Do you ever respond to reviews on Yelp?

Just wondering what the protocol is here. There’s a section for “Owner’s Comment” or something like that, but I don’t see many using it. I have a two reviews now with an identical complaint, and I would simply like to say “Thanks, this is a problem we’re now working on thanks to your reviews.”

Would that look silly, or would it look good that we’re responding to a complaint in a positive manner?

I think that would be an excellent way to handle it, I would be more inclined to visit a business who I knew took those reviews seriously and also acted to correct issues raised by customers.

I have one review on yelp, from someone who lives in California (we’re in Kansas) and visited us once while in town. It’s a pretty absurd review that trashes us for a lot of things that are just plain dumb (i.e. we put our cheese on top of toppings instead of under, our “large isn’t that big” even though it’s a 16" and every other shop in town uses a 14", claims I stopped doing late nights on the weekends because I hated all the drunk kids even though I’ve actually expanded our late night operation, etc.). Her top reviewed places in town were Wal-Mart and Sonic though. I posted a link to the review on our facebook page as a joke to see if anyone would write more reviews. Someone wrote a really nice one a few days later, but it’s gone now for some reason.

ALWAYS respond to them. It lets potential customers and current customers know you really care.

I had this situation just a few days ago. We had a fair but very negative review. For the most part I sympathized with the customer though I think a few criticisms were unfair (e.g. our pizza is too greasy (b/c we use whole milk Grande) or that we are too busy (how is that a criticism)). Anyway, I sent her a private response and then on the public “owner’s comment” section wrote a short note that I had PM’d the customer to address the situation. That way I’m not airing grievances in public BUT the public still knows we care. BTW, the lady was very nice and, I think, will come back to give us another shot. It’s then on us to make her happy…

Ignore or sue them.

If you must, do some research on all the lawsuits by small businesses being targeted to ‘buy’ help to correct negative listings. On the short search I made, most businesses only had ‘ONE’ comment, a negative one, my store included. The salesmen(women) travel the regions and spam negative comments, then invite you to advertise with them, thereby allowing them to ‘remove’ the garbage they already posted. The lawsuits are about them severely manipulating all the postings, negative or positive (which is why your 1 positive comment was removed by them).

I’ve seen some pretty intresting replies by owners/business on various sites and comment systems like yelp and ebay (hell even here there have been some interesting replies from vendors that you guys use). If you do reply don’t be defensive and don’t go on the attack or be dismissive. Other customers will judge you by how your reply. Keep it short, to the point, and don’t feel like you have to go into a long explanation. If you had legit concerns that have been addressed invite the customer back to see the improvement that their review started, you might even make this complimentary or offer a special coupon.