The interesting thing about social media is that consumers are paying close attention to what other people are saying about brands, not the marketers. They believe other people, not paid professionals. But what if the other people aren’t saying nice things about you on places like Yelp?
Yelp lets people give their own reviews and ratings of restaurants, home services, hotels, churches, stores, and salons and spas. That means that if enough people say good things about a business, customers are more likely to visit it based on those recommendations. And avoid it if there are enough bad things about it.
Since Yelp is both a website and a mobile app, that means that people can leave compliments — and complaints — while they’re still in the parking lot. What do you do if you get a complaint on Yelp?
Before you start, just know that fighting back will only make the problem worse. The complaint is already out there, and if the complainer is well-connected, it has reached their Facebook friends. If you fight back, the entire incident will be magnified and shared, and could even go viral.
Instead apologize, then fix the problem. By responding positively, you can allay the person’s negative feelings, and even convert them to a loyal fan.
By fixing the problem, future visitors who see the complaint will also see how responsive and helpful you are, and understand that you’re very committed to good customer service and making everything right.
But never let a Yelp complaint go without a response. Even a quick apology and an invitation to come again so you can do better next time goes a long way.