Review websites such as Yelp have made a dramatic impact on businesses all over the world. They have quickly revolutionized the way customers research businesses, and impact their ultimate decision on going there. A lousy Yelp review could mean you’re missing out on potential customers.
Research done at Harvard suggests that Yelp has nearly 100 million reviews for a wide range of businesses, and it has an average of 150 million visits each month. That’s a lot of traffic when you’re considering that the people visiting are there to read reviews on businesses, yours included. Understanding how to develop, strengthen, and keep your Yelp presence could be vital for your business. You can use these tips to help further along the process.
Provide Quality Products and Services
First and foremost, your business isn’t going to get anywhere with consumers if what you’re offering isn’t of sound quality. It might seem like an obvious point to you, but it’s one that should be repeated, and never forgotten. There are many things that a customer looks at when they go to a restaurant or a store, and knowing what those essential elements are could help you get a positive review.
- Excellent food and/or products offered
- Helpful and attentive staff
- Good value
On the opposite side, high-rated businesses might find themselves tempted to start cutting corners. It’s easy to think that once you’ve got a strong Yelp review, it’s not going to flounder. However, all it takes is a couple of bad reviews to tarnish the reputation of your business permanently. If you already have a high rating, ensure that you’re not becoming cocky or complacent. That is going to keep you humble, and motivated to continue providing your consumers with the best service and products that you can.
Put Work into Your Yelp Profile
Ensuring that you have a Yelp profile created is essential to your success. Your customers are going to be able to use that profile to interact with you, and this doesn’t have to be an added expense to your already tight budget. When looking into Yelp, it offers a “Free Tools” section that provides companies help with setting up their profile. You can also consider the free app for business owners so you can monitor the interaction on the page, look at business analytics, and respond to questions and comments regardless of where you are.
Reminding your customers to leave Yelp reviews shows them that you genuinely care about what they think of their experience. You can look at it like this: would you rather have a 4-star rating with 20 reviews or a 4-star rating with 200 reviews? Mainly, it’s all about the numbers. However, it’s crucial that you remember that bribing or buying reviews is illegal, and could result in the total removal of your profile.
Interact with Your Customers
Your customers are always going to want to feel like they’re heard. If you receive a positive review on your Yelp profile, make sure that you’re responding. You can simply thank them for their business, and for taking the time to submit a review. There may also be times where the criticism that’s left is negative. In a case such as this, don’t take it to heart. Always thank the customer for their feedback, and consider asking them what you could do to ensure a pleasant visit next time. When you keep an open board for discussion, you’re letting your patrons know that you care about what they have to say, even if it’s negative.
Utilize Yelp Features
As a business owner, you can find a handful of Yelp’s features extremely beneficial for your company. When you have a profile, you can offer potential customers something that is called a Yelp Deal. These are vouchers that are prepaid and provide your customers discounts where they otherwise wouldn’t receive it. Ensure that you read up on the total costs and how the program works. Like anything else, there is a fee for their advertising.
Yelp Reservations is another feature that Yelp offers to business owners. It lets customers make reservations directly from the company’s profile page. It is a free service and can be set up through your Business Owner’s Account. The feature also comes inclusive of customer reminders and allows them the ability to modify or cancel their reservations.
Millions of people all over the world have access to each online review that a business has received. When you have good reviews, you’re more likely to gain more customers while the businesses with negative reviews tend to repel them. By working hard to ensure you have a positive rating on your online review profiles, you’re building not just a good online image, but a solid image for your business, too. Your customers can make or break your business. Make sure they’re happy and make sure you’re listening to what they have to say.
Does your business have a Yelp profile? What do you think about online review sites?