Many Brands have a love hate relationship with Yelp! One of my clients has received awards from Yelp! but we have also struggled to get customer service when someone leaves a fraudulent review or one that isn’t proper (like an angry customer calling the owner a bitch).
You can flag reviews and sometimes they get taken down. Other times not. There is no customer service number on the Yelp! site that I could find. You don’t get an email communication regarding any decisions on flagged reviews. They just stay. Or they disappear.
In the past Yelp! showed up in the first age of results. More and more I see second or third page. Now I am starting to see the integration of Google Places with Zagat on the first page.
And it looks really nice and compelling.
Now my client is a mobile business so the address here is moot. But the Zagat integration also giving their website I like a lot. We have noticed a big decrease in activity on Yelp! including much fewer reviews.
This is definitely a development to watch. My friend in 2009 was working for City Search. And they sold businesses a package that also ensured they were in the first page of results. Yelp! obviously displaced City Search especially with their easy to use Mobile App.
Now many Google will be displacing Yelp!? Just think of how Google Places, Navigation, Google Plus, and Zagat could be a major integrated player in your business being found and it’s public image.
For a small business I always recommend listing in many places and monitoring them. They can help you discover quality issues faster, improve your service, and give you many insights. I also recommend that anyone unhappy gets contacted. I have converted some dissatisfied customers into major brand advocates this way.