“You shouldn’t ask for Yelp reviews,” says the official advice on the Yelp for Business Owners site.
With all respect to the powers that be at Yelp, I’m calling them on it.
In fact, I flat out think they’re wrong.
And if you were to take your cues for how you use Yelp only from the pages of their online guide, you’d be doing your business a serious disservice.
You’re probably wondering how I can say that.
Why is it that Yelp’s helpful advice on their own website might be steering you in the wrong direction?
Simple. It’s because…
- Their Yelp for Business Owners tips are “one size fits all” – your business isn’t!
- It’s completely possible to ask customers for reviews without trying to game the system.
- Their advice is aimed toward keeping their site and their reviews trustworthy – so it’s just easier to tell business owners to steer clear of asking for reviews.
Once you realize the reason behind the recommendation they’ve made cautioning business owners like you against asking for reviews, it’s easy to see how you might request reviews in ways that don’t automatically trip Yelp’s filter.
Why You Should Ask Customers for Yelp Reviews
Are you providing your customers with an amazing customer service experience?
If so, chances are good they’ve tried to find a way to share a compliment with you.
So whether you’ve received those kudos via email, social media, or just casually on the phone, when someone tells you you’ve done well, they clearly want to share their positive experience.
When this happens, simply thank them for their feedback and ask if they’d mind leaving it on Yelp to help future potential customers.
In many cases, they’ll be grateful you pointed them the right direction where their positive review can make a difference.
How Not To Ask For Yelp Reviews
Now – just because I think it’s a good practice to ask for Yelp reviews doesn’t mean there’s not a right way and a wrong way to get the reviews you need on Yelp to help your business grow.
Asking your customers for Yelp reviews the wrong way is a sure way to get reviews that are less than helpful.
And it’s definitely a way to end up with more reviews than ever caught in Yelp’s filter if you don’t ask for reviews the right way.
Here’s some of the things you’ll want to watch out for –
- Don’t incentivize good reviews
- Don’t stand over your customers’ shoulders while they write their Yelp reviews
- Don’t bombard customers with review requests
Why It’s Important to Use Yelp The Right Way
I think Yelp wants to help business owners with their advice to not try to stuff their profiles with only positive reviews.
Let’s face it – even the best business has off days or customers who just can’t be pleased, no matter what kind of amazing service they’ve received.
But if you take Yelp’s helpful advice and don’t ask your customers for their feedback on Yelp, your Yelp account is likely to remain stagnant.
You’re likely to actually become less competitive over time, especially compared to the business owners who are proactively using Yelp to get more reviews and increase their customer base.
In fact – this is part of what I love about what I do. I love to help business owners separate fact from fiction when it comes to best Yelp practices.
I love helping them understand how Yelp’s general principles can be applied to create strategies specific to their businesses to attract more reviews and build their bottom line.
Your Turn – Try These Simple Tips for Requesting Yelp Reviews
When you’re ready to generate more positive reviews and use Yelp to help grow your business, give the following tips a try.
- Claim your Yelp profile
You can’t respond to reviews – positive or negative – if you haven’t done this simple but critical step.
- Help your customers find you on Yelp
One of the simplest ways to ask for more reviews is to encourage your customers to find you on Yelp. Include links to your Yelp profile in every form of communication you send out.
- Respond to reviews promptly
Whether positive or negative, nothing discourages people from leaving reviews on Yelp like seeing a company that doesn’t engage with people who’ve taken the time to review them. Ideally, you should respond to each review within 24 hours.
Asking for reviews the right way works to help you get better ratings, more reviews, and strategically grow your business.
But don’t take my word for it! Try the tips above to get started and see where using Yelp to help grow your business can lead!