Still a Yelp Hater? It May be Time to Take Another Look

Peggy Wynne Borgman

Back in 2007, we were all Yelp haters. Now most of us, to paraphrase Dr. Strangelove, “have learned to stop worrying and love the Bomb.” We understand that this is simply the brave new world of customer service: performed while stark naked, on a high wire, over a flaming pit. Otherwise, exactly the same principles apply. Listen when people complain. Take them seriously. Don’t get defensive. Do what it takes to restore the relationship and their faith in you.

But please, don’t ask a Yelper to amend their review. That’s not just gauche; it could get you re-flamed.

I still meet spa owners that don’t realize they can actually message Yelpers who’ve eviscerated them. This isn’t a feature you have to pay for, folks. You can set up a free Yelp for Business Owners account and message away. They even offer some messaging guidelines to assist the panicky (or ticked off) business owner.

We tried Yelp’s first paid advertising program back in 2008 and were unimpressed. Per their own metrics, page views didn’t improve. We left the program. But we’re thinking about getting back in–and I’ll tell you all what happens if we do.

Here’s an interesting piece on how Yelp crushed Citysearch. Remember Citysearch? What a dinosaur. I noticed the other day that Citysearch still has a six year old, vicious review of my business posted by some angry customers I’d had to “fire” for chronically disrupting our operations. Six years ago!! When I wrote and asked why an ancient review was still lingering, posing as relevant and timely “content”, someone from Citisearch “explained” that there wasn’t any new content. Now that’s just sad.

The wonderful world of technology is ever-changing, and Yelp may end up being crushed by Google Reviews, though Google is a company that hasn’t had too many home runs lately, mostly due to missing every opportunity to get in on “This Social Media Thing.”

For now, Yelp is the industry standard. If you haven’t learned to love the Bomb yet, you might want to take it out on a date.

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