Most of you are familiar with Yelp. Many of you are active “Yelpers” providing useful and relevant information about businesses and/or products that you have experienced. You can Yelp a review about pretty much any type of business now and, conversely, you can search reviews about those same diverse businesses to help you make a decision about a product or a service. Yelp is a powerful tool. In my daily very long commutes, I have often kidded (maybe not) that we should be able to Yelp about drivers…you know…“the silver Honda Accord with license plate XYZ gets 4 stars for their safe driving and patience” or (more likely) “the black BMW 325i with license plate ABC gets 1 star for cutting me off twice and almost hitting a bus”.
Yelp describes itself as follows:
What is Yelp?
Yelp is an online urban city guide that helps people find cool places to eat, shop, drink, relax and play, based on the informed opinions of a vibrant and active community of locals in the know. Yelp is the fun and easy way to find, review and talk about what’s great — and not so great — in your world.
As consumers many of us love Yelp. But as business owners, maybe not so much. There is that slight risk that, as an owner, if you encourage your patients/customers to write a Yelp review, it may not be the glowing description of your business that you were hoping.
It really all comes down to your business model. In a perfect world, if you give to your customer what you have stated that you offer in your business model, chances are, you should have nothing to worry about when it comes to reviews of your business. In other words, do what you say you do. If you can stand behind your brand, then, you should welcome reviews. The positive ones will speak for themselves and the negative ones (and, even in that perfect world, there may be a naysayer) can be dealt with genuinely because, after all, you do what you say you do. Those occasional negative reviews can actually serve to fortify your brand if the public sees how gracefully and adeptly you handle negativity and how committed you are to outstanding customer service.
So, if you have all of your business ducks in a row, reviews should be encouraged with confidence. And Yelp is certainly a great place to start.
How do you get people to write a Yelp review of your business?
- You ask them! I know that sounds intuitive but often our humble nature prevents us from asking someone to write something nice about us. However, if you know that your patient/customer was thrilled with your service, most often they will be honored to extol your praises with a review. Just ask!
- Display signage that requests a Yelp review. We have a sign on our front desk that has the Yelp logo with the simple request, Please Yelp Us ! It’s more subtle than asking and it’s extremely effective. So many people have smart phones and when they see that gentle reminder, its as easy as opening the Yelp app and creating a quick review!
I’ve seen businesses create contests where the names of people who Yelped a review of the business in a certain time frame are placed in a drawing and a winner is selected. This can be an effective means of gaining reviews but, it may not feel as “genuine” as just asking a truly satisfied customer to share their positive feedback.
When you get positive reviews from satisfied patients/customers, it feels really spectacular. Keep that good feeling in mind for those rare times that you may get a negative review. Take a deep breath and spin that negative feeling into a positive outcome as quickly as possible.
With consistent outstanding service or products, your business can rock the Yelp world!