Tag Archives: Online Reviews

Under Yelp’s Influence


How Positive Reviews can Boost a Restaurant’s Reputation by 19%

According to a study conducted by the University of California Berkeley, a slight half-star improvement in ratings can pull up a restaurant’s ratings by 19%.

This statement definitely has merit. People on the go looking for new restaurants to dine in search the Internet using their work computers or smartphones. They browse Yelp.com and look for restaurants with at least 3.5 stars. Once they see how many positive ratings your restaurant has, they’ll invite their friends or colleagues out to lunch or for dinner.

The above scenario demonstrates why businesses should take Yelp.com seriously. Entrepreneurs should keep an eye out for negative reviews, as those can pull down the ratings faster than gravity. You should also encourage customers who are delighted with your products and services to post their reviews on the site. This will strengthen customer relationships and bring new people to your restaurant.

How do you spruce up your Yelp.com page?

The first thing you should do is to complete your profile. Include all the relevant details and post pictures of your restaurants to make it immediately recognizable, especially on the local level. A business page complete with all the details is more attractive to look at and generates a positive image even before customers see the reviews. This makes visitors think that this business takes reviews seriously. Good presentation poses good advertising effects for your online marketing efforts.

Addressing comments and complaints is also very important. Pay equal attention to both as these can spell success or failure for your business. Thank customers who made positive reviews and immediately attend to complaints in a diplomatic manner. Doing so will improve your standing in the eyes of your customers. This makes you appear concerned enough to make things right between you and the irate client. Pandering to complaints, however, can backfire. If you don’t think the complaint is reasonable, then you can ignore the comment, especially when it concerns ‘that expensive price on a dish.’ Criticisms about bad service and product defects should be quickly seen to. These can cast a bad light on your business and damage your reputation.

Take your online presence on Yelp seriously. This website gets more or less 78 million unique visitors per quarter.



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Getting the Scoop on Yelp


Managing Your Business Online Presence in One of the Largest Review Sites

Yelp is an online database of business reviews written by customers for other people who might be interested in going to a local store. This website helps people find good places to shop, eat, drink or loosen up after a whole day’s work. Yelp is a site where you can find both nice and unpleasant evaluations of different businesses.

Many people use Yelp – reviewers who want to share their experience, vacationers who want to know more about the place they’ve visited and other people who want to know more about a certain business. This makes it necessary for entrepreneurs to pay more attention to this site which now has more than 20 million reviews on its record. These reviewshave the ability to make or break businesses, depending on what was written.

Businesses need to make their mark on this site immediately. This is because your own business information can appear on Yelp without you knowing it. Third-party data providers gather basic business details and contact numbers from public sources. Search your business name on Yelp to see if it comes up on the site. You may need to correct the facts listed, such as address, phone numbers, and more.

If you want to benefit from the web traffic visiting Yelp every day, coordinate with the site to place ads that make your business visible online to more potential customers. Placing ads are not for free, though, so you need to plan how yto advertise your merchandise on this review site. Other than that, here are some things you need to know about this site:

1.  Yelp’s traffic comes from its home page.

Out of the 78 million people browsing on Yelp, 60% of the site traffic mainly comes from laptops and desktop computers, with smartphone traffic following after. The number of visitors using mobile phones to access Yelp is increasing, though, so entrepreneurs will do well to add their Yelp business information on their mobile campaigns.

2.  Retail stores have the biggest category.

Before September 2011, restaurants are the top search term customers use when they go to Yelp. Now, retail stores and other shopping centers make up the biggest group on the review site. This is because people look for more alternatives in their shopping trips due to the economic downturn that hit the country. Many businesses involved in retail have seen this opportunity and went to Yelp.

3.  Don’t ask customers to post reviews on Yelp.

According to Darnell Holloway, Yelp’s Local Business Outreach manager, businesses should not solicit reviews from their customers. This is because Yelp wants to focus on raising awareness rather than making businesses compete with each other with the number of reviews they have on their respective pages.This also runs the risk of making customers feel like promotional prizes that must be touted for everyone visiting Yelp.

4.  Earn Your ‘People Love Us on Yelp’ Stickers.

Companies with consistent high ratings get free ‘People Love Us on Yelp’ as proof of their perfect online reputation. Once a business earns this ‘badge of honor, customers familiar with Yelp will trust this business more and visit more frequently.

5.  You can ask reviews to be posted on Yelp through subtle ways.

Yelp recommends that entrepreneurs to add the URL of their Yelp business page onemail signatures and business cards to let customers they’re on the review site. This is a more understated way to request a customer to look at your Yelp page and write a review.

