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Signed up for yelp a few months ago. I see alot of leads coming through Kukui and have sold ~10k or so through them. My biggest complaint currently is my SA's getting annoyed by the barrage of messages/calls from people wanting their 20" impala wheels powdercoated or their suburban seats reupholstered or a starter for a kia optima. About 1/30 leads are even worth answering. I suppose a lead is a lead at the end of the day. Were at the ~675/mo tier.

 

Whats everyones experiences... 

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11 hours ago, 328ijunkie said:

Signed up for yelp a few months ago. I see alot of leads coming through Kukui and have sold ~10k or so through them. My biggest complaint currently is my SA's getting annoyed by the barrage of messages/calls from people wanting their 20" impala wheels powdercoated or their suburban seats reupholstered or a starter for a kia optima. About 1/30 leads are even worth answering. I suppose a lead is a lead at the end of the day. Were at the ~675/mo tier.

 

Whats everyones experiences... 

I get a many non Euro requests as I do Euro requests. People don't seem to read very well on average as we have nothing on our page that indicates we work on anything but Euro. The positive is we have has such a positive response for non Euro (and amongst other sources) that it has prompted us to start a general repair shop as a second brand. Lets see how that goes LOL

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Yelp! will also start relentlessly calling and badgering you to pay advertise with them as well. And eventually if you don't, there has been a LOT of rumor that they will negatively review your business for you.

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Yelp is VERY regional in how it works. Tends to be used by a younger, urban crowd. University and College towns usually have greater number of active users. If that is your market, both location and demographic, then it MIGHT work.

IF it works it can be good producer. And you don't need a paid listing or paid ads. A well optimized free listing can work almost as well as paid listing. Like any online advertising it only works IF people are actively looking for your services/products in your area. I know a couple shops in medium sized, eastern university towns that get a solid 30 - 60 paying customers per month from a free listing. Also many other shops, with free and paid listings, that get zero leads...

Remember, Yelp sales people will sell you advertising even if there is no active users in your area. That is their job... It is your responsibility to judge if their regional demographics match your business, and what their "readership" is in your area. Ask for detailed user numbers. And don't let sales people quote you 'raw' traffic numbers which are meaningless and worthless. I've always had a problem when print newspapers are required to publish their readership statistics for ad buyers, but no comparable requirement for online advertisers. Buyer beware.

Best thing to do is look at Yelp listings in your city/town and see if any other businesses (in any industry) are getting any reviews, or are buying paid advertising. That is a good indicator of how active Yelp users are in that town. If there are no active users in general there is no value spending your time or money on it. If there is activity in other industries, then create a quality free listing as a test. If the free listing gets some quality leads, then try spending some on paid ads. Not before squeezing the most from a free listing.

Yelp rumors are largely a myth from the past. It might have been happening in isolated cases, but Yelp has clamped down on their rogue sales people. Biggest problem is the scam artists who try to extort businesses for free services or discounts with threat of bad review. A real problem in restaurant and hotel businesses.

Edited by RobMax
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328ijunkie, I disagree! (Sorry) A lead is a lead is a lead doesn't work. What if you started getting calls for "lawn care" or "reservations"?? They're leads too! But you're not in that business. 
If these leads are coming from your website, then the SEO sucks! (Sorry again...)

In marketing it's called TARGETING. You - or somebody is targeting the WRONG AUDIENCE. I don't have your website address, so I can't tell you what's there, but I would be pleased to have a look if you want to post it. 

Hope this helps!

Matthew Lee
"The Car Count Fixer"

Fix Your Car Count in 17 Minutes... Guaranteed!
The Official Guide to Auto Shop Marketing
The Auto Shop Owner's Unfair Advantage!

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Yelp..... I use to love Yelp and was an elite yelper when I didn't own a business. I got so sick of the damn sales calls that I finally relented in giving them my business for $425/month. I wanted to make a video for my site anyway and they offered to make one..... I had to edit the crap out of that thing. You can see the Yelp video on my yelp page and the edited version on my website.

Anyway, not sure if Yelp is worth it. I get a few yelp customers but I am more afraid to cancel because I fear that I am going to get a bunch of negative reviews. I think me paying for their service is shielding me from the negative reviews. Yea, maybe I'm paranoid but I have my hunch.

It's like the mafia, I am paying them $425 to let me continue doing business in peace lol. O yea, I did get  A LOT of calls for rim repair....... all from Yelp. Haven't been lately so maybe they fixed it

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  • 2 weeks later...

