You don’t have a delete button to get rid of a negative Yelp review, but you’ve got some options:
If you think a reviewer can be reasoned with, respond to his grievances promptly and professionally. If you take the time to make things right, you have a very good chance of getting an unhappy reviewer to change his mind.
“Nine out of ten will have a better experience, and will amend, edit, or delete the review,” according to Flagship Restaurant Group (FSR Magazine).
Dealing with a potentially angry customer can be a delicate process, and people are far more aggressive behind the keyboard. So when you do respond, stay calm, listen, be direct and follow through. Click here for more tips on how to respond to a negative Yelp review.
Prospective customers will have a tougher time focusing on a negative review if positive ones overshadow it. Here are some tips on how to get positive reviews on Yelp.
UPDATE: Burying reviews by soliciting for positive ones is a big no-no. In fact, it is against Yelp’s terms of service to ask for any reviews.
A negative review may be in violation of Yelp’s Content Guidelines. In that case, you can flag the review to alert Yelp administrators. Such reviews may include slurs, comments on anything that is not relevant to the business, or explicit statements that their review is a second-hand experience. If the review violates Yelp’s guidelines, it will be deleted in three to five business days. But keep in mind that flagging a reviews is no guarantee that the review will be removed. Removal is Yelp’s discretion.
Your final option is a lawsuit. (Cue “Law & Order” gavel). If a comment is a blatant lie that is slandering your business, you may have a case. A Yelper in 2011 was found guilty of defamation after posting a scathing review on a contractor’s Yelp page. So it can work. But of course, it’s a lawsuit, i.e. very time consuming and costly with no guarantees you’ll win.