the positive aspects of customer feedback tools and how you can harness them to promote your brand or business on the web. But what do you do when the reviews are in, and they are less than hot?
One avenue is Yelp for Business. Yelp, if you’re not familiar, is a popular feedback forum where people give unsolicited reviews of local businesses. Until now, it’s been consumer-oriented and businesses have been powerless to combat negative or false reviews left on the site. After hearing merchants’ cries (and a few lawsuits), Yelp decided to give business owners a chance to respond to the naysayers and repair the damage to their reputation.
First things first, you’re going to have to fill out an online submission form and claim your business on Yelp. We had to wait a few days, but once our account was approved, we were able to log in and create a business profile page. This includes information about our services, images, and a section to publicize offers and announcements. These features are a great way to personalize, as well as advertise, your business to Yelp users. However, the real offering lies in the reviews and messaging tools that come with Yelp for Business. These gives merchants the option of starting a private dialogue with the reviewer (sometimes, all they need is a personal connection or explanation) or they can post a response directly after the Yelp review.
Yelp for Business is free, so if nothing else, it’s a good precautionary measure. Even if you don’t receive a single review, your profile will serve as your representation on the site.