Since it developed its reputation and following for its restaurant reviews, many people assume that Yelp strictly deals with restaurants. While it’s true that the majority of the reviews on the wildly popular site involve local eateries, the fact is that retail establishments of all kinds appear on the site. If you own a retail business, it may already be listed on Yelp; if it is not, you should try to make it happen pretty soon. Don’t let the risk of negative reviews scare you away, either – Yelp is a great way to bolster your existing marketing campaign.
It is an unfortunate fact that most people will only go out of their way to leave a review when they are disgruntled. Assuming that you run your business in a respectable and customer-focused way, then, you may be hard up for reviews on Yelp. How are you supposed to encourage people to leave positive reviews on the site, though, without looking hopelessly tacky? Asking for reviews outright is undeniably awkward; it smacks of desperation and may make people mistrust existing reviews of your business. Don’t worry: There are ways to subtly encourage people to visit your Yelp page.
Instead of asking people point-blank to leave your business reviews on Yelp, you could kindly suggest that they do so. The best and most understated way to do that is by using pre-printed stickers, flyers and other materials. Order some professionally printed stickers and have them emblazoned with something like, “Love us on Yelp!” You can then place the stickers on customer receipts. Another option is to have small cards or flyers about your Yelp page printed and on hand. Just stick them in customers’ bags along with their purchases.
If one thing’s for sure, it’s that people love getting special deals. A great way to lure them over to your business’s Yelp page, then, is by giving them an incentive for doing so. It’s easy to add coupons and specials to a Yelp page. Once you’ve set yours up, you can tell your customers about it in your store and on your website. The point of offering these specials is getting them over to your Yelp page; once they are there, many people will voluntarily write reviews. In other words, the main battle is getting your customers over to your Yelp page; from there, the rest is fairly easy.
Jazzing Up Your Yelp Page
The more attractive and interesting your Yelp page is, the more likely you are to receive reviews. Furthermore, a nicely appointed Yelp page is more likely to give prospective customers positive first impressions. If someone is on the fence about checking out your business, an attractive Yelp page could tip the balance in your favor. Jazzing up a Yelp page is easy; snap a few attractive pictures of your business and upload them to the site. Make sure to include a link to your business website, too.
Handling Negative Reviews
Even if you run an especially tight ship, there’s always a chance that a negative review or two will be posted on Yelp. Receiving a negative review on Yelp can be quite upsetting, especially if it is egregiously unfair or utterly unwarranted. No matter what the flavor of any negative review is, though, what matters is how you deal with it. Instead of being on the defensive right away, look at a negative review as an opportunity to right a wrong. In a way, it’s nice to have negative reviews out there in black and white – many times, they can help you pinpoint and correct issues that may have flown under your radar.
After a negative review is posted about your business on Yelp, take a few hours to digest it. Don’t react rashly or impulsively. In general, there are two main ways to respond: Either by connecting with the unsatisfied customer or by having the negative review removed. The first scenario applies to legitimate, constructive criticisms; if the review is factual, you won’t be able to have it removed. In that case, it’s best to get in touch with the person, if possible, to respond to and correct the situation. The second scenario applies to egregious and unfair reviews. Some folks like to troll Yelp to post random attacks on local businesses. In that case, Yelp may consider your case and could remove the negative review.
A Yelp Page Can Bolster Your Store’s Image
The bottom line on Yelp pages for retailers is that they can be highly beneficial. By being proactive about your store’s Yelp page, you can respond to unfair criticisms and remedy legitimate ones quickly and efficiently. By sprucing up your business’s Yelp page, you can put your best foot forward. Many people browse through Yelp before deciding where to go; every person who comes away from your Yelp page with a positive impression is a possible new customer. As popular as Yelp is, it has the potential to drive a whole lot of business your way – just make sure that you handle it correctly.