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Got a Bad Yelp Review? Here's How to Defend Your Business Online. (Infographic) With more people researching before making a purchase, online reviews are important. Here's how to handle the negative ones while encouraging positive ones.

By Laura Entis

entrepreneur daily

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

From retailers to service providers and restaurants, businesses receive a noticeable uptake if they receive positive write-ups on user-generated review sites. On average, a one-star increase on Yelp leads to a 5 to 9 percent increase in a business's revenue, according to an infographic provided by Chatterbox, a company that builds customer-engagement platforms for marketing purposes. On the flip side, one negative review can cost you 30 customers.

Clearly, online reviews are serious business. And they are becoming increasingly important: By 2017, millennials -- a group whose purchasing decisions are disproportionately impacted by customer-reviews -- will have the most spending power of any generation.

Related: Behind the Curtain of Yelp's Powerful Reviews

Unfortunately, it's easy for your business's online reputation to get sullied. Cranky customers, disgruntled employees and even sneaky competitors can barrage your business with nasty social media mentions and online reviews. In fact, a whopping 45 percent of customers share their negative experiences over social media, while 35 percent post them on review sites.

All this online negativity can be very damaging, which is why it's essential you respond to bad reviews in a prompt and appropriate fashion.

For more insight, check out the infographic below to learn not just how to respond to negative reviews but also how to encourage positive ones for your business.

Click to Enlarge+
Got a Bad Yelp Review? Here's How to Defend Your Business Online. (Infographic)

Related: 6 Ways to Harness the Power of Review Sites

Laura Entis is a reporter for Fortune.com's Venture section.

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