There is extensive information on the topic of review responses, giving businesses the dos and don’ts, and providing detailed insights that equip marketing teams to best manage their online reputation.
Unfortunately, very little has been said on the topic of review response removal. Indeed, there are instances when it is wiser to take back your words.
Today, we will explore scenarios specific to Yelp. Yelp is one of the most popular review sites, by virtue of the number of reviews it hosts, as well as the variety of businesses that are encouraged to have an active profile. From arborists to Zen spas, if you are a small to medium-sized business, then you are very likely to have, and benefit from, a Yelp review profile. Let’s take a look at some instances where a review response removal may just make sense.
You Had Incomplete Information at the Time of Your Response
It happens to the best of us, and it needs to be corrected as soon as it is discovered. Correcting a response made with incomplete or incorrect information is a good long-term move for your business, and a proper way to ensure everyone reading your reviews receives accurate and truthful information.
If you decide to remove a response with incomplete information, make it a point to contact the reviewer with a private clarification and (if appropriate) an apology. While there is value in responding to reviews quickly and proactively, we cannot stress enough the importance of waiting until you have all the facts to ensure your response and remedy are appropriate.
If you have the urge to respond and do not yet have enough information, then you do have the option to private-message a Yelper and inform him or her that you are researching the concern. Leaving a review with inaccurate information has the potential to become a public relations disaster, or simply affect your ability to develop loyalty with the reviewer in question.
Your Response Contains Typos or Misinformation
Removing responses that look unprofessional, have typos, spelling mistakes, or language that does not best represent your business and your brand might just be a great move in terms of building your online reputation. These types of reviews often happen due to lack of business maturity and putting someone in charge that is not necessarily qualified to effectively manage online reputation activity.
A poorly written response speaks to the quality of your venue. Consider using tools such as a spell checker, or enlist the help of a hired editor to ensure your responses are drafted in a way that best represents your brand, conveying confidence to the reviewer and to shoppers reading the review response on your Yelp profile. Learn why good writing matters when developing your brand on popular review sites.
An Authorized Party Who Made a Poor Judgment Call Handled Your Response
Most of us have experienced disgruntled employees. If you have just taken over your online reputation after a change of management and identify signals of a disgruntled reputation manager, then you might need to do some housekeeping.
Hopefully, the responses have been caught during moderation; but if that is not the case, then it would be wise to carefully assess each response and identify messaging that is untrue or detrimental to your business. This may include promises that are untrue, or harsh ways toward reviewers.
If you have just taken over a business during a difficult transition, then it might be wise to implement a reputation management tool, and audit your reviews and review responses as well as private messages up to 12 months prior. This will allow you to identify underlying problems and attempt to correct them, or at a minimum remove messaging that is not in line with business objectives.
Your Response Contains Business Information That Is No Longer Relevant
This is of special importance if your response is causing issues with new customers. A great example might be a response where you have included an offer, a business policy, or pricing disclosure without including an expiration date.
New patrons are likely to walk into your business with an expectation to receive whatever you offered or described in your review response. Moving forward, if you plan to include information in a review response that might allude to the experience of future patrons, then make certain you are clear regarding expiration dates and policies associated with the offering disclosed.
It is important to keep in mind that including offers, pricing, or policies in your responses is great for business, and a fantastic way to provide relevant information to future shoppers, as long as it is done with care. Ensure there is clarity on the terms of each offer, promo, or pricing disclosed in the review response.
You Responded to the Wrong Review
If in haste you post a response to the wrong review and you don’t catch it until later, then remove it as soon as you identify the problem. It is not uncommon for us to spot reviews with responses that are irrelevant or wrong.
This is particularly noticeable if the response alludes to customer service issues when the reviewer has conveyed none and, in fact, has given the business a high rating. We highly recommend that you regularly review your responses post-posting, to ensure that the moderator has approved them, but also to double-check for issues such as this.
How to edit or delete Yelp review responses:
Removing your review responses from Yelp is very simple, and you are fully in control. No need to escalate to Yelp. Log into your Yelp business profile and head to the submenu for reviews. Scroll down to the review in question, and select the one-click option to remove the review. Confirm your intent to remove, and voila! Keep in mind that once removed, the review cannot be reinstated.
Once you have a reputation management plan and the right tools in place, review response removals should be few and far between. Your goal is to develop review responses that are well-written, business-conducive, and drafted in a way that captures the heart of the reviewer and those reading the review and review responses while researching your niche. With discipline and determination, even the smallest of businesses can benefit from streamlined reputation management. Take a look at our vast library of tips and resources for superior online reputation.