Yelp - People Love Us on Yelp

Do people love your business on Yelp?

If you own a brick-and-mortar business you’re probably familiar with the online review site Yelp.  If you haven’t heard of it, Yelp is a website that allows your customers to post reviews/feedback about businesses with the goal to inform potential customers about what to expect.  Yelp was initially launched in San Francisco as way for people to review restaurants.  As popularity of the online site grew, it was eventually rolled out across the country.  While restaurants still seem to be one of the most popular categories, Yelp now covers every genre of business.  Yelp can greatly impact your business in either a positive or negative way.  Today we will be looking at nuances of Yelp and how you can leverage this free tool to help grow your business.

Embrace Yelp – It’s Really Your Only Choice:

As with many social media sites, the conversation about your business may be happening whether you started it or not.  Yelp allows your customers to create business listings and post reviews for businesses that aren’t listed.  So whether you’ve been on Yelp before or not, your business may already have a listing.  We would suggest your visit Yelp and search for your business.  If you see there is a listing, you will see “Work Here? Unlock This Business Page”.  By completing this, you will claim your business and update your information, respond to reviews and be notified via email when new reviews are posted.

Another reason to embrace Yelp is that in many occasions the Yelp listing for your business may rank as the number 1, 2 or 3 in organic search results.  That means when someone searches online for your business, there is a good chance they will see your Yelp listing.  They’re sure to click on the listing and see what people have to say about your business.

The Good:

We’ve all heard the old adage:

For each customer that has a bad experience on average they will tell 10 people about it, but someone who has a good experience it’s likely they’ll only tell 3 people.

With the advent of social media, when someone has a positive experience and they share on a site  like Yelp – that review may be seen by hundreds or even thousands of people.  With that said, you will get a lot of mileage out of a positive review.

Yelp is a great way to connect to your customers and receive feedback about your business.  Large corporations pay big bucks for this type of customer feedback.  Use the information you glean to learn what is working and not working with your business.

The Bad:

By far the two most common complaints we hear about Yelp from businesses is: 1) missing reviews and 2) negative/false reviews.  Let’s discuss those…

Missing reviews – Yelp attempts to keep businesses honest by filtering reviews that are posted.  An example of this might be a company that has never received a review and all of the sudden gets 10 reviews or reviews that come from people that have never reviewed a business before.  Yelp’s filtering system will see that as suspicious activity and will automatically filter those reviews.  These can still be viewed by clicking on the “Filtered Reviews” at the bottom of your listing.  This can be very frustrating for businesses that have real reviews that are being filtered.  Unfortunately, there isn’t anything that can be done about these.  We’ve seen in the past that sometimes these reviews will become unfiltered if the user reviews other businesses.

Negative/false reviews – receiving a negative review about your business can be disheartening, but rather than looking at as a negative, look at it as an opportunity to improve your business.  We tell clients that this is the perfect opportunity to reach out to your customer and address their concern(s).  This may be a customer that has written of your business and you may have the opportunity to invite them back.  The other important thing to keep in mind is other customer’s will be watching how you handle these concerns.  It is very powerful to see a business that accepts constructive feedback and attempts to right wrongs.  Every business can handle positive reviews, but businesses that handle negative feedback and learn from it are the properly run businesses.

What You Should Do:

  • Search Yelp to see if your business has a Yelp listing – if it does, claim your business
  • If your business isn’t listed on Yelp, create a listing
  • Once your business is on Yelp, complete your profile (address, phone number, hours, add pictures, etc)
  • Make sure you select to be notified via email when someone reviews your business
  • Let customers know that you have a Yelp page and encourage them to visit
  • If you have negative reviews, attempt to resolve them in a transparent way (show concern, contact the reviewer to see how you can right the wrong)
  •  If you have a positive review, thank the reviewer – recognize your staff for a job well done
  • Create a check-in offer – its a free way of advertising your business and offering a coupon

What You Shouldn’t Do:

  • Ignore Yelp – customers are talking about your business online, learn to embrace it
  • Ignore negative reviews – the customer is always right – other customers will be watching/reading how you handle customer concerns
  • Pay customers to review your business
  • Get discouraged when Yelp hides reviews – Yelp does this time to time, while it can be frustrating – it the nature of the beast

Does your business need help with Yelp?  We have extensive experience with setting up and managing Yelp pages.  Contact us today to learn more.

About the author

Rick is a technology and business-savvy, results-oriented leader with 12 years of experience with proven success in managing $1.5M Marketing budget in a challenging, fast paced direct response environment. He founded Risen Creative in 2008 with the goal of helping small to medium businesses grow their businesses.

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