While trying to increase inbound traffic to our web site, I recently watched an internet marketing webinar. They recommended Yelp! as a way of getting customer reviews and in turn increasing customer traffic to your web site. As such, I took their advice and signed up for Yelp! immediately. This was two weeks ago. Being the anal retentive person that I am, I kept checking back on our company page to see if any of our customers had left reviews. Well, they didn’t. The only review I found was from an unknown person, named “Larry W” that has never had any contact with our company, in any way, citing “liars and thieves” as his review for our Company. As you can imagine, I was frantic trying to figure out a way to respond to him, respond publicly, or remove his review. It has now been 3 days since I flagged the review as inappropriate, and Yelp! has yet to respond to me or remove the comment. After having been through this ordeal, I have learned that these review sites are full of fraud and any competitor could go on a site and give you a poor review. They do not have to prove that they were a customer, and the business owner has no recourse of action to take. You’re put at the mercy of internet predators trying to do harm to your reputation.
With that said, I can honestly say that 99% of our customer base comes in the form of referrals from past clients. We take pride in our quality craftsmanship, excellent customer service, and high integrity. We build lasting relationships with our clients and we don’t need Yelp! to give tell us we do a GREAT job!. Our extensive client list speaks for itself.
Better Business Bureau on the other hand is a good source for investigating a company, in my opinion. If a complaint is filed, the BBB contacts the company and tries to resolve the complaint before posting it all over the web.
If you’re trying to get reviews for your business, try sites like BBB or Angie’s List. At least you can be assured that there are checks and balances in place.