Customer reviews are becoming a strong marketing catch point for any business with the consumers getting more savvy and researching businesses online before conducting business. Reviews are used as a strong signal by Internet prospects who have no way of judging the credibility of your business before meeting you physically or knowing anything about your business. According to a survey, an average 7/10 customer either checkout business reviews or ask for references before doing business with you.
One of the most successful website on the internet which helps business gather valuable customer feedback is Yelp. Yelp is a local directory site which lists down local business. The website also allows businesses to explain their business briefly, add pictures, phone number, address etc. A significant feature of Yelp is that it allows visitors to review the business online and provide a rating. And all these are free features! You do not spend a penny to list on Yelp and have your customers post reviews.
As Yelp is a very popular listing site, any feedback would be visible to more than 60 million consumers who visit the site every month. The reviews and comments posted by customers on Yelp are considered to be more truthful, unbiased, as these are provided honestly, without any encouragement provided by the company. Hence, a positive customer feedback could help win the business many new potential customers. Besides user reviews posted on sites like Yelp.com increase the probability that search engines would find your business on the internet.
A few businesses shy away from a listing because they are concerned that in case they get a negative feedback or poor rating, this would deteriorate their business prospects. But the other way to look at it is the feedback that they gather can be productively utilized for improving products or services so as to get more satisfied customers in the future. Though dealing with an annoyed customer may not be easy, it would be helpful if the business owner can try and manage an irate customer’s concerns so as to transform them into a happy customer.
Also if you can have your customers post reviews on Yelp, there is a good chance that you may rank higher on Google search results. Though there is no direct relationship between Yelp reviews and Google search rankings, Google does consider Yelp as an authentic website and does weigh the reviews posted on Yelp as one of the ranking signals.
By Abhi Patel