Top Tips to Manage Negative Reviews from Yelp Expert Darnell Holloway

The possibility of a negative review makes many owners of summer camps and kids’ classes feel nervous about online reviews. Yelp expert Darnell Holloway gives advice on how to use reviews to grow your business.

By ActivityHero Team



Online reviews and parent testimonials are an important part of the decision process to enroll a child at a summer camp or kids’ class. ActivityHero’s CEO Peggy Chang recently interviewed Darnell Holloway, Director of Business Outreach at Yelp, for advice on how to use reviews effectively and to manage your public presence.

Holloway is often referred to as the “Yelp Coach” and has helped countless businesses navigate the world of online reviews since 2009. In the podcast, Holloway gives advice on situations such as:

  • How to respond to negative online reviews
  • Ways to encourage your customers to write reviews (without asking them)
  • How to manage customer expectations such as cancellation policies

Listen Now

Use Reviews Effectively

Holloway shares an effective approach to customer service that keeps customers coming back:

  1. Have a 5-star state of mind, but you don’t have to have a perfect 5-star rating. A Northwestern University study found that people will be skeptical if all reviews are 5-stars.
  2. Responding to negative reviews needs to be a priority. Yelp studies have shown that if you respond within 24 hours and have a diplomatic and customer service oriented response, you have a 33% better chance of getting a better rating.
  3. Respond to positive reviews too – it shows that you are listening and deepens your relationship with happy customers.

Listen Now

Manage Your Public Presence

Most camps and kids’ activities have a Yelp profile page, even if they did not create it themselves. As Holloway explains in the podcast, businesses can claim their Yelp page for free and should make sure their business is categorized correctly as a summer camp or a certain activity type. He also gives tips for how to manage a Yelp profile if a business doesn’t have a permanent location.

Whether you have reviews on Yelp, ActivityHero, Google, Facebook or other online channels, these tips can help you manage your public presence and make online reviews a marketing asset. According to a recent BrightLocal survey, consumers read an average of 7 reviews before trusting a business. Reviews on ActivityHero will also give businesses a better chance at winning one of ActivityHero’s Business Grants worth $10,000.

For more suggestions, check out the blog post Five Ways to Get More Reviews for Your Business with the ActivityHero Grant Contest.