14 Jan Secrets to Yelp Success: Honesty and Communication
Yelp, the online guide and review site, may seem like an annoyance to many businesses. It’s noisy, crowded and how do you know the reviews are real? But Yelp is a necessary evil and if you want to understand and communicate with your customers, you have to embrace it as part of your marketing strategy.
Why You Need to Understand Yelp
Yelp is the Yellow Pages 2.0. It used to be that when you needed to find a business or service you would open your local phone book and go to the Yellow Pages. Businesses spent money on ads that would attract new customers. When you considered your company’s marketing budget, you wanted to set aside some of the funds on advertising in that precious section.
But Yelp isn’t in the hands of business owners; it’s in the hands of the people. The company’s motto “Real people, real reviews” embraces the power the Internet offers consumers. People want to be heard and what better place than on a Website that receives 86 million visitors every month.
And human visitors aren’t the only ones who have helped make Yelp so important. When you ask your IPhone a question about a local hangout, Siri uses Yelp to find the answers. Add that to the mobile searches that visit for information and directions, and you have a website that will help you interact with customers in real time.
What Yelp Can Do for Your Business
When people are researching a company they want to know the real story, not the information on a company website or social media page. They will ask friends and family first, but if no one knows anything about the business people will go to online review sites.
And Yelp can help you increase your sales and bring in new business. Every positive star you receive on the site will add another 7-10% in sales for your business. If your customers give your company a 5 star review you can see additional revenue without increasing your marketing budget!
How Can You Leverage Yelp for Your Business
What can you do make the most of Yelp? Here are some steps to follow:
- Claim Your Business Page: Make sure you claim your business page and complete your business information. This will allow you to interact with your customers on the site.
- Interact with People: Let your customers know that you are on Yelp and encourage them to write a 5 star review. When anyone makes a comment or review on your site make sure that you thank them and tell them you appreciate their business.
- Address Issues: Reviews on Yelp may not always be positive, but you can’t ignore these comments and hope they will go away. Acknowledge the fact that you may have made a mistake and ask the customer for a chance to rectify the problem. You may want to offer them a discount to make up for their bad experience.
- Be Human: No one is perfect. When your store suffers customer service issues and they lead to negative reviews use them as an opportunity to improve your business. Then publicly acknowledge the issues, let the public know how you fixed them, and invite people to visit your new, improved business.
- Make People Feel Special: People like to feel that they are a part of an exclusive group. You can do this by offering exclusive deals and specials for people on Yelp. This will increase new business and repeat customers.
Sites that allow people to review local businesses may seem like a place for companies to avoid. But these sites are where people receive their information so you need to make sure you participate in the conversation. Yelp is the ideal place to find out what people really think about your business and allows you the opportunity to change public opinion for the better.