Posted by Matthew Loop | 28 Comments
I’ve bit my tongue long enough about Yelp’s review filter shenanigans. Here’s an email I received today. Go ahead and read it word for word. I’ll add my commentary at the end and would love your opinion, too.
Don’t ask your customers for Yelp reviews.
“The graph you see when logged into your business owner account displays the most important Yelp metric: the number of people viewing your Yelp listing.”
|Yelp is a review website. Therefore, it might seem counter-intuitive that we actually discourage business owners from asking their customers to write reviews.Why?
The number of reviews isn’t the most important metric on Yelp, the number of page views is the most important way to measure your success. Even 50 5-star reviews are worthless if no one reads them (see: Falling in Forest, Tree).
Soliciting reviews creates a vicious, counter-productive cycle.
We get it: you want to spruce up your Yelp presence with great testimonials because it’s a platform where customers gravitate to make decisions. The problem? Consumers can tell when things start looking artificial or spammy, and at that point, they will ignore the reviews that you’ve solicited and make a decision to go somewhere else. When consumers don’t trust the content, they stop looking at business listings. It’s a lose-lose.
Yelp didn’t invent the review website, but we believe we’re the most dedicated to reliable content. Consumers continue to find it accurate and helpful, and you get new business from simply doing what you do best while providing great customer service. That’s a win-win.
Another reason to avoid asking for reviews: solicited reviews may get filtered, and that will drive you crazy.
There’s no silver bullet for a great reputation. The best way to succeed on Yelp is by focusing on great customer service. (Building out a robust business listing using biz.yelp.com’s free tools also doesn’t hurt).
Initially, my jaw dropped when Yelp advocated against asking your customer for reviews. I do not agree with this at all. That is very bad advice from a marketing standpoint.
In fact, it’s the worst “marketing” advice I’ve heard all year.
It’s like making a video or television commercial then never telling people what to next or giving a call to action. The outcome would obviously be a flat-line in your conversion. When you ask someone for a review or honest feedback about your business, that is a direct call to action!
Also, for Yelp to imply here that proactively asking patients, clients, or customers for reviews is spammy or effects the reviews trustworthiness is completely ridiculous. These are real people that have done business with you and their experience is just as important that an unsolicited review.
Who’s running Yelp these days anyway?
If you intend on participating on Yelp, you’ll obviously need to abide by their terms. Yelp still doesn’t even come close to touching Google Places (formerly Google Maps) so spend most of your time there getting reviews.
People trust Google way more than Yelp, as practically everyone uses Google for online search. I’m curious to hear your thoughts on this whole thing. Is it fair to “filter” or not show legitimate reviews?
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