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Yelp Offers Local Businesses New Tools and Advice for Managing Reviews




One of the biggest gripes small businesses have about local review sites is that not all of them provide an opportunity to respond to a customer complaint. Popular review site Yelp is hoping to address that issue with the launch of a new set of tools to help business owners manage their Yelp profile.

Along with new features, such as…

  • Allowing business owners to claim their Yelp profile
  • Update their Yelp profile and add images
  • Send messages to customers
  • Receive email alerts of new reviews
  • Add free Yelp badges to business web sites

…Yelp also offers some practical advice to business owners looking to manage their reviews.

  • DON’T review your own business anonymously or get your friends to do the same.
  • DON’T overestimate the impact of a single negative review. It happens to even the best businesses. That said, if you see a trend of negative reviews, you may want to take this feedback and determine if there is a way to improve your business.
  • DON’T lash out at the people who have written negative reviews about you. Tempting as that may be, we see that backfiring in some cases as the Yelp community may up the ante and even engage in “vigilante justice” by spreading more negativity. Try to remember, “the customer is always right”.
  • DON’T offer incentives or payment for your customers to write positive reviews about your business on Yelp. This sort of “shilling” often causes ill will with both current and potential customers. In addition, these paid reviews violate Yelp’s Review Guidelines and will be removed.
  • DO review your own business, clearly stating that you are the business owner. Full disclosure is important here, and will be critical in earning the respect of the Yelp community.
  • DO take the feedback to heart but remember that each review is just one single opinion, sand it’s the entire set of the Yelp reviews together that really matters most.

(via)

  • Pingback: Yelp for Business Update: Badges and Highlighted Reviews | CityMarketer.com()

  • http://www.bhmseo.com I yelp everything

    Great! It is about time yelp hit the big time.

    I yelp everything’s last blog post..Welcome

  • Pingback: Yelp for Local Online Business Reviews()

  • http://www.brickmarketing.com Brick Marketing

    Sounds like a reputation managers dream come true!

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  • John

    I like yelp, its a nice site with great information, however I tend to use other review sites like http://www.ReviewPage.com and http://www.InsiderPages.com more often, as they provide more revelant review for me. Keep goin Yelp!

  • http://www.razzberrylips.com Bill Kellinger

    Here is an example of how Yelp operates. Paid Yelpers communicate on a Yelp Topic Site ( http://www.yelp.com/topic ) .
    Below, 3 Yelpers who have never been in a certain establishment ( Razzberry Lips) plot revenge because of the bad press brought to Yelp by this establishment .
    The worst part is that these are either Paid Yelpers or your common everyday non paid Yelper who “hang out “ in the Yelp “ether” . They hide behind Fairy Tale names and identities . They premeditate , coordinate and target rage and vitriol on businesses they have never even patronized ! :

    Linda “JuRae” L. says:
    Oh yeah, I totally want ROTD now! aargh!

    4 hours ago Jack “.” W. says:
    wtf thats some fuct up shit yo fuck rasberry lips imma give them a 1 star

    08/11/2008 Sun E. says:

    Glad you posted this here, Linda.

    As per your words…
    “For this business owner to go on the news and cry about this
    forum because she didn’t like the negative post…..
    You have my vote for ROTD!

    If you’re wondering what ROTD means , I found these definitions on the web:
    ROTD Rage of the Dragons (game)
    ROTD Requiem of the Dead (game)
    ROTD Return of the Dragons (gaming, Warcraft III Campaign)
    ROTD Review of the Day
    ATTENTION TO ALL BUSINESS OWNERS:
    YELP IS NOT YOUR FRIEND . THEY ARE IN FACT PREYING ON YOU BY PAYING / ENCOURAGING UNEDUCATED , IMMATURE HATE FILLED “YELPERS” TO POST LIBELOUS REVIEWS ON RANDOM BUSINESSES SO THEY CAN THEN ATTEMPT TO SELL THEM BUSINESS OWNER ACCOUNTS TO DELETE THESE NEGATIVE REVIEWS.

  • JuRae

    MR. KELLINGER AND I HAVE BEEN HAVING THE FOLLOWING EXCHANGE ELSEWHERE. I AM ONE OF THE THREE HE MENTIONS ABOVE AS NEVER HAVING VISITED RAZZBERRY LIPS. I HAVE TRIED TO CLARIFY MYSELF WITH MR. KELLINGER – BUT TO NO AVAIL.

    MY FIRST POST IN REPONSE TO THE ONE HE POSTED ABOVE ON 8/12/08:

    With all due respect, I have visited this store. I chose to review my experience on Yelp. For the record: I am not a ‘paid Yelper’.

    Why did I want ROTD? Because I received two messages from a Connie C. of ‘Lahaina, HI’. (Connie C’s profile was ultimately removed because other discussion threads appeared to have exposed Connie C. as being Mr. Kellinger. ‘Appeared’ to have exposed ‘her’ – just clarifying – read the threads.) The first message was a local (40 phone number with the following request (and I chose to update my review accordingly):

    On 8/10/08 I received the following message from 5-star reviewer Connie C. of Lahaina, HI:

    “SUBJECT HEADER: Please call me at 408.866.XXXX (last four digits removed).

