In today’s social world - reviews can be the lifeblood of your pet care company. Think about how you find new services. You probably ask around for personal recommendations. Did your neighbor like the new restaurant they tried? What happens if you can’t get a personal recommendation? You probably check Yelp. Your potential clients are checking Yelp too.
While there are a lot of places to get reviews online (Google and Facebook immediately come to mind) Yelp is the giant in the industry. As of June 30, 2018 - Yelp reported over 163 million reviews contributed to their site. 14% of those were for Home and Local services (like pet sitting or dog walking companies).
How did Yelp get to be such a trusted part of so many decisions being made each and every day? One of the most obvious reason is how focused Yelp is on providing trustworthy and accurate information to consumers. You need to be able to trust the feedback you are getting. That’s why you ask your neighbor for their advice and it’s the same reason you check Yelp. But what does that mean for you and your business? Basically - you can’t ask clients for reviews. Yelp has automated software to help weed out any fake or solicited reviews. This really helps level the playing field for small businesses.
So reviews are important but you can’t directly solicit them. How do you get people to review you? First - check out all of Yelp’s suggestions here. Some of the best ones are to provide a fantastic customer experience. Make sure your customers are totally satisfied and the loyal Yelpers will share their experience. You can also make sure your Yelp profile is up to date. Customers are more willing to share their experience if they believe you will actually see their feedback! Lastly - be sure to let people know that your company is on Yelp! While you can’t ask them for a review, you can definitely let them know that you can be found on Yelp.
Now that you’ve gotten your first review - be sure to respond! Thank a client for sharing their positive experience and be sure to address any negative feedback and what you are doing to be better. No one likes getting a bad review but you can take this as an opportunity to grow as a business and as a person. Responding to reviews can be challenging but luckily - Yelp has some great feedback on the best practices!
Reviews on Google and Facebook can be handled the same way. Be sure to remember not to specifically ask for reviews. They should be organic but you can definitely let your client’s know where they can find you! When a client does leave a review - be sure to respond as well! Review websites make it really simple for your customers to talk and share their experiences and you should be a part of that conversation!