i received a call from a female Yelp rep a week or two ago and
she proceeded to tell me how many hits my small garage door company received. i've had quite a few customers from Angie's List, but not that many from Yelp. In her infinite wisdom, she told me that people don't shop in the Yellow Pages anymore. i told her she was wrong and gave her an example of a book about eight years ago that took my business from 460 jobs a year to 660. It was the only advertising change i made and it only cost me 100 bucks a month. i told her my advertising budget was stretched to the limit, but i let her give me her starter price package anyway. 300 BUCKS A MONTH!! i do appreciate any business from Yelp, but 3600 bucks a year is nuts. Angie's List has also called me every other month for a few years to try and get me to send them a check, but i respectfully declined. 650 jobs a year is a nice round number for my Son and i. Neither one of us are really into $$$$ and that's why we still offer a double torsion spring installation for 145 bucks plus tax. Parts and labor. Happy Trails....
Be careful. Suddenly you may see good Yelp reviews of your business filtered out for no apparent reason. My friend had a service business show up at her house and she asked about a couple of bad reviews, and they advised her to read _all_ the reviews, including the filtered reviews. Yelp tried to get them to advertise and they declined.
The filtered reviews are usually NOT sham reviews put up by shills, Yelp insists that the filtered reviews have no relation to whether or not the business advertises but who knows?
The bottom line is that the automated review filter makes their site much less useful and much less trustworthy. We're not talking about filtering out reviews with obscenities or threats, most of the filtered reviews are legitimate reviews with ratings that span the number of stars from one to five.
Maybe the reason Yelp continues to do worse than analysts expect is that users are getting wise to the increasing unreliability and untrustworthiness of their site.
The most reliable site I've found for evaluating businesses is Bay Area Consumer Checkbook. They are not free (though you can see the printed version at most libraries) and they accept no advertising at all, so there is nothing you can do to get your business a higher rating other than to provide good service at reasonable prices.
It's almost impossible to please every customer. i did a torsion spring change for a young lady, who ran out into the COLD garage in bare feet and mentioned how her neighbors in the condo highly recommended us. i felt sorry for because she had been out of work for a long time. She invited me into the kitchen, while she wrote the check and we walked out the door, with a smile on her face and thanking me. A couple weeks later, she put a review on one of the phone books, stating that i hated Jews and a couple other complete fabrications. It's kind of funny, but a neighbor of hers and previous customer (who is Jewish) saw her complaint, called me and asked if i would mind if he wrote a rebuttal to her attack. He was nice enough to write a very positive letter. You just can't please everybody.
Angie's List gives a special award for companies in the top 5% of their reviews. We've received that award many years and again in 2012....