Word of mouth can both help and hinder a company. If a customer is pleased with your company’s service and recommends it to a friend, then you have a customer you otherwise may not have reached. However, if they are displeased and suggest a friend choose a different business over you, this reputation will spread and quickly affect your success. This concept has been digitized with Yelp.

yelp

Yelp is a website designed as a hub for customer feedback. If someone visits your business and tests out what you have to offer, they can then go onto Yelp and leave a detailed review mentioning the quality of your service, the usefulness of it in compared to others, and recommend it to both friends and strangers.

Here are three ways Yelp is vital to a business:

1. It’s Outstandingly Popular

Yelp has become one of the most well-known sites for recommending or dissuading customers from a business. For example, if someone wants to go out to dinner but doesn’t know a good place, Yelp is the site they turn to.

  • Its reviews are trusted.

Since reviews are submitted independently, Yelp has gained a reputation as the location of accurate and unbiased reviews. While businesses can suggest that customers leave positive feedback, it is an independent action and is usually done without prompting. If a customer is treated badly, there are no repercussions for a few minute review that is anonymously submitted, and this leads other customers to trusting the honesty and credibility of the opinion. If you receive a positive review on this site, it has a higher chance of encouraging others to try your brand over testimonials or reviews on other sites; yet the same thing goes for a bad review.

  • Its community is loyal.

Since Yelp is so popular, it has gained the trust of many people both new and old to the site. Many refuse to use any other website once they have tried what Yelp offers, and because of this, the tight-knit community results in members valuing each other’s opinions over other reviewing sites. Perhaps you are highly popular on a separate site but have a very bad reputation on Yelp; no matter, the latter will make a difference.

  • It has information on nearly every business.

Since each review is submitted independently, there are no restrictions on which business is reviewed. Even if your company does not have a Yelp profile page, reviews concerning your brand can be left, good or bad, and have a deep influence on the customers being drawn or driven away.

2. You Can Interact with Customers

Though not a social media site in the same sense as Facebook, Yelp does encourage interaction among its users. As a brand, creating an account allows you to interact with customers and reach them on a new level.

  • You can recommend your brand to new customers.

Yelp allows users to comment and offer suggestions on reviews, and this opens new doors for businesses to advertise to the community. Perhaps a customer had a bad experience with a rival company and is in search of a new place to conduct business; with the commenting feature, this presents a golden opportunity to speak with the customer and recommend your own services. They are already dissatisfied, and you can apply salve to their wound by pointing out where your business’s strengths counter the rival’s weaknesses, and how you are the solution to their problem, effectively gaining a new customer.

  • You can create relationships.

Social media is all about connection, and by creating a presence on Yelp, you are creating an identity for your brand which will be recognized, enjoyed, and remembered. By communicating with current or potential customers through recommending services, replying to reviews, and having a general presence, you can establish a sense of trust, loyalty, and familiarity. This will make you the preferred option over the faceless entity of other companies.

  • You can receive useful feedback.

By looking through the feedback available, you can objectively see what customers want or dislike about your business. Perhaps your customer service is lacking and needs improvement – perhaps in the form of firing that employee who called the customers some… rather choice names. Perhaps your products are of outstanding quality and your packaging is exceptional; now you can focus your marketing campaign on emphasizing this strength and drawing in new customers in a new, effective way. Yelp allows you to be involved and aware of what people think and how they are responding, allowing you to drive more efficiently towards success.

3. It’s Excellent Advertisement

All it takes is a little bit of attention to drive a business to success, and having an extra edge in the thriving competition of the modern age is essential. By having an account and several reviews for your brand on Yelp, you can reach a whole new audience like never before in a way that is both free and easy.

  • It’s trusted.

As a highly trusted site, the presence of your business and the reputation of its reviews will hold much more value with customers. By ensuring that your reputation is prestigious, many customers will choose you based on trust and loyalty to Yelp and the unbiased feedback it provides.

  • It’s popular.

If a customer were to type in “Restaurants in New York” or something of a similar variety, as Yelp is such a wildly popular site, the businesses which are most well-loved in their listing would be of the first to show up in a search result. By having your business well-rated and well-reviewed, you have a greater chance in being the first option among a new customer’s selection.

The internet has more influence on the success of businesses than ever before, and as Yelp is one of the heaviest hitters available online, it’s vital to businesses of every kind to cash in on the opportunities it offers.