A couple short years ago yelp! seemed like a fairly obscure website. Back then, I associated yelp! closely with restaurants. Friends of a certain demographic would almost refuse to eat anywhere unfamiliar without first consulting the yelp! reviews.
Just lately, I’ve noticed that the “yelp! affect” is spreading to other types of service business as well. Any sort of business where the user experience is a major criteria, now seem to be at the mercy of yelp! reviews. I’ve noticed that Hair Salons have fallen victim of “yelpification!” I’m sure plumbers and other contractors will soon be yelpified too.
Many merchants have approached yelp! the way they’ve approached other review sites. They get all their friends together, and ask them to post favorable reviews. There, all done!
“Not so fast,” say the fine folks at yelp! It seems that at the heart of the yelp! platform is a filter that is designed to keep merchants from doing just that. The infamous yelp! filter uses its own criteria to sift through the submitted reviews and pass along for display only those the yelp! filter believes are real legitimate customer reviews from reliable yelp! members.
This is admirable, however there are some wrinkles. It seems to me that the filter assumes that any negative review is legit, and waves it through for display. If you are a service provider, and an occasional customer gets away from you, and they decide to flame you on yelp! you can end up with a big problem on your hands.
As we see it, there is only one way to try to ensure that your business is fairly represented on yelp! and that is to encourage every customer to take a moment and share their experience at your establishment on yelp! If you are successful, any negative experiences will be diluted with all the positive experiences.
What if no one is enjoying the experience you are providing and all your reviews are bad? This happened to one client of mine. He is actually using the yelp! feedback as a guide to improve his operation. In most cases, if you can get every customer to review you on yelp, your rating will improve.
So, how do you get every one of your customers to review you on yelp? I am not sure you will, but you can let each customer know how much you would appreciate it if they did. You can also make it as easy as possible for them to do so.
If you need a hand with this you might call my friends at Shout About Us! They offer a simple and very affordable way to help encourage your customers to rate you on yelp! numerous other popular rating sites.
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