Let’s be honest… sometimes Yelp seems like the worst invention ever. Even the best businesses experience Yelp challenges, but there are ways to use it to your advantage. According to AdWeek, a one-star increase on Yelp leads to a 5%-9% increase in revenue, and 24% of potential customers change their mind about a purchase after seeing just two negative reviews. Here are four things to remember to help make the most out of your business’ Yelp presence.
1. Fill in the Blanks
Step 1 is to claim your Yelp page, which gives you power to edit and add information about your business. Make sure your Yelp page is as complete as possible. Your business hours and phone number are crucial. People will be frustrated if they don’t see these (or if they’re incorrect). You should also opt in to be notified whenever you get a new review.
2. Cheaters Never Prosper
Trying to “cheat the system” with fake reviews isn’t worth it. Businesses have tried to pay people to leave reviews, or have created several online “personas” so that they can leave multiple great reviews for their business. Yelp will most likely pick up on abnormal activity and your business will ultimately suffer. Focus instead on providing a great product or service and the good reviews will follow.
3. Respond Carefully and Considerately
Let’s say a review comes through that makes you cringe. IT’S OKAY. Studies show that a few bad reviews aren’t a bad thing, and that people expect to see some bad reviews in the mix. Show that you care about customer feedback by leaving a public comment, but be careful and be brief. If someone has made false claims about your business, you can politely correct them, but avoid sounding defensive. Your tone should be apologetic and sincere. End your response with a request for the reviewer to contact you via private message with details, which will remove further communication out of the public eye. Here’s a good example of a negative restaurant review and an appropriate response:
REVIEW: Service was decent, we waited roughly five to ten minutes for seating. The wait for our food felt really long and some of the food just didn’t taste right, under seasoned or dry. Atmosphere was nice but food was not.
RESPONSE: Thank you for letting us know about your experience. We’re glad you like our atmosphere, but we want your food experience to match! We’d appreciate knowing more details. Can you elaborate on what dishes you had? You can email me at (email). I look forward to hearing from you.
Responding to every review is not necessary. Respond to those who give you 1 or 2 star reviews. Three and 4 star reviews are neutral/good and don’t need much attention. If you have the time and resources, find a way to thank those who leave 5 star reviews to show them that their positive feedback is appreciated.
4. This Feedback is Free!
Sometimes we get so caught up in responding to reviews and venting about complaints that we forget to consider what our customers are saying. In the pre-Yelp era, companies would pay a lot of money for some of the feedback they now get for free. While reading poor reviews can be frustrating, use the insight to make your business better. Most people who leave negative reviews are just being honest in how they felt about their experience.
5. BONUS TIP: Get Creative With Your Negative Reviews
We have the utmost respect for these businesses that capitalized on their less-than-stellar ratings. Check it out: http://bit.ly/1pAwsTD
What additional questions do you have about Yelp? Let us know in the comments below!