According to a recent Yelp Survey, 66% of all Yelp reviews are either four or five stars. But, if you’re the unfortunate local business owner on the receiving end of the 34% of reviews that are three or two stars (or even just 1 star), you’ve probably Googled “how to remove Yelp reviews” at least one, two, or twenty times.
In this article, we’re going to discuss three methods that you can try to improve your profile after being on the receiving end of some not-so-hot reviews. By doing so, you can improve your profile and appeal to the 88% of consumers that are turning to your reviews to decide whether or not to use your services.
But first, let’s address that burning question: can you actually get negative Yelp reviews removed? The answer might surprise you.
So, Can You Remove Bad Yelp Reviews?
In a perfect world, you would be able to remove reviews but unfortunately, Yelp makes it a little more difficult than that.
The only way that you can get reviews removed is if they violate Yelp’s Terms of Service, specifically their Content Guidelines.
And, this actually brings us to our first method of improving your profile: evaluating each negative review to determine if it directly violates Yelp’s Content Guidelines. But, what are these guidelines? Specifically, the content that you can flag for removal includes:
- Inappropriate Content – Inappropriate content refers to threats, harassment, lewdness, hate speech, and other displays of bigotry. It does not refer to colorful language or imagery.
- Conflicts of Interest – Just like you shouldn’t review your own business, competitors, industry peers, or any other individuals with clear conflicts of interest shouldn’t review your page. If they do, you can flag their review for removal.
- Promotional Content – If any users are using their review to promote a business or website, you can flag it for removal as a result.
- Relevance – Yelp reviews are meant to be reflections of the consumer’s experience. As such, any rants about employment practices of your business, political ideologies, or other comments that don’t address the experience at your business are permitted for removal.
- Privacy – If a user posts full names that aren’t openly shared or reveals other private information, the comment is subject to removal.
- Intellectual Property – Repeat comments or content can be flagged for removal as well.
However, if a review is simply negative for valid reasons, you unfortunately can’t make it disappear. But, there are two other methods we suggest to either improve negative ratings or diminish their power.
Let’s explore your other potential options.
Confronting Negative Reviews in a Constructive, Customer Service-Oriented Manner
This brings us to our second method which is to confront negative reviews through a customer-service oriented approach.
Now I know that you’ve probably seen how some business owners respond to negative comments on their own Yelp profiles and to be frank, it can be quite atrocious.
In the spirit of this, let’s view a post that’s a great example of what you don’t want to do when responding to customers. In the situation below, a patient was expressing concerns over the ethical practices of how the doctors were handling business here. In response, the doctor he had seen directly responded to him in a very defensive tone and displayed far too much information regarding the situation for the public to see.
So, how can you remedy negative reviews through a customer-service oriented approach? It’s actually quite simple and examples of this are virtually everywhere when you look closely enough.
You should want to contact customers leaving negative reviews not because they left a negative review, but because it might reflect a more significant problem regarding your service. And sometimes, approaching the customer from a concerned perspective is enough to encourage them to change their review.
In fact, that is exactly what happened in the following review:
The key idea is to express genuine care and concern for your clients rather than treat him or her like a negative review that is simply in the way of your Yelp ratings. After all, a patient could easily go back and edit their review to state that you called and tried to pressure them into leaving a better review.
Let’s leave off this method with one more example, this time not from the dental industry:
One Proven Way of How to Remove Negative Yelp Reviews
Ready for one more method to help you negate the effects of negative reviews? But let me start by telling you that this is a long-term method and not one that will produce instant or short-lived results.
So, what is it? Our third method to counter negative reviews is to simply build positive reviews and build your Yelp profile in general.
Now, while this might sound intuitive and simple, it actually takes a lot of dedication to do so. This is especially true when you consider the fact that not all of your client’s reviews will stick on your Yelp page and will instead get caught in the filter (even if they shouldn’t and are authentic reviews).
Think about this: you currently have 10 reviews and a 3 star rating. This means that if you encourage satisfied clients to leave you reviews that are all positive and more than half of them stick, you’ll have a handful of new reviews that give you the positive Yelp profile essential for all successful local businesses.
Of course, building up your Yelp profile is also important. This means adding relevant information about your company, accurate hours, and photos that display your services and your office for all to see is something that you must do. Doing so will establish you as an authority figure and will only help you as you seek to improve your general Yelp rating.
Improving Your Yelp Ranking Doesn’t Have to be Difficult
With any of the three methods above, you can take the guesswork out of improving your Yelp profiles and the mystery of determining how to remove a Yelp review. That’s because through each of the methods, you’re able to not just remedy the ill effects of what’s currently on your page, but you can work to build it up for a more positive future.
Don’t have time to implement these methods yourself? You can always turn to the team here at Linking Up Local to execute a comprehensive reputation management strategy for you while you focus on maintaining premier customer service in the office that will lead to positive reviews.
And us? We’ll worry about the rest for you!
Contact us today to have your questions answered or to learn more about what Linking Up Local can do for your business. We look forward to speaking with you!