3 Ways to Get Positive Reviews on Yelp for Better Business Reputation
Being highly rated on Yelp can be easy to achieve and is a great way to increase your business reputation, if you know how to do it. Yelp is the largest business review site with millions of members with more than 135 million reviews.1 Customer trust in Yelp is very high and they will use reviews to decide whether to visit your business or your competitors. Read on to discover 3 techniques that will get your business positive reviews on Yelp and help you be chosen amongst competition.
Yelp began in 2004 as a referral network, but quickly turned into a review site as the reviews attracted more users. By 2006 they were one of the fastest growing tech companies on the planet, but not without their own struggles. They were accused of extorting businesses by giving negative reviews more exposure to businesses that didn’t advertise with them. The courts didn’t agree, and sided with Yelp stating that their policy was legal. To this day, Yelp denies they ever used reviews in this way, but many businesses remain skeptical. Like them or not, they are here to stay and provide an invaluable service to customers looking for the best places to go. Learning how to take advantage of their platform is easy and will help your business grow.
Customer Experience and Positive Reviews
People are moved to action by emotion. The first rule in generating positive reviews is creating positive emotional experiences. This is one of the greatest skills a business owner can develop for both reputation and customer loyalty. Maybe you had a lot of funding and your location is amazingly beautiful and your services are delivered by the best in the business. Maybe you didn’t and they aren’t. Yes, ambiance and services are important, but something else drives positive emotional experiences… the client relationship from the beginning to the end of their visit with you.
Whether or not your business is the “best”, you can create a positive emotional experience with great customer experience management. Place yourself in your client’s shoes and journey as them through the entire process of your business. You will quickly figure out where the frustrating parts are and deal with them.
Now that you have removed the negative emotional interference, work on generating the positive. Make sure to repeat the client’s name to them several times. A person’s name is their most favorite word and speaking it makes them feel valued.2 Be sure to ask them how their day is going. Don’t ask like a task. Ask to get to know them better. Stop everything you are doing and focus entirely on them. You are now making them feel like the most important person to you, in that moment, and positive feelings are sure to arise.
When dealing with any complaints or customer support, be sure to use the G.R.E.A.T. customer response method. It is a tried and true process for converting negative emotions into positive ones that will have your clients singing your praises.
It is only after you craft and deliver a positive emotional experience for your clients that you will have created the compulsion for them to go out and write a positive review.
When in Need, Just Ask
Do you want your client, who was delighted by their experience at your business, to leave a positive review on Yelp? Just ask them to. We forget just how simple and important it is to simply ask a client to write a review. Be sure to ask them how they enjoyed your services at check out. And when they reply, “very much”, ask them to leave a review. Mention that reviews help your business, and since they have developed a positive relationship with you and your staff, they will want to help.
Even if only 1 out of 100 do go on to leave a review, in a few months, this will start amounting to an overwhelmingly positive reputation for your business. A business with a positive reputation will generate more revenues and is as easy as simply asking for help.
The Follow Up Ask
As a part of your customer experience strategy, you should have follow up emails or notices. The day following their service, you should reach out to inquire how they enjoyed their visit. Sometimes they don’t want to say anything bad to your face, but they will in an email, and you need to know.
We send an automated email after each visit. Most CRMs today have this feature available. The email was written by me personally and does several things to generate a positive response. The first thing it does is ask them how their experience was. I provide my direct email and let them know that if anything was amiss, that I would love to know about it personally, so I can handle it immediately. This heads off any potential negative reviews from going to the review site. People will usually only write a negative review if they feel unheard. If they have a channel directly to you and you respond, you will have given them no reason to take it to the public.
After asking them to contact you directly with any issues, ask them, that if they enjoyed their experience to visit Yelp and leave a review. Just like when asking them in person, let them know how much it helps your business. Now, this should be the second time you asked them and it will increase the number of people that will actually do it, especially if you link to the site and make it easy.
The Yelp Pro Tip
Do not despair negative reviews and respond publicly to all reviews. Even on a site like Yelp, only having positive reviews gives a sense of inauthenticity. Don’t worry, that isn’t likely to happen. Some people, no matter how great their experience is, just won’t leave more than 4-stars. Some even less. But when you do get a negative review, it is important to respond.
Take great caution when responding to negative reviews. Sometimes reviewers are just negative people and their review doesn’t honestly reflect the experience, sometimes you blew it and the review is legitimate. Sometimes it even lets you know there is a gap in your customer experience process that needs fixing.
Always start with thanking them for their review. They took the time to share and deserve respect for their contribution, even if you don’t agree. Next, share the value you see in their perspective. Simply jumping right into refuting their claim makes you appear defensive. If you take the time to connect to what they are saying, you come off as confident that your business is great. Now you’re ready to address the issue stated. You likely have valid reasons they experienced what they did, and if not, share publicly that you are taking steps to correct. People don’t expect you to be perfect, just that you try and responding in this way can even get someone reading your negative review to want to come in.
Review sites are very important in today’s digitally connected environment and managing your small business reputation should be a part of your overall marketing efforts. Sites like Yelp are trusted by customers and getting positive reviews is not difficult if you know what to do. By following these 3 rules and the pro tip, you will have a page that generates a great reputation for your business that will create both new and repeat visits.