6.  Yelp used to pay for reviews.

When Yelp was just starting, they paid for reviews outside the San Francisco area to get more people to visit their site and pull up their search engine rankings. This strategy was abandoned, however, when Yelp started to grow and became more popular.

7.  Customer service has the greatest pull.

When people grade a business, they put more value on customer service than the quality of the merchandise they bought. This proves that engagement and service levelsare more important in terms of building good relationships with customers. Put more attention to the way you conduct customer service to make people more aware of your good qualities.This can persuade them to come back.

8.  For every star you earn, there’s a 5-9% increase in profit.People naturally want to go to stores, boutiques and other commercial establishments with high ratings. When your 3 1/2 star rating becomes 4 or 4 1/2, more customers will patronize your store. If they’re satisfied with your overall service, they’ll become part of your regular client base.

9.  Yelp is inclined to invite reviews for independent businesses rather than chains.

Independent businesses get more reviews than chains because their service tends to become more or less uniform. This is because chain businesses have an overall management committee who keeps tabs on the way things are run on each branch. Independent businesses, on the other hand, have varying reviews because they are managed by different people with different approaches to how they run a business.

10.  Entrepreneurs can approach Yelp about ‘inappropriate’ reviews.

When businesses receive malicious reviews, business owners can contact Yelp and dispute over the review. Entrepreneurs can communicate with the reviewers, if necessary.

11.  Yelp advises businesses not to sue over bad reviews.

Negative reviews, especially fake ones, can make tempers boil until the entrepreneur is forced to file a lawsuit against a reviewer. Before starting legal action, Yelp advises to let cooler heads prevail because undue attention will be given to the review in question. This will make customers stay away from your store more and bring your revenues down.

Businesses can earn more revenue with Yelp if there are more positive reviews than negative ones. What you can do to yieldpositive reviews is to continue providing reliable service and fine products for your customers.




Yelp FAQ

Compliments, Comments and Complaints

How online reviews, whether good or bad, make customers sit up and notice

Customers use reviews to help them find a business where they can find good-quality merchandise and fine service. They scour review sites like Yelp! and Angie’s List for establishments with many positive reviews. Once they find one with a long list of accolades, they go to that store to spare themselves from going to another shop and finding dissatisfactory service. People generally trust the word of other customers who visit your shop. The things said about your service will validate whether the claims you made (e.g. devotion to customer satisfaction) are actually true.

If you don’t have online reviews on independent assessment sites, customers might pass you over. People prefer tried-and-tested shops they could visit for the first time and find what they need. They think that they might be discontented if they dropped in a store that doesn’t offer any customer ratings on previous transactions. One way to prevent this from happening is to ask satisfied customers to write an online review for you. Once good reviews pile up, more new clients will come in to check out your products and services. This will expand your customer base and help you be more popular in the community.

Good reviews also have a way to increase your web presence. The higher the number of satisfied comments, the better your search engine ranking is. More and more clients will visit your website and enhance your social media campaigns. Strive to improve your online reputation now. This will largely help you in increasing your sales.

According to the infographic made by Demandforce.com, customers regard reliability as the most important characteristic. A reliable business provides more good value on products and services while expertise and professionalism follow behind.  Good value means a balance between the superiority of your merchandise and its price. Is the cost reasonable and affordable? Other than that, you have to be knowledgeable and skilled in your industry to gain more customers. Professionalism is also important because if the people you deal with find you rude, plenty of bad reviews will appear under your name and location.

Bad reviews do not necessarily spell trouble for your online presence, as long as they are weighed down by a large number of good ones. They might be treated as isolated incidents that do not have bearing on the actual state of your products and services. Also, the way you approach negative feedback is very important. Reacting rudely will turn off your potential customers. Not reply at all is also be detrimental as the bad reviews may increase and drag down your online reputation. The best way to handle this problem is to reply back in a diplomatic manner, with the aim of appeasing dissatisfaction.

Why do customers write reviews anyway? Why do they post their reactions on the web? Here are the reasons:

One underlying reason customers love to create reviews is to tell other people about what they think of the service they got from the company. Not everyone is driven by getting freebies or special treatment. They write reviews because of an altruistic aspiration “to help other consumers make good decisions.” As long as the reviews are trustworthy and well-written, the general public will believe them. This is why it is important you read through all the comments to weed out reviews that may seem like spam, which are mainly comments made to discredit your business.



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