Hey businesses: be awesome and Yelp won’t matter

Yesterday, I talked about Why I use Yelp.

Many consumers find great value and many benefits in using the Yelp services, but some businesses just don’t get it, as this Inc.com article points out, with a couple of extreme examples.

A common mistake

Some businesses take the consumer reviews too personally, then they verbally attack customers that write negative reviews and trash-talk the Yelp service itself. This is not productive and does nothing to help their business. It does the opposite.

How to do Yelp right

Yelp is simply a public consumer communication tool. With that in mind, I highly encourage businesses to monitor their Yelp reviews and to IMPROVE their businesses based on the feedback left there. If you see a trend, or even just one review pointing out an area that your business needs to make improvement in, embrace it! Make your business better.

If your business is truly focused on providing an excellent product or service, with a STELLAR customer experience, then you don’t even need to worry about Yelp. The positive reviews will just roll in if you’re doing it right.

One such example is Chicago Gyro’s restaurant, near Union Hills and 7th Ave in North Phoenix.

Chicago-Gyros-Receipt-1

Chicago Gyro’s isn’t worried or scared of Yelp. They embrace it! They even ask their customers to Yelp them by printing it right on all of their receipts, as shown in the image above. Why do they do this? Because they know that they deliver an excellent product and stellar service.

So remember, be awesome and you won’t have to worry about Yelp or any other online review sites.

Why do you Yelp?

yelpI’ve been asked a few times why I use Yelp or “Why would you want to write restaurant reviews?”

I love Yelp, the community spirit and how it helps everyone find local businesses with good quality products & services.

Initially, I started using Yelp as a discovery tool only, as the site helped me to search out many great restaurants and other local businesses that I would’ve otherwise not found.

After Yelp proved to be a valuable tool over and over, I decided to join in and start writing my own reviews. When I get complements like this:

“After seeing your review right now I decided I must have some for dinner tonight!!”

and reading reviews from other people that mention me:

“If I ever felt any regret about having moved to Arizona, it was probably because I thought that here I would never find pizza as good as those I’ve enjoyed for more than two decades in New York. But then I read Wes N.’s review of this place and decided to give it a try this afternoon after my trip to my beloved Costco which was in the area. Pow!!! Flashback to the great pizzerias of Arthur Avenue in The Bronx and the Lower West Side of Manhattan! Thanks, Wes, for letting me know about this place that brought a piece of New York into my life in the Valley of the Sun!”

it makes me proud to be a part of the Phoenix Yelp community. I encourage everyone to use Yelp and to contribute to the great community. I also appreciate the Yelp newsletter shout-outs to worthy local charities, events & causes.

I search on Yelp and check reviews for just about everything I do!

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the Yelp Elite events. Yelp awards “Elite status” to its most active, participating members. The Elite status gets you a shiny badge beside your name on the Yelp website and privileges to RSVP to “OYE’s” (Official Yelp Events), many of which are held for Elite members only. The Yelp Elite events often include free food, drinks and entertainment. I always have a great time at the Elite events. Throwing party’s and rewarding your most active members is a great way to grow your online community, Yelp has proved that.

Do you use Yelp? If so, why?