Technology and social media have made informed consumerism a more prevalent part of our society than ever before. Consumers are equipped with a wealth of tools and sources which they can turn to for user-generated ratings of products, restaurants, shopping centers, etc. These tools in turn largely influence the decisions of consumers.

 

Yelp is the perfect example of a program which gained popularity for its utility in helping consumers compare different establishments by reading user comments and ratings. It’s a tool which can be extremely useful for individuals who are visiting a new area and wondering where to go, or those who are simply looking to try something new and want to make an informed decision.

 

Yelp's new app, Yelp for Business Owners, serves as a more effective way for business owners to keep tabs on users' comments, questions, and reviews using new features like real-time notifications (officialblog.yelp.com)

Yelp’s new app, Yelp for Business Owners, serves as a more effective way for business owners to keep tabs on users’ comments, questions, and reviews using new features like real-time notifications (officialblog.yelp.com)

However, as useful as the application and website can be for consumers, Yelp isn’t always quite as beneficial for business owners. Sure, it can be a great way for satisfied customers to tout the pros of an establishment, which can in turn generate increased business. On the other hand, negative remarks and ratings on Yelp by unsatisfied consumers can be detrimental to any business.

 

In those instances when negative reviews begin surfacing on a particular business’s profile, one of the most beneficial moves that a business owner can make is to promptly respond and address the concerns of unsatisfied customers. It is a strategy which not only demonstrates a desire to satisfy customers and maintain positive customer service on the business owner’s part, but which also has the potential to motivate hesitant customers to visit that business.

 

Unfortunately, Yelp hasn’t always offered business owners the most optimal and efficient experience when it came to accessing their account information and keeping tabs on customer reviews and comments. That is, until now.

 

Just this month, the popular review site took a major step in making Yelp more useful to business owners with the launch of its latest app, Yelp for Business Owners. The app allows business owners the opportunity to better monitor consumer activity on their business’s profiles and to more effectively and efficiently address customer concerns.

 

New and improved features offered by the app to business owners include real-time push notifications of reviews and comments on Yelp and the ability to quickly respond to comments via public posting or private messaging.

 

This is a tool which is immensely empowering to business owners, allowing them to take more control over details which can have a major impact on PR, including customer satisfaction and the overall customer service experience associated with their business. Customer service is a major defining factor of any business, and the best PR can come from something as simple as demonstrating dedication to the satisfaction of customers on a site like Yelp.

 

Yelp for Business Owners is a tool which enables business owners to do just that. It is an opportunity to address the concerns of unsatisfied customers in an effort to improve a business, while maintaining a positive relationship with even the most satisfied of customers.

 

Do you consult Yelp or similar sites before going out to different restaurants, stores, etc.? Is it important for you to see business owners taking an active role in building a positive relationship with consumers on these sites? Share your thoughts below or tweet me @tamarahoumi