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Reviews Are Forever … Changing

Let’s face it, it’s hard work as a small business to get reviews online on Yelp, Google My Business and many other common review sites.  Getting the positive ones and getting them to stick can be even harder, but what about that great, average or bad review you got two years ago … that just changed.  With Yelp’s Updated Review feature, your customers review from days or even years ago can be added to, for better or worse.

Star It Up, A Review On The Rise

When Kelly M. visited Mezzanine Salon in Minneapolis two years ago (2012) she had herself an average experience.  Her review was summed up with a 3 star rating as she felt her waiting time of 30 minutes and lack of staff communication on the wait was poor.  Everything else seemed to be fine, but nothing made her experience a great one.

This doesn’t seem to be the usual customer experience at Mezzanine Salon as their 68 Yelp reviews average out to 4.5 stars.  Kelly M. still went back to Mezzanine and two years later felt compelled to update her Yelp review, this time giving it 4 stars.  As you can read from both reviews below, the personal attention and honest opinion her stylist Jared gave her improved her perception of the business.

Yelp review updated salon

A Fall From Perfect, A Review Headed Down

While the scenario above is a win for that business, the exact opposite can happen as well.  Mike Mutterer Construction is a builder and remodeler in the town of Buffalo, MN and in full disclosure a friend of mine.  Mike has done dozens of projects, large and small, on multiple houses I have owned and in knowing how positive reviews can help a small business I went to review him on Yelp in January 2013.  I was stunned with delight when I found his profile on Yelp with 1 review already and at that is was a 5 star rating from a very established Yelper.

Jada M. likely was the one to add Mike’s business to Yelp at the time.  Her review from two years ago (2012) raved about Mike’s communication, punctuality, the outcome and perfect budget of the 4 Season Porch Mike built for her home.  She had met with about 10 contractors and Mike stood out and won the job, then was flawless in completing it. Hard to ask for a better review if you are a contractor.

Fast forward though to just a few days ago and Jada M. has changed her mind.  She recently reached out to Mike with a new project as well as a referral and it appears Mike didn’t follow-up with them.  While she is glad he is too busy to get back to her, the perfect opinion of Mike is gone … and now her 5 star review has an update with a review of 3 stars.

Yelp review builder

A Review Isn’t Carved In Stone

The point of this post is to understand that your online review isn’t a ‘one and done’ when you get it.  Yelp allows updates to your reviews that can help or hurt your standing, so stay focused on consistent great service.  Here are a few tips to consider if you are a small business owner or an online marketer with SMB clients:

1. Understand the gravity of your customer service and communication EVERY time.  You can turn a fan or critic into the opposite with great or poor service.

2. Pay attention to the main review sites for your business and know who has reviewed you if you can.  Respond correctly to negative reviews and work to correct them.

3. Have a strategy or plan to generate reviews.  Get customer feedback, let customers know reviews matter to your business.  Don’t IGNORE the review sites, your next customer likely isn’t!

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