As a business owner, are you paying attention to Yelp? It might be paying attention to you.
Yelp is a consumer driven business review site. Consumers can go on to the site to write a review and rank a business. Companies will be on Yelp either by virtue of a consumer adding them or because they were added by Yelp. While restaurants are often what people will look up on Yelp, it covers all business models.
The first thing that you need to do with Yelp is take ownership of your business listing. When you go to your listing on Yelp, you will see a section where you can click to tell Yelp it is your business. When you do this, you can fill in information about your business, including posting pictures, your web site and your logo. Also by claiming your business, you can respond to consumers.
It is important to note that people understand that some people take delight in writing poor reviews for various reasons. Most people who use Yelp will read through all reviews and try to cull out any that appear to be from people who look for things to complain about.
In responding to customers, the important thing to remember is that your response will be seen by everyone who looks at your business on Yelp. Snarky responses are not acceptable because you will never win in the court of public opinion that way. Responses to negative reviews need to show that you care that there was a problem and that you don’t want this problem to continue in the future.
Let’s say that you get a complaint you feel it was undeserved. Once again you want to respond in such a manner that indicates your concern. “We appreciate the feedback from you and are very concerned. Please call our office so to give us more information so that this can be prevented in the future.” Chances are, you will not hear from this person. I would give it a week or so and then put up another response – “We have not heard back from you regarding this matter. Your feedback is important to us. “Anyone looking at the review will see that you tried to rectify the issue and most importantly – that you are responsive to customers.
You also need to thank good reviewers for their thoughtfulness in putting up a positive review. That will also show that you are paying attention and care about your customers. You can respond to a positive review with something like “Thanks for the review. We are glad that you were pleased with us! “
There are two ways of looking at how fast you want to respond to Yelp comments. I have heard that the consumer expects a response fairly quickly. I have also heard that you might want to give the review a week or two before responding so that the consumer can make modifications to the review. My opinion would be to respond as soon as possible.
It will be interesting to see what the future brings for Yelp. Google is now taking aim at that market. Google has started a program in San Francisco that will not only show sponsored results when you look for a service provider, but Google will then be “prescreening” providers to provide direct competition to Yelp, Angie’s LIst and Task Rabbit. (For more information)
Have a great week!