3 tips from Yelp’s Kevin Lee on how to work with online reviews

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Working with customer feedback and reviews is an essential word of mouth skill. More and more customers are embracing the opportunity to become amateur critics, and each day this collective voice gets a little louder.

For nearly a decade, Yelp has been leading this shift — and with more than 15 million reviews, they know a thing or two about how to work with them. In his presentation at our word of mouth conference, Yelp’s Kevin Lee went through his list of do’s and don’ts. Here are just a few of his big ideas:

1. Posting fake reviews just doesn’t work
2. Never respond negatively to a negative review
3. Act on the feedback you’re getting
4. Watch Kevin’s presentation

1. Posting fake reviews just doesn’t work

The people who read review sites are smart, and they know a fake review when they see it. Kevin says it’s painfully obvious when a marketer posts a fake review for themselves, and it makes them look really bad. And even if you could get away with it for a couple reviews, the risk of getting busted just isn’t worth it. Instead, put that energy to good use by offering great service, creating great products, and being so awesome that people can’t resist leaving great reviews.

2. Never respond negatively to a negative review

Yelp reminds great businesses every day that it’s impossible to please everyone. Ignore the trolls and critics. For the legitimately upset customers, respond and let them know you hear them. But always take the high road and remember that you’re writing not just to the individual reviewer, but to the entire community.

3. Act on the feedback you’re getting

Companies used to spend a lot of time and money trying to get customer feedback. But now it’s online, and it’s everywhere. This is a good thing. Use your reviews to find recurring themes in the feedback, incorporate customer ideas into what you do, and double-down on the things customers are raving about. And when you do use their feedback and ideas, tell them! They’ll be thrilled to know you’re listening and working to make your stuff even better.

4. Watch Kevin’s presentation

Watch Kevin’s video to see all the great tips he shared:

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