Issue 011 December 2013 – Grow Smart Growth Bites

Welcome to the latest issue of the Grow Smart Growth Bites Blog, your monthly newsletter dedicated to business growth and development. In this issue:

Why Your Business Should Care About Yelp
5 Ways to Get Customers Raving About You

Why Your Business Should Care About Yelp

Yelp for business tipsLocal business owners have certainly been preached to about the importance of Yelp for their business. Other than Google, Yelp is likely the most important Web property for local business around today.

If you’re new to local search optimization, or are just now getting to the party, you may be wondering why your business should even care about Yelp at all. Fair question. Let’s take a look at some of the reasons why you absolutely need to have a presence on Yelp now.

Why Yelp is important for your business

  • Some 90 percent of Yelp users say positive reviews impact their buying decisions – Yelp users have come to regard reviews posted on the site as worthy of their trust. Since consulting online reviews is now part and parcel of the shopping experience, this puts Yelp in a most enviable position.
  • Yelp is the most trusted review site – Yelp has maintained a policy of a clean site, regularly policing reviews to ensure the best sampling available, and keeping their reviews pure. This has led to an enormous amount of trust placed on them.
  • Yelp favors small business over big – While large chain restaurants and retailers may lament this fact, it wasn’t necessarily by design. It is merely that most chain stores will be markedly similar, and the public isn’t terribly interested in the differences in a McDonalds from one suburb to the next.
  • Each star in a review leads to a 5-9 percent bump in revenue – A study by the Harvard Business School showed a dramatic difference in revenues when an establishment is reviewed positively on Yelp.
  • Yelp means money to small business – A survey by the Boston Consulting group showed that the average small business with a Yelp account reaped an $8,000 increase in revenues, and that jumped to $23,000 for those who chose to advertise on Yelp.
  • Yelp’s mobile app – Yelp is moving to make mobile reviews a reality. At the moment it can be used for tips and for draft reviews, but clearly the intent is there to make Yelp as mobile-useful as possible given the vast numbers of mobile users.
  • Using Yelp proactively leads to better customer awareness – A full 77 percent of small businesses that utilize Yelp have found that the site has changed the way they view and handle customer service.
  • Your competitors are using it! – Don’t look now, but all of your competition is jumping aboard Yelp, to take advantage of the many valuable options that can be found there. With the proliferation of local business directories and merchant sites, Yelp has established itself firmly in the first tier, and is going anywhere anytime soon.

Yelp is clearly the big dog in this space, rivaling Google+ Local. We say it’s time to let the big dog hunt!


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5 Ways to Get Customers Raving About You

get customers raving about youIt’s one thing to get customers, and quite another to build a base of raving fans. Doing the first one gets the business, and the second expands and grows your company faster than could imagine.

But how do you go about creating a culture ion your company where your customers are not only recommending you, but are your most ardent evangelists? We’ve found 5 great ways to turn your customer base into de facto employees!

5 Tips for getting customers to rave about your brand!

  1. Deliver awesome value – Nothing says more about you than the quality of products and services you deliver, along with the way you deliver them. People are almost pre-conditioned now to expect mediocrity, so that when something truly wonderful comes along, they are apt to tell the known world all about it. These days that can be a very real boost, as a positive Tweet or Facebook post can send a horde of interested folks your way pronto!
  2. Reach out to your best customers – Identify your best customers and look for ways to reach out to them. This can pay off in several ways. Talking to them helps you understand what it is customers like about your products and services, as well as what they might like to see. Also, think of ways you can cross promote them as well. Featuring their business in a blog post or video can be beneficial for both of you.
  3. Ask for and reward reviews –Reviews are like gold these days, as more and more people seek recommendations online before seeking out your services. Be sure and ask your customers for help here, and don’t be shy about rewarding them. Attempt to do this post-review, so there is no hint of you simply buying their review. Moreover, receiving an unexpected token of appreciation from you will only further endear you in their eyes.
  4. Deal with problems like a Rockstar! – Monitor the buzz about your company and products in social media, and get ahead of the curve when it comes to dealing with dissatisfied customers. Be open, honest, and proactive when you discover an issue. Very often, you can resolve the problem quickly and build a reservoir of goodwill with that customer. If your product or service just isn’t a good fit for them, offer an alternative that would be better. You’ll have created a raving fan for life, and don’t think they won’t spread the word!
  5. Give for no reason at all – Look for ways to constantly be giving, and this doesn’t always mean a coupon or special deal. Useful content, free webinars and other perks can keep your brand in the front of their minds for some time to come

There are many opportunities to create raving fans for your brand. Most of the time it’s the care you show that makes the difference.

Thanks for Reading!

We welcome your ideas and feedback to make our content more applicable to your needs. Contact us anytime!

Best wishes for much success!

Neil Gass
Grow Smart Marketing