One of the most frustrating aspects of owning a business is getting a bad review. It’s one thing to understand that you can’t please everyone, and quite another to actually experience it in practice.
If you see a bad review on Yellow Pages’s official website YP.com, you might be wondering if you can get it removed.
Yes, it is sometimes possible to delete negative reviews from Yellow Pages. The site is more receptive to removals than many other review sites. That said, your claim needs to hold merit for them to consider it. If they refuse, or if your situation doesn’t fit their criteria, you’ll need to counteract the negative reviews through an online reputation management campaign instead.
Submitting a review removal request to Yellow Pages reviews
First, check the source closely. Yellow Pages both collects reviews from its users and also syndicates reviews from other sites, such as TripAdvisor. If the review originally appeared on a third-party site, you’ll need to get it addressed there. Contacting Yellow Pages is only helpful for their own reviews.
Second, check out Yellow Pages’s terms of service for user-generated content. These are the rules that apply to posting reviews. You’ll notice that the site has somewhat stricter restrictions on the types of content that can be posted than certain other review sites. For example, you’ll see that Yellow Pages does not allow reviews that disguise or misrepresent the poster’s identity. They also don’t allow reviews designed primarily to “annoy, harass or anger other users, (e.g., ‘trolling’).”
Next, collect all your facts. If you have material evidence that the review is false or misleading, this will help your case. Are employees mentioned? Get their side of the story. Does the reviewer claim to have been overcharged? Check your records. When you present your case, keep it as objective and fact-based as possible. Simply stating that a review is unfair probably won’t get you very far: you need to show why it violates Yellow Pages’s terms of service.
Finally, make your report. This is pretty simple: underneath the review, on the left-hand side, there will be a link labeled “Report Abuse.” Click that link and follow the instructions on the screen.
Responding to reviews that you can’t delete from Yellow Pages
Unfortunately, even when you make a strong case, Yellow Pages may elect not to remove the negative review. The decision is entirely up to Yellow Pages and they don’t accept appeals. In this situation, you have a couple of options: respond to the negative review, or try to bury it in positive reviews. You can do either or both.
Should you respond? Often, yes. It’s a good idea to respond to negative reviews when the poster seems sincere and there is a clear misunderstanding that can be resolved. If you respond in the right way, the customer is more likely to see your side of the story and sometimes even to modify the review to make it more positive. That said, if the reviewer is trolling you, or you suspect the review was written by an underhanded competitor, it’s best not to respond.
Once you’ve decided to respond, go to the review on Yellow Pages. You’ll notice a link labeled “Post Business Response” on the right-hand side of the review. When you click the link, you’ll be asked verify you’re part of the business, and then you can reply.
Here are a few useful tips on how to write a good response:
- Be polite and friendly. Never accuse the customer of lying or exaggerating.
- Thank the reviewer for his or her feedback.
- Explain your side of the story in a neutral way.
- Explain what you think went wrong and how you plan to fix it.
- Ask the reviewer to give you a call to discuss in more detail.
For more tips, check out this related article on handling negative reviews.
Burying negative reviews in a sea of positive feedback
Of course, even if you respond to all your negative reviews, it’s better to have customers find positive reviews instead. Nobody expects perfection, it’s totally normal for even the best businesses to have a few negative reviews.
That said, if you have a lot of negative reviews and not many positive, you may need to be proactive about fixing that balance. Chances are you have lots of happy customers that would be more than willing to say good things about you. All you have to do is convince them to write a review. There are a few ways to do this:
- Set up an email campaign asking for reviews
- Hand out “please review us” cards at checkout
- Call a few customers that you know particularly well
- Keep a tablet or other portable computing device in your business for people to write reviews on
Admittedly, this can be time-consuming. ReputationDefender also offers a number of solutions to help you streamline this process. Give us a call for a free assessment of your situation.