Sites like Yelp, Google Places and Angie’s List have changed the playing field for mobile trade businesses, playing a huge role in their ability to be found by potential customers. With 85% of consumers using these find local businesses, the days of being “first in the phone book” are quickly becoming a thing of the past.
While online review sites both help with visibility and reward great customer service, they can introduce a variety of liabilities, particularly for home repair professionals like plumbers, HVAC professionals, electricians and general contractors.
Based on analysis of hundreds of Yelp reviews across four verticals and five regions, we’ve developed a series of key findings that promise to help these mobile business operators reach peak performance. Keep reading to explore the infographic, or click here to access the free whitepaper for the full Yelp study featuring in-depth insights and actionable tips on how your business can harness the power of online review sites.
99.2% of businesses are hidden by Yelp search options
Perhaps one of the most surprising findings of our Yelp study was the fact that on average, a whopping 99.2% of businesses are hidden from search results anytime a Yelp user sorts results by “Highest Rated” or “Most Reviewed”. These frequently-used search options display the top 40 highest-rated businesses in any given category, or those that have received the highest number of reviews by Yelp users, obscuring the remainder of businesses from results.
For businesses in large cities and highly-saturated categories, these search options – which are commonly-used by the majority of Yelpers – can make it incredibly difficult for them to be discovered organically by potential customers. The lower a business’ review count, the more difficult it can be for them to be found by browsing customers.
43% of complaints directly result in lost business
After having a negative interaction with a business, a hefty 43% of unhappy Yelpers decided to hire the competition instead. For many businesses, this can result in a huge loss of potential revenue.
Scheduling problems are the #1 cause of lost business
Poorly communicated schedule changes are costing small businesses big time. Scheduling problems are the #1 driver of negative Yelp reviews, and 78% of scheduling problems result in lost business for home repair professionals.
Unfortunately, solopreneurs and small businesses are most affected by scheduling problems. Unlike large businesses, these smaller operations typically have less personnel resources to help with scheduling and customer service, lack of scheduling technology, and an overall tighter schedule.
A business’ invoicing and billing process can have a big impact
Home repair professionals could nix nearly one in ten of their negative Yelp reviews simply by improving their process for writing up estimates, providing bills and processing payments. The most commonly cited complaints relating to invoicing and billing:
- Delays in receiving a written estimate
- Inability to provide a detailed estimate or bill
- Confusing payment process
- Lost payments
What should your business be doing differently?
There are a few simple change you can make that will increase your visibility on sites like Yelp and help prevent potential problems before they turn into negative online reviews. We’ve compiled actionable tips and additional insights in our free whitepaper, The Value of an Online Review. Click here to access the complete (FREE!) guide!
Tip: Guide will be sent via email. If you don’t receive it within a few minutes, be sure to check your spam folder!