Social media added new complexities to customer satisfaction strategies and processes and Mobile adding another new dimension. Mobile phones are being used by consumers to choose local businesses with positive user reviews. A video of the iPhone Yelp app shows how:
This application shows a users accessing reviews written by others to choose a restaurant in an area where they are located currently or in an area they will be going to. Who wrote the reviews? Other consumers. These reviews are what the customer satisfaction community calls ‘Testimonials’ or ‘References’ and now they are on line, accessible from mobile phones.
This is a Yelp iPhone application so the user has to have an iPhone. But Yelp offers free applications on the Blackberry, Android based phones, Palm Pre and for those consumers who don’t have a ‘smart’ phone, Yelp has a ‘mobile’ website m.yelp.com that you can access from any mobile phone with a web browser.
I tried this from my location just outside of Toronto and searched for Pizza on my mobile browser. It brought up several sites, each with ratings (out of 5), color coded to show me those that had the highest scores and how many ratings there were for each restaurant. The mobile site also gave me the distance from where I was located, offered to show the location of the restaurant on a map (it was click-able) and offered the phone number as a click-able link.
Business Owner Tools
Yelp offers business tools to help business owners who is looking at their site and what the demographics are of Yelp users who write reviews, like who they are, where they come from, how they found your business, and, of course, from the review, what they like or don’t like about your business. Here’s a business owner’s video from Yelp that describes what tools they offer.
I was recently made aware of a new service, Yelp Alert, that monitors your Yelp reviews and send you an alert for all Yelp reviews with 3 Stars or less. Monitoring reviews with 3 Stars or less can help firms better handle handle complaints on Yelp. Since Yelp reviews are not necessarily in chronological order, this service provides a list of 60 days worth of Yelp reviews (3 or lower) for its customers.
One might think that monitoring reviews is just for restaurants, bars, night clubs, and retail but it could apply to professional services, such as a Handyman, Doctor, Lawyer, Chiropractor, or anyone that operates a business that deals with the public.
At the time of writing this article, Yelp does not yet permit customers to write a review of a site from their mobile phone but I suspect that will be an upgrade coming in the future.
Monitoring Yelp and similar complaint aggregators for dissatisfied customers has been a topic of many articles on this blog. A new best practice is to monitor positive reviews on the location based services such as Yelp. Positive reviews customers can access through their mobile phone should be tracked as a customer satisfaction measurement.
Do you track positive reviews? Tell you story in the comment section below.