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Converting Visitors into Customers: Yelp Launches ‘Call to Action’ Feature

Recent stories seem to indicate that business owners and company execs take pains to prevent negative reviews from happening – even going so far as to censor or penalize any form of criticism.

There’s the New York hotel that began to charge guests $500 for every bad review. Then the Chicago shades and blinds company that sued Yelpers who wrote a two-star review of the business. Then there’s the Florida apartment complex and their social media addendum, which forced tenants to pay a $10,000 fine for every negative review.

For many business owners, it’s sometimes natural to focus on faults and think customers are out to tarnish their reputation on review sites like Yelp. But it’s actually not as bad as many might think.

For example, according to the latest factsheet released by Yelp, 67 percent of the 71 million reviews on Yelp are 4- and 5-star reviews. Approximately 4 out of 10 reviews are rated with 5 stars, while 1 in 4 are rated with 4 stars. Only 14 percent of reviews on Yelp are one-star reviews. Contrary to what many might think, the review site is a platform that, in general, likes to praise (instead of criticize) local businesses.

manage yelp reviews

So, if you’re managing Yelp reviews of your business, don’t get too worked up over your one-star ratings. Instead, focus on the positive.

Thank the customers who wrote positive reviews. Show existing and potential customers that you value their feedback, and that your business appreciates those who share their positive experiences online. By thanking happy customers, you can also foster loyalty, reinforce product and service highlights, and drive higher levels of engagement. 

Share the positive reviews to your team. One great way to motivate your staff members is to let them know how much customers appreciate their hard work. Sharing positive reviews is a great alternative to, say, posting a profound philosophical quote on a corkboard; it will also allow you to identify – and reward – customer-facing employees who are making regular positive contributions to your team.

Reinforce your strengths and improve on your weaknesses. The ability to know what customers really think is essential in boosting your business performance. By analyzing and extracting insights from both your positive and negative reviews, you can determine the qualities that customers love the most about your business, as well as identify and improve on certain operational weaknesses. Always focus on the bright side, and remember that you can turn negative reviews into positive results.

(Image credit: Yelp)

Migs Bassig

Migs is the Content Manager for ReviewTrackers. He's a creative writer who has helped numerous companies communicate more effectively online, and he loves sharing his local marketing knowledge to help brands and business succeed.


  1. Christina B

    So people are more likely to give a one star rating than a two or three? Meaning that a terrible experience is more likely to lead to a review than a mediocre one. But people like to share good experiences more than anything. This confirms my experience I think. Some people are just out to spread bad news but they are a small minority.

  2. Nancy

    That is a very interesting statistic. I guess that it would seem that someone might be more inclined to write a review after a positive experience, compared to the other way around.

  3. Vince

    It makes sense if you think about it. I mean you’re trying to please customers so hopefully you only actually upset a small minority. And people aren’t very likely to say anything unless they have a mostly positive or negative opinion.

  4. Floresparati

    Who cares about statistics anyway? My business has only 5 star reviews. Not 4 star, not 3 star and especially 1 or 2 star reviews. So, if I have only 5 star reviews for my business, does that means that someone has only 4 or 3 star reviews? How can you take the average when there are companies who want to get as many 1 star reviews they can? Like that Italian restaurant who encouraged people about writing 1 star reviews.