• Hillary MacBain

    Nice breakdown of using Yelp to engage with happy (and unimpressed) customers, Kathryn. Especially loved your shout out to Mother Bear’s Pizza!

    Spending a couple minutes to reply to an unhappy customer can create repeat business, and engaging a thrilled customer can create an evangelist for your brand. Great follow up to your Yelp for Business post! :)

  • wilreynolds

    There’s a balance between “timely” and giving yourself time to cool off. Would you recommend replying 48 hours afterwards, while you don’t get the “next day feel” it will give you a chance to chill out? I know sometimes I get super annoyed at things, but realize that its not worth it to address while pissed off…thoughts?

  • Kathryn Cudemo

    Thanks for the comment and for pushing me to write this as a follow up to my last Yelp piece! It was a great idea to use examples and I needed the nudge to write it. :)

  • Kathryn Cudemo

    Thanks for your comment, Wil! I appreciate your feedback and completely agree that you should avoid replying to someone, if you’re still angry. I would definitely recommend waiting until you cool off to respond. Sometimes replying in the heat of the moment with a sharp or cold response can hurt your business even more than the actual negative review.

    Responding to an angry reviewer quickly is always preferred, however, if you have to revisit the comment after 48 hours to make sure you appear calm, cool and collected, then take that time. Just make sure you don’t take longer than two weeks to respond or your reply may not make as much of a positive impact!

  • Takeshi Young

    Lol, that was quite entertaining! If there isn’t a Tumblr yet for overly-defensive business owners ranting on Yelp, you should start one.

  • Kathryn Cudemo

    Takeshi, thanks for your comment and for that excellent idea!

    I’m surprised a Yelp Rude Rants on Tumblr hasn’t been created yet. When researching possible responses to include, I was overwhelmed by the number of “ugly” replies I found. It was hard to pick only two!

    If you’d like some more lol/shocking rants to break up your day, take a look at these two:

    Hope you enjoy them as much as I did! :)

  • Nik

    Hello, I would love to see your examples, but the images appear to have been taken down.

  • Kathryn Cudemo

    Hi Nik,

    So sorry about that! All the pictures have been updated. Hope you like it :)

  • Jason

    Appreciated your article, but I have to admit that the Mother Bear Pizza response bothered me. The unhappy customer DID provide suggestions and from my perspective, it looks as if those suggestions fell on deaf ears. Breaking it down, the customer said a) the pizza’s lackluster, b) it’s not the experience I expect, c) I want a chewy, doughy, and less greasy dough, and d) I want to crave your pizza. This last piece is key, as they didn’t say that exactly. However, what they said was that they don’t crave it. Which leads me to identify that they want to. This means that unlike a pissed off customer, this customer is closer to becoming a potential advocate. However, because the product is not up to her expectations, she can’t.

    I appreciate focusing on the positive ( that’s what I tell my clients). What puts me off? The owner patting himself on the back for his fresh crust. What good is freshness when the owner basically dismisses the customer’s issues with their fresh crust? Perhaps unintentionally, he combines insult to injury by asking for suggestions? How could this be insulting? Because the customer provided suggestions!

    The customer mentioned dough and sauce were important for the experience she wants with pizza. The owner (being an expert) could have said that he’s sorry, but that they make a Neapolitan Style Crust which wouldn’t have the chewy, doughy consistency she’s looking for. Perhaps their New York style crust would be more to her liking? The other “suggestion” was that the dough was greasy. This can happen under several conditions (part of the dough itself, coming from the cheese, some places add oil to the pan, fat from meat can ooze out oil, sauce can contain oil, etc) – who knows what happened? Well, the owner should. Regardless, she should be given some sort of tip, such as “we understand the amount of toppings may be too much for you. In fact, this may be contributing to the oil issue! If you’d like, we can certainly put less toppings on. Just let us know you’d like less topping because you’re concerned the crust will be too oily for you. We’ll even knock a couple bucks off for you, if you mention this review.” In this way, the customer is given an action item and made to feel like they are actually listened to. They are encouraged to come back in, they are treated uniquely, and they are given the tools to get an experience that is closer to what they’d like.