Yelp taps social media to answer angry complaints

Popular Web site responds to complaints through CEO blog, YouTube video.

Popular Web site responds to complaints through CEO blog, YouTube video

Companies can achieve a lot of transparency through proactive effort. No matter how transparent you think you’re being, though, your customers and other stakeholders can always help you find opportunities to do better.

At first blush, the changes seem minor. Gone is the “favorite review,” a feature that was only available to companies that bought advertising on the Yelp site. And you can now link to the reviews that don’t show up on a company’s listing. The reason for these changes goes deeper than simple changes to what you see when you visit Yelp.

Complaints about Yelp have been growing louder and more frequent. For example, nine businesses have joined a lawsuit against Yelp, accusing the company of extortion and fraudulent business practices. The original complaint, filed by a veterinary hospital in Southern California, claimed that Yelp responded to the hospital’s request to remove a negative review from a customer because it violated the company’s guidelines. The review returned, however, while the hospital continued to get ad sales pitches that included offers to hide negative reviews.

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