In honor of our 92nd Annual Convention & Industry Expo that is happening this week, we’d like to share a tip that was originally shared with attendees at last year’s Annual Convention in an education session about marketing.
Are you paying attention to Yelp.com? Do you even know what it is? Yelp.com is a user review and local search website. From their website FAQ’s: “Yelp is the fun and easy way to find, review and talk about what's great — and not so great — in your world.” What does this mean for your business? When customers enjoy or don’t enjoy your products and/or services, they are using yelp.com to share it with the world. Not only do they give a rating but they also write detailed reviews, covering both the good and the bad. And guess what? When a potential customer is considering visiting your store, there is a pretty high chance they are visiting the Yelp website first to see what other people are saying about it.
So what do you do about all of this? We have a few points on how to use this review site to your advantage:
- Jump In -You don’t need to create a listing for your company on this site because as a local business you are probably already on it. To find out, just visit the homepage and type in your business name.
- Read – Once you’ve found your business’s listing, take some time to read the reviews. You’ll find that many of the comments are very candid so don’t be surprised. Be sure to read a variety of reviews, not just all of the good or all of the potential bad reviews.
- Embrace and Consider – The purpose of reading the reviews is not to get puffed up or fired up but to find out what your customers enjoy most about their experience with your business and if there are any parts of the experience that could use improvement. If you encounter negative reviews, don’t overlook them. Take a moment to consider if there is any truth to what has been shared. You may find that there is a place for improvement.
- Respond – Yelp has created a way for business to publicly comment on a review. Take a moment to thank customers for their feedback and address concerns. Everyone likes to be heard. J Because your comment will be public, potential customers who are reading reviews will likely be impressed that you’ve taken the time to respond.
- Repeat – Don’t make your first visit to Yelp be your last. Be sure to check in on a regular basis (i.e. monthly) so that you are continually aware of your customers’ experiences in your store.
Now what are you waiting for? Go find out what people are saying about your company. We hope you find good things and take any not-so-good things into consideration to make your business even better.