I despise Yelp. I don't have a perfect track record on Google, but it's pretty good. A 4.7 rating out of 58 reviews. Yelp on the other hand I get a 1 star rating for 5 reviews. This happens because good reviews don't get posted. The good reviews are deemed unreliable, even though the user may be a long time Yelper with many reviews, so Yelp hides them from public view.  I know from the experience of a few friends that if you are a paid advertiser the good reviews tend to be "reliable" and therefore get posted, while bad reviews don't. One friend of mine used to advertise on Yelp and actively encouraged customers to leave a review, and when he stopped paying Yelp he had almost all of his good reviews magically disappear, but all the bad reviews stayed.

I know of at least 20 good Yelp reviews I've had. Only 5 bad reviews show on Yelp, and a couple of the reviewers I can't even find in my database. I even had a few good reviews that Yelp was showing which have recently disappeared. Crooked bastards.

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I agree Yelps 'Sorting' is all over the place and prob makes you look good when you throw them money. I still dont get a ton of leads from them. I yelled at a rep on the phone the other day and he suggested some changes to a few sections, we'll see. Thanks for everyones advice/thoughts. 

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  • 2 months later...

Yelp is great for consumers but terrible for business owners, at least for small businesses. We have a 5 star rating, and 73 reviews and we dont pay for any of Yelp's services. It does bring in business but what I hate is that it puts way too much control in the reviewers, which is unfair. One day, a button to "Request a Quote" appeared on our Yelp page (people started requesting quotes on yelp and the conversation would remain on yelp. even when we would say email us, the customer would get so comfortable and just use yelp). Didnt pay for this, never wanted it. I had to talk to Yelp several times and they said they have never once had a business ask to have it taken down. They had to get their engineers to do their thing to remove it from our page and that took weeks!! I was so annoyed because it is OUR business so we should be able to control how we are contacted. They eventually took it down. They should give us the option, not just impose it on us. 

Side tip: the reviews that get sorted to "unrecommended" are accounts who dont have friends or other reviews on Yelp. 

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  • 4 weeks later...

Wow! $5k? Imagine if you used that money to buy postage stamps - and then converted those postage stamps to dollars$ - it could have been something special. The problem (really) isn't just yelp. The "root" of the problem is that you are relying on platforms that you have no control over. They're pretty much all the same - Angie's List, Yelp, any review site - and even Google! That's right - you don't have any control over the platform. 

How do you fix it? CAUTION - This may mean a little work! - So you develop a "system" to get reviews and put them on YOUR website. Add to that a REAL customer referral system (not just some lame offer of 10% off your next visit if you send me a customer) and then apply the original "review system" you develop and get more reviews. 

It works because (sooner or later) one system feeds the other - and it's just that 'ole "Rinse & Repeat". That lets you concentrate on getting the Car Count that you need - and you live happily ever after!

Hope this helps!

Matthew Lee
"The Car Count Fixer"

Get "The Official Guide to Auto Service Marketing"

Fix Your Car Count in 17 Minutes... Guaranteed!

The Shop Owner's Unfair Advantage FREE Access
 

 

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  • 4 months later...

I love yelp. It has been very good to us. I have one negative review that I thought was a competitor, but you guys have me wondering now if the negative review is a yelp employee.

I do spend the bare minimum to get a few features from it. I have canceled here and there and noticed no difference in my reviews. Yelp does seem to place more trust in its more active users.

I think resteraunt have the biggest issue with them because there is more volume and more chance for each "client to have a bad experience. If you are on top of everything going into and coming out of your shop you should have just as good an experience with yelp as I do.

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  • Have you checked out Joe's Latest Blog?

         0 comments
      It always amazes me when I hear about a technician who quits one repair shop to go work at another shop for less money. I know you have heard of this too, and you’ve probably asked yourself, “Can this be true? And Why?” The answer rests within the culture of the company. More specifically, the boss, manager, or a toxic work environment literally pushed the technician out the door.
      While money and benefits tend to attract people to a company, it won’t keep them there. When a technician begins to look over the fence for greener grass, that is usually a sign that something is wrong within the workplace. It also means that his or her heart is probably already gone. If the issue is not resolved, no amount of money will keep that technician for the long term. The heart is always the first to leave. The last thing that leaves is the technician’s toolbox.
      Shop owners: Focus more on employee retention than acquisition. This is not to say that you should not be constantly recruiting. You should. What it does means is that once you hire someone, your job isn’t over, that’s when it begins. Get to know your technicians. Build strong relationships. Have frequent one-on-ones. Engage in meaningful conversation. Find what truly motivates your technicians. You may be surprised that while money is a motivator, it’s usually not the prime motivator.
      One last thing; the cost of technician turnover can be financially devastating. It also affects shop morale. Do all you can to create a workplace where technicians feel they are respected, recognized, and know that their work contributes to the overall success of the company. This will lead to improved morale and team spirit. Remember, when you see a technician’s toolbox rolling out of the bay on its way to another shop, the heart was most likely gone long before that.
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