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How to Avoid Bad Yelp Reviews

Yelp and similar websites make it possible for unsatisfied customers to tell others about their experience. There is a way to minimize that risk.

Customer Complaints Go Global

There was a time when business owners understood they could not satisfy every single customer, and accepted the reality that some customers would be unhappy. While this was unfortunate, if the number of disappointed customers was small, the business could still flourish. That has changed with the introduction of web-based customer review sites that offer platforms to disgruntled customers.

From a consumer perspective, these sites are useful because they can help to avoid unpleasant customer service experiences. Many consumers will choose to avoid doing business with low-rated stores and service providers. This is especially true for new customers who may never give a business try because of poor online reviews.

Customer Service Could Eliminate Complaints

Many consumer complaints are related to the level of customer service they receive. In a number of cases, the business will know that the customer is not satisfied long before the transaction is completed. That creates an opportunity to avoid a complaint by addressing the shortcoming, whether the problem is one of quality or perception.

It is true that many problems will simply be the customer’s perception of the situation, but allowing the customer to maintain that negative perspective could lead to lost sales in the future.

Ensuring high quality and consistent customer service could help a business to avoid nearly all complaints. Tips for delivering high-quality customer service are available from the Small Business Administration (SBA) or from SCORE, a nonprofit organization that partners with the SBA to help small businesses succeed.

These tips could be the starting point to develop processes for your business to establish customer service standards that could help you avoid complaints, while attracting new customers and helping to grow your business.


Michael Carr is a small business expert who has been involved in the successful development of three small businesses.