    BODY OF MESSAGE: I would like to get a better idea of the experience you had so I can rectify it.”

    I responded: “Referencing what experience???”

    THEN I RECEIVED A FRIEND REQUEST FROM ‘CONNIE C.’

    No response to my message. Instead, I received a friend request. AND HERE IS THE BODY OF THE FRIEND REQUEST:

    “Hi Linda,

    Too fat and ugly to post real pictures of yourself ???? ”

    NICE!

    I went into Connie C.’s profile and determined that the only issue we had in common was Razzberry Lips. I also noticed that Connie C. (of Lahaina, HI?), posted the following review (which has since been removed):

    “5 star rating
    08/06/2008
    We visited this store while on vacation ( yes, people who live in Maui actually do vacation elsewhere) ! Me and my two daughters LOVE this store! We were just wandering around a mall and stumbled upon this little girl’s heaven . They each got rock star makeovers and it was their highlight of the vacation !”

    Now – if, in fact, Connie C. is the owner of RL as her message to me would suggest, I am offended beyond all get-up. I am a well educated, smart person living a comfortable lifestyle. I’m not beyond spending money on my kids and their friends. I don’t like to be taken for a fool – or presumed to be so stupid that I wouldn’t see through a ruse.

    On the flip side, if Connie C. was genuinely a reviewer and wanting to help the business, she could have gone about it differently so as to separate herself from the business.

    YES – I WANTED ROTD BECAUSE I WAS INSULTED AND ANGRY AT THE ‘FRIEND’ REQUEST THAT I – AND APPARENTLY OTHER’S – RECEIVED. I WAS WILLING TO CALL THE NUMBER AND GENUINELY SHARE MY EXPERIENCE. HOWEVER, MOMENTS AFTER RECEIVING THE MESSAGE, I RECEIVED THE INSULTING ‘FRIEND’ REQUEST. I FIGURED AT THAT POINT THAT IF I CALLED THE NUMBER, THAT IT WASN’T FOR THE PURPOSE OF RESOLUTION, BUT FOR FURTHER ATTACK ON ME – YES, ATTACK ON ME! So, yes – I updated my review to reflect the experience. BTW: I don’t post photo’s of myself for professional reasons.

    Mr. Kellinger – your wife has a wonderful niche business. As with all businesses, there are kinks. You appear to be waging a war against not only Yelp, but the individuals who are genuinely sharing their experiences. And, IMHO, you are making matters worse. Suing Yelp and attempting to bully reviewers with “fat and ugly” messages doesn’t make you or your wife’s business look any better. For a business in the business of making little girls feel pretty, calling people “fat and ugly” (apparently, I’m not the only Yelper you have extended those choice courtesies to), without having met them personally, your actions appear to be counter-intuitive to the nature of your wife’s business. I did patronize RL. Apparently I was unaware that I was required to leave an ‘identity trail’ to confirm my visit.

    Personally, I review my experiences with the hope that the business owner will see it and compare it with the experiences of others. If there is a common theme, then I see it as the responsibility of the business to address the kinks. I don’t see it as very responsible to attack people by resorting to play-yard name calling.

    I don’t think my review was immature. However, the direction Mr. K is on could be viewed as such. The anger, insults and threats will not bring about a happy resolution for ANYONE. Let it go, learn from the mistakes/kinks and improve a very cute niche business.

    HIS FIRST REPLY:

    Wed, 08/13/2008 – 16:48 — I have no idea what this person is talking about

    Other than the fact that I pulled and posted JuRae’s Yelp plea to incite other Yelpers to write one star ratings site unseen , I am lost to her rantings about Connie C .

    I have no idea what you are talking about.

    MY SECOND REPLY TO MR. KELLINGER:

    Wed, 08/13/2008 – 17:09 — He’ll never get it

    Mr. Kellinger –

    I’m afraid you will never get it. But, fortunately, other’s will and do. Don’t you feel it’s hypocritcal for the wolf to cry wolf? I sure do. Have a great evening. Have a great tantrum and I do truly wish your wife’s business well.

    BTW: Where, exactly, did I ask reviewers to post 1-star reviews about Razzberry Lips, site unseen? You want to cry libel, slander, etc. But yet …. oh why bother, the wolf analogy again.

    MR. KELLINGER’S REPLY:

    Wed, 08/13/2008 – 18:12 — JuRae, sorry but you’re barking up the wrong tree

    It sounds like you were Yelped by an anonymous Yelper.

    Why don’t you have Yelp run the IP address to track them down?

    That way you can get off my back .

    AND MY LAST REPLY TO MR. KELLINGER:

    Wed, 08/13/2008 – 23:08 — Thank you, Mr. Kellinger, for helping Yelp

    Mr. Kellinger –

    You pulled a post of mine – and a partial one at that; just one selective line of many. You got on my back here when you chose to re-post my line and make a false implication about me. Do I not have a right to defend myself? You seem to feel you have a right to defend yourself. What makes you more special than me in that regard?

