It’s Saturday night and you’re headed out the door to have dinner out with your family. Where are you going? Good question! It’s up to you to decide on a restaurant, so before you leave the house, you pull up Yelp! on your phone or computer to find something that sounds good.
If this sounds like you, you’re not alone. Over 19 million people use Yelp! as a way to guide their buying decisions each and every month. Since many of Yelp’s users come back over and over again, there are actually over 41 million searches completed each month.
That’s 41 million recommendations! Wouldn’t it be fantastic if your Home Inspection services received a few of these recommendations each month? It’s completely doable -- you just need to setup a Yelp profile and ask your most content customers to review your work.
Here’s how to get started on Yelp:
Setup your account. Visit http://biz.yelp.com/signup and create an account for your business.
Offer as much info as possible. As you’re creating your account, try to fill out all of the fields that you can. This will help your business to become easier to find in search results. People probably won’t search for your company name -- they will search for your industry or service (i.e. home inspection, real estate inspector) along with their location (ie. San Diego, 92104, Orange County).
Include pictures when setting up your profile. This could be as simple as your company logo, a picture of you, a picture of your office or a picture of homes you’ve inspected (with client approval of course). People are very visual -- allow them to not only read about what you do, but to “see” you too.
Don’t forget your contact information. You want Yelp visitors (all 19 million of them each month!) to know exactly how to find you once they decide that you are who they want to work with. Make it easy for them to get in touch.
Ask for reviews. Yelp makes it easy for visitors to organize search results. Often, visitors will look at businesses with the greatest reviews first in order to make a purchase decision. This means you need reviews! The best way to get your customers to review your work is to ask them. Often it can be as simple as including a request for a review in your Inspection report. All you have to say is “If you are satisfied with my service, I would appreciate a review on Yelp. Here’s a link to my Yelp page: [your link here].”
Be specific in your request. Don’t make your customers guess what they are supposed to write about. Being specific about what you want to highlight will help you get the results you’re looking for. If you want people to review the quality of your service, ask for it. If you’re looking for feedback on your pricing, be specific about that. For instance, in your request you could say something like this: “Many of my customers find that I have the quickest turnaround time in the Seattle area, while maintaining a high standard of excellence. If you agree, I would love for you to include a mention of this in your Yelp review so that more people like you who value efficiency can find my services.”
Track the results. Once you launch your Yelp page, make sure and track the results by asking all new customers how they found you. This will help you determine how effective your Yelp profile is at driving referrals.
Social proof is undeniably important when it comes to purchase decisions. Your customers are more likely to listen to complete strangers about the quality of your work than they are to trust what you say about yourself on your own website.
If you’re not already using Yelp! as an extension of your social proof, get started right now. The results will speak for themselves.