National Clothesline
National Clothesline
The man from Yelp tells how to do it
Before the Clean ’13 exhibit hall opened, many drycleaners attended a morning educational session on Yelp, the popular consumer website that features over 39 million business reviews and counting.
The program was sponsored by the Drycleaning and Laundry Institute and presented by Darnell Holloway, manager of local business outreach for Yelp.com. He noted that with over 102 million monthly visitors to the site, businesses cannot afford to overlook the marketing potential of Yelp.
“Looking at who’s on Yelp, we find that most Yelp users are relatively affluent adults,” he said. “We also find these people have a greater sense of urgency.”
In terms of business owners who have a Yelp account, Holloway emphasized the value in unlocking the site’s free tools that are available to them, referring to a study by the Boston Consulting Group of 4,800 small business owners across the U.S.
“What they found was an across-the-board average of people who unlock their page, optimize their listing and started engaging their customers just using the free tools on Yelp — they started seeing an average increase of about $8,000 in annualized revenue,” he explained.
Holloway also stressed that the more information you have on your business’s Yelp listing, the higher the conversion rate will be for customers.
“Content is king, as we like to say,” he said. “You want to make sure your business hours are correct. You also want to describe your business. You can talk about what you specialize in, the specific things you do.”
Additionally, he noted that adding your business’s history and talking about yourself as the owner/manager really humanizes your business.
Of course, no matter how good your listing is, the best way to avoid negative customer reviews is improving the quality of your off-line customer service.
Problems cannot be avoided 100 percent of the time, so it is also wise to remember that a few negative reviews are not the end of the world, especially if your business retains a high rating despite them.
Instead, he said to try to respond to them, either publicly or privately, in a manner that you can be proud of, not in a way that might reinforce the negative perception of your business.
“It’s really how you handle those situations that’s going to impact the outcome of that situation in terms of how people are going to talk about your business.”
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