When it Comes to Yelp, Customer Service is King

When it Comes to Yelp, Customer Service is King

Short of Google+ and Google search, almost nothing on the web affects small business more than Yelp. The local search site gets around 100 million unique visitors each month. Competitor Foursquare still brings in only half of that, despite being appealing to a younger, more mobile audience.

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As with any local search platform, customer reviews are paramount, and according to an internal study by Yelp, customer service takes the cake.

While it’s obvious that customer service ought to play a big part in customer reviews, it’s not necessarily obvious that it would be THE deciding factor. Local businesses can have bad customer service and still offer great products, or have great customer service and terrible products.

But Yelp found that customers didn’t see things that way. After searching through reviews that mentioned awful, bad, good, or great customer service, the implications were clear. If a customer mentioned “good” customer service, they were five times more likely to get a 5 star review as a 1 star review.

Worse still, 70 percent of 1 star reviews mentioned bad customer service. Only five percent of the 5 star reviews did.

After producing a word cloud of favorable reviews, the words “helpful,” “friendly,” and “nice” jumped right out.

Yelp has a reputation as being a place that people go to for advice on restaurants, so it might seem like things are being skewed in favor of customer service for that reason. But this isn’t the reality of reviews on Yelp. Restaurants aren’t the biggest category on Yelp. Shopping pulled ahead of restaurants all the way back in 2011.

This clearly emphasizes the importance of customer service. Shopping is a sector where customer service is rarely considered all that important, and yet it dominates Yelp, a site whose reviewers praise customer service.

Don’t make the mistake of believing that these Yelp reviews don’t matter, either. A study by the Harvard Business Review found that every star in average Yelp reviews led to a 5% or 9% jump in revenue.

Original Source: http://www.localsurgemedia.net/social-media-1/when-it-comes-to-yelp-customer-service-is-king

August 8, 2013

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