For spa owners or wellness clinics, what your clients say about you is key to both client retention and referrals. Word of mouth reputation now includes online review sites such as Yelp. This is why you need to have a great relationship with anyone that comes into your business, especially first time patients and clients. Your customer service skills should be top notch. This is not to say that you will not get a disgruntled client every now and again.
Thanks to Yelp, when you get a disgruntled client, all the positive reviews that you have garnered can be tarnished by that single negative review. Your business can go from booming to almost dying off in a very short period of time.
We know that negative reviews are going to come along our way, no matter how hard we try. But just because you get a negative Yelp review does not mean that you are completely doomed. Here are a few steps you can take in order to deal with negative Yelp reviews and turn those thumbs back up.
Dealing with negative Yelp reviews
1. Be reasonable The first thing you should know is that sometimes, people just go on Yelp to vent. Their negative reviews may not be about your spa or clinic per se, but about their lives. Do not antagonize anyone and whatever you do, do not fire back in the heat of the moment. It’s all too easy to read the negative Yelp review on your mobile device and respond without thinking. Remember, other Yelpers are reading to see how you handle it. Demonstrate friendliness and willingness to fix the problem. Even if the reviewer won’t be soothed, other readers can be impressed by your graciousness.
2. Activate your business account Many holistic practitioners leave the fate of their business’ reputation to Yelp users, not realizing there are already reviews online for their spa or clinic. No matter how dreadful the reviews are about your business, take ownership and start doing something about it. Sign up for a business account on Yelp. Once this is done, start promoting your business. Include your website link and address. Engage your reviewers in a positive manner. Apologize for whatever they seem to be complaining about and run promotional material on your page. This way, people will see that you are more engaged and will be encouraged to actually hold a conversation with you instead of blindly bashing your reputation because they think it’s an abandoned page.
3. Reward good reviews Incentives are the driving force of any business’ bottom line. Don’t ever be tempted to create fake reviews. Instead, encourage your real clients to leave a positive review on Yelp in exchange for a discount or a free incentive. This will slowly drive up your ratings and drown out the negative reviews.
When all is said and done, the fact that you have a negative Yelp review means that something is amiss. Look into it. Engage the disgruntled customer. Ask what it is they found amiss and what it is you can do to make it better. Make your spa or wellness clinic worth the positive reviews.
Jaya Savannah - Chief Inspiration Officer. Strategy Coach for Holistic Businesses. Trainer, speaker, and writer. Spiritually aware, yet street smart. Elephant lover.