How to Use Call Tracking to Limit Negative Yelp Reviews

Company rating checklistTen years ago, Yelp changed the way people discover and recommend businesses by creating an online community where anyone can post and read personal reviews for free.

With over 57 million posts, the popularity of Yelp is unmistakable. Considering its incredible ability to reach so many consumers, bad reviews about your company should not be taken lightly (because they're guaranteed to affect your bottom line).

Although it's impossible to prevent every single negative review written about your company, you can actively limit them by using call tracking software to help you address problematic situations before customers turn to Yelp. Here are some ways you can be proactive in cutting down on those lousy reviews.

Identify Unhappy Customers

Man with thumbs downStudies show that 96 percent of unsatisfied customers don't complain. Instead, they silently take their business elsewhere and tell everyone (except you) what went wrong. Even though your customers could voice their concerns, they don't because they feel like the business doesn't care.

To counteract this assumption, simplify the complaint process by giving customers easy, accessible ways to give their feedback.

Start by giving your customers outlets to express their concerns. Prominently display the number of your support line online, cut down your surveys from 20 questions to five and personally follow up with customers via a phone call or email to inquire about their experience with your business.

If a customer does take the time to call your company, use intelligent voice-recognition software will allow you to instantly identify negative keywords or phrases that indicate a customer is unhappy. Even if you're not the person on the phone, you'll be notified of any problem words immediately.

Businessmen shaking hands Respond in a Timely Manner

Since acquiring a new client costs five to ten times more than retaining an existing one, it's important to maintain your customers' loyalty after they've had a negative experience.

 The first thing to do is evaluate how to contact the customer: by phone, personal letter or email. The more serious the issue, the more personal the communication method you should use. Contact the customer quickly (in 24 hours or less), take responsibility for the issue and assure them the problem is being taken care of. Once you've resolved the issue, follow up with your customer to ask if everything is going smoothly.

To make sure you respond promptly to customers who call, you need to make sure you track each call that comes in. If a call was missed, occurred after hours or received a busy signal, that caller was not given the service they needed. If you use a tool such as Missed Call Notification, you'll be notified every time these situations occur, which will allow you follow up with the customer quickly.

Customers who have their issues resolved tell at least six people about their experience. Your speedy, helpful response will ultimately negate a bad review and influence a positive one.

Provide Quality Phone Service

You might not always have the opportunity to resolve a customer's problem face-to-face since 90 percent of consumers prefer to resolve their customer service issues using the telephone. To make sure your staff is handling these complaints correctly, it's important to record your calls.

Call recordings can be used as a training tool to reinforce company policies on how to handle angry customers. You can also encourage your staff to evaluate their own calls to better prepare them for handling disgruntled customers in the future.

Keeping customers happy is a difficult job with unavoidable bumps in the road. So if there are already negative reviews written about your company, Yelp gives business owners a chance to communicate with customers who give feedback, good or bad. (Be sure to check out these tips on how to respond to reviews.)

Have you had experience with negative online reviews? Share your story with us in the comments below!