Recently Merchant Warehouse worked with our customers to learn more about how their individual businesses handle online reviews and social media, specifically focused on one of the most used platforms today – Yelp.
Over 800 business owners took part in the survey, and the result provide a interesting perspective on how many small businesses interact and deal with their online reputation.
Some of the most notable results from the survey are below, as is some additional information on our own Yelp score and how Merchant Warehouse is working to improve our current rating.
Impact on Business – Positive/Neutral/Negative
Overwhelmingly, businesses tend to state that Yelp has no discernable, or a neutral impact on them. Even more say Yelp has never caused a crisis for their business.
- 71% Has had no discernible or a neutral impact - 86% report their business has never dealt with a crisis because of Yelp.
- 10% Has had a positive impact
- 9% Has had a negative impact
Learning from Yelp reviews
- 78% of those have used Yelp to handle customer service issues or complaints
- 38% of those have used Yelp to better train staff
- Less than 10% of those used Yelp to modify pricing or hours of operation.
Of those businesses, that have made updates to the business operations as a result of reviews from their Yelp page, the majority of updates are focused on the handling of customer service.
Number of reviews and impact of age of business
The majority of businesses who participated in our survey have less than 20 Yelp reviews or are not concerned with Yelp reviews.
- 28% have 0-2 reviews
- 23% have 3-19 reviews
- 23% admit they have never looked
An interesting find during this survey is that the more mature a business becomes, the less likely it is to be concerned with Yelp reviews.
- 27% of businesses that have been
open for 10+ years admit they have never looked at their Yelp reviews
- 11% for businesses open for less than a year
- 17% for business open 1-3 years
- 24% for businesses open 3-9 years
Fairness of Reviews
Of the businesses that find Yelp relevant to them, the jury is still out as to whether or not reviews are fair.
- 46% - say the majority of reviews are fair and reflect legitimate positive and negative aspects to my business
- 30% - say the majority of reviews are unfair and do not properly reflect the positive and negative aspects of my business
- 27% - say reviews are a 50-50 split – about half are fair and half are not
Though the many businesses are optimistic that most Yelp reviews are fair and balanced, more than half think they are either unfair, or fit into a grey area.
Merchant Warehouse and Yelp
Similar to many of our survey respondents, we at Merchant Warehouse are sensitive to our Yelp score. Over the past 15 years, we have strove to provide top of the line service and payment solutions to our customers at the lowest overall cost. During these 15 years we’ve worked with over 120,000 different merchants and we feel strongly that the vast majority of these businesses both trust and recommend us. However we currently have a less than favorable Yelp score, with less than 20 individuals having used the platform to make note of issues they’ve had with our company.
In some cases the issues they had were ones that while no doubt are an inconvenience to the business in question are necessary safeguards to prevent fraud and protect businesses and consumers. Others are issues in which Merchant Warehouse was unable to meet our goal of providing the best service possible. We’ve learned from all of these reviews and in fact have a number of exciting updates for our Support section of the site which we hope will resolve a very high number of issues that have been pointed out to us on our Yelp page.
We recently worked with ColumnFive to develop an infographic that covers many of the items we learn from the survey as well as other information on "How Yelp Can Help Your Business", both from customer service to in-store sales.