I use Yelp A LOT. Like I’m sure many do, it determines whether I do business with you or not. I can be sitting in front of your place ready to go in, I’ll check Yelp and if the reviews don’t look good, I will drive off. I’ll even search the area and go to your competitors who have better reviews close by. First I look at the review numbers and stars. Then I’ll look at the photos of the food quality that tell me much even if the stars and review numbers arent top of the charts. Pictures of your food and comments can save you. But if enough people are giving a “meh” review I’ll take a risk somewhere else.
I’ve had people say “Yelp doesn’t affect us,” that’s mainly because you NEVER SEE the business you NEVER GOT. On top of that you likely dont see the business YOU LOST that NEVER returns. IMAGINE how GREAT your business would be if it could capture MORE business and money. On top of that its just not MY money you’re losing, I have a big bragging referral mouth so you’re losing all of the business I’d have referred and that glowing Yelp review I’d have done adding to your success.
There are a few bad fast food places who poorly run their order sequence creating notoriously long car lines. At high times I’d see people pull off the line and drive off in droves. I often wondered if anyone ever counted how much business they never saw but lost? Many business just get happy with their “success” and don’t see what they are missing.
Its a known fact that 96% of your unhappy customers will NEVER tell you whats wrong, leave and complain to others. Very few will give you feedback and if you’re smart you’ll realize that the ones who do are giving you the “Iceberg Principle” to your Titanic business. Those few who do complain are the tip of the iceberg that you should give heed to. Thats why LISTENING to your customers is SOOO important.
I’ve owned companies all my life and know what its like to feel in the dark about whats not working and where my company is bleeding out. I make it a point communicate major business failings with either the Yelp feedback system or sending a note into the Contact area of their website. I’m usually ALWAYS completely ignored and shocked when only a handful of business’ are listening and responding. What a massive fail. The mindset of not seeing this iceberg and thinking your business is doing fine is a complete fallacy. Over the years I’ve seen business that keep doing what they are doing and slowly fail into bankruptcy never changing or growing from the same old same old.
I was glad this weekend when a chef of a restaurant I’d ate at responded to my email and addressed the change I suggested. It changed my mind to come back in the future and got them a great yelp review. Something as simple as a little listening and response made all the difference.
So realize you’re not seeing the business you never get or lose and likely you’re missing out on your true potential. If you attrition off enough customers its almost impossible to get them back. Consider what you see to be the looming silent iceberg of what causing you issues you may not be seeing or realize are so large.
Whether its Yelp, your Facebook page or other Social Media sites your business should be always listening for improvement to get better.