    Why is it okay for you to cry foul and be defensive, but yet other’s can’t do the same when you call them out? Hypocrital, don’t you think? Again, Mr. K. – the wolf should never cry wolf.

    Seriously, Mr. K – a few negative reviews did not hurt your wife’s business. Mr. K – it is just my opinion, but perhaps you are contributing to the negative press more than Yelp and the Yelp community is.

    Yelp wasn’t formed for the sole purpose of siccing a community of millions on your wife’s business – Razzberry Lips. Her business profile is just one among many many thousands. It’s a review forum. People post their opinions and experiences. Did you not enjoy it when the posts were primarily positive? Did you not feel a benefit of Yelp when you encouraged customers to use the store laptop to post glowing reviews of Razzberry Lips – as claimed by you in the article? (As of this writing, Razzberry Lips has a total of 14 reviews for an overall score of 3.5. Of those 14 reviews, 7 are 5-star; 2 are 4-star; 1 is 3-star and 4 are 1-star reviews. Very good numbers on the high-end, if you ask me.)

    However, Razzberry Lips promotes itself to be walk-in makeovers for young girls, in addition to private events. If the business – or the employees more specifically – do not want to do walk-ins, then perhaps Razzberry Lips should post a sign that states “By Appointment Only. Walk-Ins not Welcome”.

    Mr. Kellinger – I’ve said it before and hope to say it for the last time: Your wife has a wonderful business in a niche market. What she has to offer is unique and very welcome. Please don’t continue on a path that may ultimately ruin it for her. While her business is unique at the moment, there are and always will be competitors waiting in the wings. They will no doubt look at her weaknesses and exploit them to their betterment – that’s business. All they have to do is web search Razzberry Lips and your ‘musings’ appear. Potential customers – outside of the Yelp forum – can do the same (and probably do).

    On a different note: As an unpaid user committed to the concept of free speech (read:opinions), I want to personally thank you for pretty much single-handedly increasing the visibility of Yelp. No doubt that in the last couple of weeks, your diatribes and musings about Yelp have served to productively increase not only their awareness, but their participation enrollment as well. Perhaps Yelp should be paying you $15/hour?

    Mr. Kellinger – give it a rest. Nothing good for your wife’s business is coming from this – she deserves all the best opportunities out there. Don’t deny her those opportunities because you can’t see the forest through the trees

    HE POSTED MORE DIATRIBE TODAY, ATTEMPTING TO INSULT MY INTELLIGENCE (HE MAY HAVE GOTTEN ME JUST A LITTLE:) I HAVE TRIED TO BE ENCOURAGING WITH MR. KELLINGER, BUT IT APPEARS HE JUST MAY NOT GET THE BIG PICTURE.

  • http://www.razzberrylips.com Bill Kellinger

    To Linda “JuRae” L :

    Please stay away from our store and stop this electronic stalking of me and my family.

    It is starting to scare my family and our employees.

    Thank you.

  • JuRae

    As I posted elsewhere, Mr. Kellinger – I am engaging in no such activity. You have chosen to make a false statement about me (that I have never been in your wife’s store, Razzberry Lips in Campbell, Ca) and you have taken a snippet of a post of mine and are blanketing forums with it.

    I am not stalking you but, rather, defending myself against what you have posted – incorrectly – about me.

    As I said on another forum: If you stop directing posts at me, I will not feel the need to defend myself against what is beginning to feel like cyber-harrassment from you. Also – given the many diatribes you have been posting the last few weeks, you don’t strike me as one who scares easily.

    Please stop including me in your diatribes – you have already written and posted a couple of false, unfounded statements about me. (Yet in the same vein, you want to cry libel, yourself.)

    Leave me out of your writings and I will not feel the need to defend myself against you.

  • http://www.razzberrylips.com Bill Kellinger

    JuRae ,

    Our store is not located in Campbell, CA.
    You really need to cover yourself better if
    you intend to go on an “ROTD” revenge attack !

  • JuRae

    I’m sorry, I’ll stand corrected (being as how you want to get symantical):

    It’s located in San Jose at Westgate Mall, right? Right next door to Campbell, CA. In fact, across the street the addresses are Campbell addresses.

    And to clarify, Mr. Kellinger: I am on no attack. What I have done is defend myself against your railings and postings against me.

    You falsely stated that I have never been in your wife’s store.

    You falsely stated (on another forum), that I am neurotic (I have never been certified this term and, to my knowledge, you are not a medical doctor and, therefore, not qualified to make such an inaccurate statement)

    Why is it that you can cry “unfair” and publicly post written statements against someone, but they don’t have the right to defend themselves against you?

    You claim that I am cyber-stalking you. What I am doing is defending myself against what I feel is your harrassment of me. YOU chose to post about me anywhere and everywhere you could. YOU put me in the position of having to defend myself against YOU.

    I am the one feeling harrassed and stalked, Mr. Kellinger.

  • http://www.marketingpilgrim.com Andy Beal

    Closing comments. Please take your bickering somewhere else.