Yelp isn’t just for customers

I love Yelp. I’ve used it to decide where to eat out and which dentist to choose from the insanely long (and mostly useless) list of approved providers. I’ve posted over 20 reviews, which actually seems like a paltry contribution to the Yelp community compared to how much I get out of it.

The benefit to customers is obvious, but it seems as though not enough businesses see the value. I’m surprised by how many businesses with reviews haven’t laid claim to their page. This means that they have no access to the backend tools, so they can’t modify the page, add information, or respond to customer feedback. This is a shame.

I manage the Yelp page for Math ‘n’ Stuff, my parents’ store in Seattle. Honestly, I haven’t done a lot with it. Still, it had 33 page views last week plus 3 views via Yelp’s mobile apps. For a small mom-and-pop shop, that is a lot of potential customers. The store currently has 23 reviews, not including 3 filtered ones (a smart feature, by the way). Kudos to my parents and their employees for an average rating of 4.5 stars!

Some of the businesses who have not laid claim to their Yelp pages have great reviews. However, some of them don’t … and are missing out on the opportunity to improve their businesses based on this VOC, unsolicited feedback system.

New restaurants, in particular, ought to monitor their Yelp page closely. It’s such a difficult business and a few negative reviews can turn off customers who check Yelp, but the basis of those negative reviews are bad experiences of actual customers. As a new restaurant, you can’t afford to serve up bad CX.

Here is a specific example of how businesses can use Yelp:

I rave about the woman who cuts my hair, so much so that my mom decided to make an appointment when she was in town visiting me. My stylist did a fabulous job on my mom’s hair, too, but wasn’t available to do highlights. Enter unknown stylist. I’ll spare you the details, but my mom hated the result (I concurred). I posted a 1-star review on Yelp – an update the 5-star one I’d posted earlier – with a detailed explanation of why she was unhappy.

The owner of the salon wrote back within a few days, apologizing for the bad experience. He said that he does monthly in-salon training classes and that:

I will focus our next class on how to conduct a thorough client consultation so that we may avoid this situation in the future.  Thank you for bringing this to my attention, we look forward to seeing you back in the salon soon.

He is also giving my mom a full refund and emphasized how important it is that his clients are ecstatic about the service they receive at his salon. I called and related this to my mom and she and I are both thrilled with his attentiveness and commitment to exceptional CX. If you’re in Austin, check out L7 Salon.

And if you have a business with Yelp reviews, by all means, claim that page and soak up the customer feedback!

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