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How to Get the Most Value from Yelp and More

Leslie Ramey,

12 July 2017

You’ve probably heard how many restaurants, stores, and other businesses get discovered because of Yelp. Positive reviews are king when it comes to getting new customers into your brick-and-mortar locations. The companies that see the best results don’t just sit back and hope for great reviews. They take their Yelp profiles into their own hands.

Claim And Complete Your Profiles

The first step in harnessing the power of review sites is taking charge of your profiles. To ensure the review service has a more complete directory, it will often create profiles any business input. These automatic listings don’t always contain your latest business hours, a menu, or an accurate description. Claim your listing and use this exposure-ripe internet real estate to your advantage by telling your own story.

Add Photos. Lots Of Them

Users may add photos of their plates before they dig in or selfies from a corner table, but these often don’t show your best side. Professional images that show users your ambiance, storefront, products, and displays are much better.

Encourage Reviews

Do you get praise from customers in your store? It feels great to know you’re doing a good job, but this one-on-one conversation may not be helping your marketing efforts. Post signs around your business encouraging customers to write you five-star reviews. Consider offering discounts in exchange for checking in at your location and let grateful customers know that the best way to thank you is by sharing their praise in a review. Be sure to read the rules of the review site you want to gain reviews for. Some limit how you can approach your customers for these reviews

The Number One Mistake Businesses Make On Review Sites

Many businesses check off the steps above to encourage more reviews, but fail to do the single most important thing: respond to them. According to TripAdvisor, managers who respond to as few as 1 percent of reviews tend to get more engagement on these platforms.

Review sites are a social space designed to share insights and start conversations about businesses. So by all means, join in the conversation!

how to respond to negative reviewsIf you get a glowing review, show your appreciation by telling that reviewer how much you enjoyed serving them and invite them back again.

There are many ways to handle negative reviews. The reviewer, like the customer, isn’t always right, but it’s important that you do your best to show the community you are dedicated to improving in any way you can. If there’s credence to the review, thank them for bringing the issue to your attention, assure them it will be remedied, and do what makes sense to make amends. Many businesses offer refunds or discounts to bring the reviewer back in to see you’ve turned over a new leaf.

Negative public reviews are all part of doing business in the digital age. After all, your products and services aren’t right for everyone. It’s important to not let them get to you – but also not to let them go unacknowledged.

If the review is baseless, rude, or abusive, take a note from Austin Mayor Steve Adler and respond with poise, grace, and calm.

*Bonus tip for responding to reviews: don’t copy and paste the same response for every review. This comes off as lazy and insincere. The time it takes to copy and paste is the same it takes to pull out a word or two from the review and add it to your response.

Don’t Let Fear Hold You Back

The most common concern we hear from businesses is that they are afraid to engage with Yelp and other review sites because bad reviews hurt their business. And in part they are right, bad reviews do hurt your company. Ignoring reviews do not make them go away. Just because you aren’t reading or responding doesn’t stop frustrated customers from airing their grievances. By you not responding, you appear to be indifferent, which is a turn off for many people. Be bold, be brave, and read and respond to your reviews. Even if you know for a fact the review is false, writing a carefully worded response that acknowledge the complaint and lays out a course of action you are going to take to remedy the situation will instill confidence in new potential customers. Remember, they don’t know the bad review is fake, all they know is how you respond.

Want to launch a Yelp, Trip Advisor, or other review service campaign? cThru Media can help. Contact us today to find out how!

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