Bad online review: How should you respond?

A business owner in Washington, D.C., was so angry about negative notices on Yelp and Angie’s List that he sued the reviewer. Reputation experts say having a conversation is the better approach.

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Moreover, a Harvard Business School study found that garnering an extra star in a Yelp review average leads to 5 to 9 percent more revenue for a restaurant. Perhaps that’s why the owner of Deitz Development in Washington, D.C., was so incensed about negative reviews of his business on Yelp and Angie’s List—a client said he stole from her home and billed her improperly—he sued her for $750,000.

Communicators and business owners shouldn’t just sit on their laurels when they see bad online reviews of their brands or businesses, reputation experts say. But there are other ways to go about it.

“Right or wrong, that makes Dietz Development look bad,” says Tripp Frohlichstein of MediaMasters Training. “Not the kind of organization I would want to do business with.”

So what does work? Making a connection and creating content.

The Google problem

How can you drop that negative review or a spiteful blog post from your Google results? Create or cultivate new Google results to replace it.

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