Yelp For Business: Dealing With Negative Reviews

Negative Yelp Reviews
Some people leave negative Yelp reviews just to agitate. Ignore them or report the review.

If you put yourself out there as a business you’re going to get some negative feedback.

The reality today is that we live in a time when people can make snap decisions and negative feelings can become public in a hurry.

Negative reviews are part of the way things work today and that includes negative reviews on Yelp.

Since many businesses experience bad reviews on Yelp at some point it’s good to know how to deal with one when you get it because it probably will happen.

Here are a few things I’ve found to work for businesses. 

Respond Politely And Look For A Solution

If the problem is legitimate it’s best to look for a solution. You probably do this already if someone comes to you with an issue in person, on the phone or with an email.

There is always a solution that can make each party happy or at least to the point of moving forward.

Do not make things worse by getting into an online argument by responding negative reviews with accusations and call-outs. If you respond negatively you’ll make yourself look less appealing to people reading the reviews and you’ll make the original reviewer angrier and more likely to continue posting negative reviews about your business.

Let’s say you’re a restaurant and a customer happens to get the one steak of the day that is overcooked. Normally you would hear about it in the restaurant and make the correction, but this customer decides to leave a negative review.

You can respond sincerely with an apology and a request for the customer to come back so your restaurant has a chance to redeem itself. If the customer has a continuing issue ask them to ask their server for a replacement on the house.

Your sincerity will be appealing to those reading the poor review. It’s also a chance for you to get feedback on your service to thwart future instances of overcooked steaks.

Ignore The Review

Sometimes it makes sense to ignore the review.

Not all, but a few negative reviews will be so ridiculous that people will instantly know the review holds no merit. They’ll ignore it and look to the other reviews for content they can actually use to judge your business.

Outlandish claims, overtly picky and irrelevant are often found in negative reviews. People can see between the lines and figure out that reviewers like this are probably never satisfied.

Your best course of action in this case is to ignore the review and not even acknowledge it. Trust that others will see through it as well or you could take one more course of action.

Report The Review

Yelp allows you to report reviews.

Yelp has a great filter for making sure reviews are accurate and worthwhile to users. They often take out spam and trolling reviews, but sometimes reviews slip through the cracks.

If you find that you have a negative review on your business Yelp page that is irrelevant and obviously spam you can report it and it will likely be removed.


Negative reviews are not something you want to take lightly. It can be good feedback for how you do business. You can work to improve as the first response to reviews that have merit.

Over time this will lead to better reviews and a higher rating on Yelp.

But if you still get a few bad reviews on your page you can respond politely, ignore or report. These are the best options.

If you respond and escalate the conversation things will only get worse. Some people just aren’t worth arguing with especially on Yelp and other online review sites.

Image: David Goehring

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