Don’t Yelp yourself in the foot!

February 11, 2017 by Randy Lehrman

With so many social media sites, and with so many sites dedicated to reviews in general, like Yelp, you can never be sure where your reviews are coming from.  In the last 5 years we’ve seen a huge uptick in sites dedicated to reviews for weddings and parties as well.  With WeddingWire & Yelp topping my list of where my reviews come from I wanted share a quick thought on negative reviews.

Sadly for DJ companies and businesses alike, anyone can come along and “try” to ruin your reputation online.  There have even been other DJs who create fake accounts to write bad reviews on other DJ’s Yelps.  What is this world coming to???  In any event, whether you have a real or fake review written about you, there are a few things you can do to A. Minimize damage B. Come out looking like the good guy.

Luckily, I have a great Yelp.  Of 47 reviews, I have only one ‘2 star review.’  (All the rest are 5 stars.)  My first instinct, of course would be to blast back because the woman’s claims are outrageous; giving us 2 stars because we didn’t play 2 of the songs she requested.  Instead of blasting back, the first thing I did was to call all of the vendors, venue, and my crew to get a full report on the event.  As I was not on the event personally I wanted to make sure my response was full of facts (not #alternativeFacts) .  After getting the story that the party went great, the mom was a control freak, and the whole crew was tipped by the client, I realized there was something else to this.  I decided to call the client to thank them for using us and ask why we got such a poor review after being tipped and seeing all the great pictures.  The woman who wrote the review (the mother) would not speak to me–the father however asked that I give them back $2600 back (1/2 of their total package which included DJ, dancers, Lighting, PhotoBooth, etc.)  for not playing those two songs and he would remove the review.  This folks, is what we call blackmail.  If you can prove that to Yelp in writing this constitutes a Terms of Service violation which would remove the Yelp immediately.  As this was on the phone, all I could do is get off the phone and write my reply.

Now, I trust all 30 of my staff.  I don’t think Rock Lobster is a top Bar-Mitzvah choice, but I want to explain to the client and more so to the public my side of the story without yelling, getting mean, throwing stones, or anything offensive.  I wanted to let people know I’m flexible to play their music choices, but to trust our DJs to play the right music at the right time.  With blackmail in mind, knowing I won’t cave to such pressure, I replied to her Yelp and the very first thing was to thank her for her feedback.  I wrote, almost an appreciation letter about how great the party was.  I also explained in the Yelp reply what songs we did not play which were “Rock Lobster” & “Work Out.”  Now for me, I would generally never play those songs at the party and allowed the public to “agree with me”  why would you play Rock Lobster for 13 year olds?  I thanked her for tipping my crew, I commented on how I saw 600 amazing photos which the photographer shared with me, the banquet manager saying we were fabulous and how the daughter had even been complimenting us on social media about how amazing her day was.

At the end of the day, some Yelp readers have seen that one bad one and comment to me that it stood out and commented  how I was “professional” and she was “crazy.”  Defend yourself by showing how hard you worked at the party.  Explain to the public why this review could be in question, and always thank them for their feedback.

That one bad review with a great reply can still be 5 stars in my book.

Randy Lehrman Randy Lehrman (13 Posts)

Randy Lehrman is celebrating his 25th year in the Mobile DJ business. As a Bar-Mitzvah & Wedding specialist, Randy and his award winning staff at Real Genius Entertainment bring a cutting edge and and a level of creativity to the party world in a high paced and competitive LA market. With progressive timeline management and boundless energy, Randy and his crew bring something unique to every party.

Filed Under: Mobile DJ Business