When it comes to using reviews, 72% of consumers say they trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations, so don’t let your business’s online reputation go unmonitored.
Yelp, the most popular online review site with an average of 120 million unique users every day, deserves special attention. According to a study by UC Berkeley economists, a Yelp rating that moves from 3 stars to 3.5 stars increases a business’s patronage from 13% to 34%. How can you make the most out of your Yelp listing?
Claim your page
If you haven’t already, go on Yelp and claim your business listing, which can often be created by a reviewer. Include images that best reflect your company, as well as menus, hours of operation, your website URL, contact information and any other information viewers would find useful.
Repurpose Positive Reviews
A recent study shows that 90% of consumers say positive reviews impact their purchasing decisions, while only 14% trust advertisements. Use reviews to your company’s benefit by encouraging customers to post their positive experiences on Yelp. Put those reviews to greater use by posting them on your website.
While it may be tempting to give customers gift certificates to thank them, be careful. It may be perceived as a bribe. Thank them for their review and let them know you’re glad they had a positive experience.
Respond to Negative Reviews
Negative reviews are opportunities in disguise. While your first reaction to customer rants may be to set your keyboard to all caps, don’t. It’s important to remember that you’re addressing paying customers and that potential patrons are observing how you handle unhappy customers.
It’s always a good idea to publicly apologize for a bad experience and contact them privately to resolve the issue. Keep in mind that private messages can easily be shared, so keep your responses professional. Also, Yelp users are able to revise their reviews. Give them a reason to do so.
With a growing percentage of the population turning to Yelp to hear what others are saying about businesses, it’s a great way to interact with existing patrons and reach out to new potential customers.
Remember, Yelp is essentially a customer service forum where every review is an opportunity for your business to repost comments and resolve issues. Be professional and watch your ratings increase.
For more tips on how to market your business, visit our resources section.