There is a possibility that you are reading this after a scammer posted a false review about your business on Yelp. You are in the right place. This post covers how to handle false reviews about your business on Yelp and possibly do away with the bad reputation they are trying to create for you and your business.
With Yelp growing into one of the most popular venues for finding reviews about businesses before conducting any transactions with them, it has faced some challenges. Businesses have reported scammers posting false reviews to damage their “close to perfect” online reputation. This can be competitors working behind businesses trying to get an advantage over top-performing brands.
Your business could be a victim of false reviews also. So how do you go about it and save your business reputation if it happens?
Here’s a guide on how to do it.
Building a Case Against Fake Reviews
If you find a false review from someone who has never been your customer, making a move to send them a message and convince them to remove the review may not work.
So you need to have an offensive tactic to approach the situation. Start gathering evidence that can help you prove that the reviewer left fake feedback.
How to Prove Your Case?
- Look into their profile. If they have zero Yelp friends, they might be scammers. Yelp also applies this metric when detecting false reviews.
- Check when the account was opened. A new account that is just a few days old can suggest that it was created specifically for fraudulent activity.
- Check at their previous reviews if the account has been posting other negative reviews for different businesses.
The three pieces of evidence are enough to build a case against the false review. But what next from here?
Handling False Reviews on Your Yelp Profile
Before becoming temperamental and act rudely to Yelp by threatening to sue them, take a step back and create a plan. You may be having your lawyers, but Yelp has better lawyers than you. The chances are that you may never win a case against them.
Besides, if you become rude to them, they may never help you again if such an issue resurfaces. Just avoid having wars with them or doing anything that may push them back.
Now that you are all set, there’s a way to approach this situation.
Go to biz.yelp.com and log in to your Yelp business account. You will need to claim your business on Yelp if you have never done so. Claiming your business will not take much time.
Go to the reviews section and find the false review. On the right side, where there is an option to “send a private message,” you will see a grey flag. Hover over it, and a pop-up will appear to “report a review.” Click on the button and go to the report review menu.
How to Build an Argument to Successful Remove Fake Reviews?
When you go to the “report review” page, you will have options with reasons why you are reporting it.
Probably you want to do it fast and go for the obvious choices such as “it contains false information,” “it was posted by a competitor or ex-employee.” However, these may not be the best options for you. Yelp prioritizes the issues they respond to. Choosing options that will make your case be met with urgency can help you solve the situation fast. For this reason, these issues are put on the priority list:
- “It contains threats, lewdness, or hate speech.”
Any review that breaks the first rule could be a legal issue. Take a look at the review and see whether it offends visitors, threatens, or is categorized as hate speech against certain people.
Suppose the review identifies someone by their first and last names or says anything that can reveal a person’s identity. In that case, you have formidable grounds to file a case against it.
If the review doesn’t fall under any of the two “prioritized categories,” you can move on and select the one it best fits.
Once you have your best option, Yelp will allow you to explain in detail about the false review. You can explain your choice and give pieces of evidence why the review is fake.
If you have valid evidence, Yelp will email you that they agree with your case and remove the review immediately.
However, there is no guarantee that Yelp will remove the negative review. To have higher chances of having it removed, ensure you provide as many details as possible for your case.
How to Handle Genuine Negative Reviews?
Sometimes, you may receive a genuine negative review about your business from a previous customer. In this case, try to send a private message to the reviewer and try to talk to them to remove the review by themselves.
If they refuse to do so, you can respond publicly to the review and give your side of the story for visitors to read. Remember, when responding to the review, you are not speaking to the reviewer but the public. Keep it professional and try to maintain the reputation of your business.
You can receive false reviews on Yelp anytime. These reviews can damage your business’s reputation, and it is always important to know how to handle them and get them removed from your business profile. This guide can help you in your quest to maintain a perfect review for your image and avoid getting scammed by fake reviews from competitors and any other person that may have their ill motives to tarnish the name of your business.