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It was recently reported in the news that a dentist was suing a former patient and her ex-husband after they commented on Yelp that he was a “butcher” and a “crook.” The dentist indicated that he suspected it was an effort to profit from a medical malpractice action and that they wanted to ruin his name. The pair said that all they wanted to do was alert others about this doctor’s poor job. Could this Yelp review doom the dentist’s practise?

Do Negative Online Reviews Affect Your Business?

There are several prominent internet review sites. Yelp has approximately 132 million monthly visits and 57 million reviews on its own. Finding company evaluations on the fly has never been easier, thanks to the surge of smartphone ownership. For small enterprises, this is a mixed blessing. A positive internet review might bring in additional consumers. On the other side, if your company is having a terrible day and someone leaves a negative review, it may stay online for weeks or years, possibly turning away hundreds or thousands of prospective consumers.

What can a consumer say about your company legally?

What if that review is false or exaggerated? Then, depending on the circumstances of the review, it might be deemed libellous or slanderous. Libel and slander are the actions of making false claims about another person in order to harm his or her reputation. If the defamatory comment is written or aired in the media, it is libel; otherwise, it is slander. Customers may comment, “I thought the quality of the hamburger was poor,” but they cannot add, “The flesh in my hamburger must have been road kill.” While expressing an opinion is OK, declaring an untruth as fact is not.

What can you do to remedy the bad feedback from your customers?

The best approach to respond to these internet evaluations isn’t necessarily in a heated or public debate with the client. Consider the following alternatives for action:

Try reimbursing the consumer and asking them to delete or update their review so they may have a better experience.

You should take control of your Yelp company page. To demonstrate that you genuinely care about how your company is conducted, become an active member of the site and reply to consumer feedback.

Wait it out since most people don’t read beyond the second page of reviews.

Consider reevaluating your customer service or goods, such as conducting quality testing and asking others whether your hamburgers indeed taste like road dead. Alternatively, it may be in your best interests to teach your employees on how to give excellent customer service and empower them to participate in the complaint resolution process.

Finally, if the statements are genuinely nasty and defamatory, consider contacting Generis global  attorney to see what steps he or she suggests to clear your reputation and prevent the accuser from pursuing additional damaging activities.

However, not all nasty remarks have negative consequences. There was one website that only had favourable evaluations for its items, and their sales fell as a result of it not being thought genuine. According to another survey, less than 25% of internet customers said they are hesitant to buy a product after reading bad reviews. Furthermore, most people who read the evaluations take them with a grain of salt, understanding that they can’t rely on an unknown individual to evaluate a company.

Finally, bear in mind that you will get unfavourable feedback since you cannot satisfy everyone. Regardless, having a good presence on your Yelp page shows current and prospective new consumers that you care about each customer’s experience.