Every local business should be on Yelp to monitor public feedback about their products and services, but surprisingly just 1,000,000 or so businesses listed on the site have actually claimed their business’ page on the social review platform. While you may have a strong social media presence elsewhere, your brand could be sorely missing out on opportunities to win back disgruntled customers and demonstrate a superior level of virtual customer service that will entice new customers to pay you a visit. If you’re not actively marketing on Yelp or you don’t check your business’ Yelp page on a regular basis, here are some marketing mistakes you might be making:
A vast majority of business pages on Yelp are unclaimed, which signals to Yelp users that you’re not paying attention to what customers think about your business. This usually means that both happy and angry customers know they’re leaving reviews for other customers’ benefit, rather than expecting a response from you. While there’s no downside to happy customers simply reporting a good experience with your business, upset customers publicly posting about their bad experiences can damage your brand’s reputation if you aren’t able to respond to them (which you can only do if you prove you own the business and claim it).
Additionally, you could be missing out on a useful communication channel for inquiries about your businesses if Yelp users aren’t able to message you questions, comments, reservation requests, and other concerns, so get started right away and claim your page!
Why leave customers to wonder if you accept credit or debit cards? Or if you are child/dog friendly? There are so many details about a business beyond location, phone number, and business hours that Yelp users want to know before deciding whether to buy something from you. It might seem trivial, but leaving most of these potential questions unanswered could have serious consequences, such as driving away would-be customers who found your competitor’s highly detailed Yelp page more enticing.
If you’ve ever watched the Kitchen Nightmares episode about Amy’s Baking Company, then you have some idea of how not to treat customers who are less than thrilled about the item or service your business sold them. For those unfamiliar with the baking company, it gained nationwide attention after the restaurant owners used threats and profanity to respond to negative Yelp reviews on their social media pages (Google the company for screenshots). This scenario is the perfect example of how not to treat customers who post negative reviews on Yelp. Instead of fighting fire with fire on Yelp, respond in a positive manner and ask the upset customer to privately message you to see how you might be able to resolve their problem.
If you’ve ever used Yelp on the customer side of business, then you might have noticed that some pages have special offers and discounts you can unlock by checking in at their location. These typically range from a small free item (such as an appetizer at a restaurant) to a percentage discount off your purchase. Incentivizing customers to visit your establishment with these Yelp-specific deals can give you access to a much bigger base of potential paying customers than if you rely solely on local print advertising or verbal word-of-mouth referrals.
Finally, don’t forget to have a sign somewhere in your business (and website!) that encourages satisfied customers to leave reviews for your company on Yelp! Even this simple call-to-action could make a difference for your reviews count, and more Yelp reviews suggests greater popularity for a business, so you could score new customers through this valuable method of social proof as well.