Yelp as a Weapon

Businesses run in fear….or don’t worry about it.
Consumers don’t worry about it or aim it like a sword.

What is the magic of the review post and what is reasonable? Of course this answer is highly dependent on the individual or organization.

I think the advent of review sites from Yelp, Angie’s List, Open Table and the like, have been a great tool for shoppers. I certainly utilize them regularly and Dream Warrior customers have found us through the same process.

As raters though, I wonder if we should (as I admit to this) Yelp when Angry — or Yelp under the influence for that matter (YUI?). Feedback is important although as I read the reviews of others, I tend to focus more on the patterns and more detailed reviews as opposed to those that may be a one-off or emotion based.

Businesses are often the recipients of a revenge reviews or weaponized comments. Why do customers do this? Your customers will have to make that decision for themselves but for a business, there is a lesson to learn. Even if the comments may be what you deem an ‘unfair’ review, something brought the consumer to that level of frustration to take the time to make a review and let their opinion be heard. Those are the anomalies to remove from your process – fair or not.

How should you reply to reviews? I tend to concur with Yelp’s advice … rarely publicly; a ‘thank-you’ to great reviews and a ‘can I make it better next time’ response to reviews that call for improvement.

As to how Yelp filters their reviews, the jury may still be out. While Yelp advises us on their goal, it doesn’t always seem like that to me. But this can be resolved from your end.

Minimize the potential for negative reviews in your business practices/rules.