Use Yelp to Improve Your Business

Jan 2014
stars, pancakes, breakfast
Photo: @gaabcia

With just a click of the mouse (or a tap on the iPhone), people can scavenge a list of local businesses on their hunt to eat or shop and poof – just like that – their decision is made based on Yelp reviews and ratings. Although Yelp isn’t a social media platform for every business, it is a great way to build a positive online reputation – which is often a customer’s first impression. Restaurants, salons, bakeries and more can all benefit from Yelp. Once you have a business Yelp profile, here are some ways to bring in new customers, and to keep your current customers.

Recognize the Value of Positive Reviews

Positive reviews add a tremendous amount of social proof for your business, not to mention increase your overall star rating. (Which is very important.) However, customer reviews can be used outside of Yelp as well. You can choose a few of your favorite positive reviews and showcase them on your website as testimonials. Make sure to credit the person(s) who wrote the review. This will reinforce your businesses’ credibility when people visit your website.

Respond to Every Review

Whether it is a positive of negative review, create a protocol with a proper response for each and always respond. You can do this publically or privately – it is up to you – though you want to be sure that regardless of how you respond, that you do so respectfully, calmly and in a timely manner. Believe it or not, negative reviews present a valuable opportunity for your business as well. A negative review can give your business the chance to address an issue that may need immediate attention. Responding to such reviews shows customers that you care what they have to say and about their experience with your business.

The bottom line is, your ability to be accountable for your actions as a business will do a lot to set you apart from your competition. Customers that are dissatisfied with their experience will notice your attempt to address their issues in a professional and timely manner. Sometimes, after their issue is attended to, they will write an updated review on how their problem was addressed.

With more than 100 million registered users and over 47 million reviews posted on the site so far, it’s fair to say Yelp is the dominant force when it comes to social review sites. And, it is a great way to improve your businesses’ customer service skills.

Has your business set up a profile on Yelp yet?

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