Your Yelp Message Center May Be Costing You Leads

Posted by David Chism | Tue, Jan 2, 2018

 Your Yelp Message Center May Be Costing You Leads
When it comes to gen­er­at­ing leads, my clients tend to have a love-hate rela­tion­ship with Yelp (depend­ing on their loca­tion and over­all review rat­ing, some do get quite a few!).  Lead analy­sis is one of the ser­vices I offer. This past fall, I began to notice some­thing inter­est­ing as I took a clos­er look at the leads a par­tic­u­lar client was gen­er­at­ing from Yelp. They were receiv­ing quite a few (that’s promis­ing, right?), but after tak­ing an even deep­er dive I dis­cov­ered that the actu­al clos­ing rate was way below their aver­age. With the help of my client, we found a poten­tial prob­lem: Yelp Mes­sen­ger. We dis­cov­ered that when a con­sumer clicks to mes­sage a com­pa­ny on Yelp and then fills out a request for ser­vice, Yelp auto-checks 3 oth­er relat­ed ser­vice providers to get bids from as well!  In fact, the Yelp user can select up to 10 with­in sec­onds. I think most con­sumers will nev­er uncheck (or even notice!) the oth­er box­es, and will sim­ply hit the Request Quotes” but­ton. There are sev­er­al prob­lems with this system: 
  • It encour­ages every con­sumer to get a min­i­mum of 4 bids. I do not think that every­one these days has the time to get 4+ esti­mates for work. If they do, let them do their own research and decide who those bids should come from (and when).
  • Even if you are a paid adver­tis­er on Yelp, the sys­tem works the same way.
  • Yelp does­n’t play favorites when they serve up oth­er ser­vice providers — it is a ran­dom selec­tion. This ben­e­fits Yelp’s sales team by allow­ing them to use that data when call­ing on con­trac­tors who are not adver­tis­ing with them, show­ing them their pro­file is get­ting viewed!

Here is the Cur­rent Solution

If you just need leads, do noth­ing. Leave the mes­sen­ger on. You’ll prob­a­bly just deal with at least 3 – 4 oth­er con­trac­tors when you bid a project, mak­ing your bid a tougher sell. For the rest of you, turn off your mes­sage cen­ter and send con­sumers to your web­site to con­tact you. I have reached out to my Yelp reps and expressed my con­cern mul­ti­ple times. I have actu­al­ly got­ten a few of them to under­stand my con­cern and agree that it is not the best. I’ve heard rumors of changes com­ing! Until those changes are made, just turn off mes­sag­ing with­in the Inbox” set­tings of your busi­ness account.

About David Chism

David Chism started his business out of a passion for helping small contracting businesses grow, be more profitable and become better known to their target clients. One lifelong hobby of David is using techie gadgets. So this blog is a place where he writes about technology, marketing ideas, just for fun (humor), personal thoughts on small business and more.


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