Personal reflections of a customer’s experience in your cannabis business is the most candid way for other people to learn and to want to check out your cannabis business. Yelp is a popular online review-based platform for local businesses who handle daily customers such as medical dispensaries, I-502 stores, and recommendation clinics. To utilize Yelp to its full potential, first your business account needs to be filled out completely, and second, you need to get those reviews!
Step 1: Setup Account
Yelp’s site uses automated filtering analytics that flags incomplete and inactive accounts. This may end up in reviews that aren’t displayed on your profile. Here are a few checkpoints to make sure your Yelp account is complete:
Contact information is easy to find and up to date
Yelpers routinely check the reviews of a new business before stepping inside the door. If they can’t find an address, hours, or phone number, it’s all too easy to move on to the next item on the list. It’s also a good idea to link up your website or Facebook page for those extra nosy Yelpers.
Include a profile photo
Yelp also flags your account as a potentially illegitimate profile if you don’t have a profile photo. Use a simple and easy to recognize image like your logo for your profile photo.
Include photos on your profile
People are more likely to swipe through fifty pictures on Yelp rather than read a very well composed essay on the reviews of your products. Make sure those photos are of high quality and positively promote your business.
Include a description of your business
Think of your business description as a tweet-sized summary of 160 characters or less. If the viewer likes the gist of your business, they will explore your business profile further. No description on your Yelp business profile receives another flag!
Step 2: Get Reviews
You may find that organic reviews from your customers are way too slow. To pick up the speed on reviews there are a few options you can incorporate as a business owner:
Include Yelp in the topic of conversation
Great customer service begins and ends with your employees who interact with your customers first hand. Have Yelp become a regular topic to bring up when talking to customers. Simple questions like How did you hear from us? could very easily be to a person who uses Yelp frequently. Your employee could suggest the customer check in on Yelp, or even write a review of their experience.
Find customers who use Yelp regularly
Yelper’s profiles go through the similar automated filters that flag for illegitimate profiles. If a customer creates an account just to write a raving five star review for your business, that review may not be displayed on your business’s profile, or have the star rating reflect that review. If the Yelper’s profile isn’t completed, like a profile photo and some friends on Yelp, that raving review is flagged. To not get in that loophole, find those customers who are already active on Yelp by themselves.
Yelp reminders around the business
Something as simple as a little Check-in to Yelp flyer by the door as customers come in, or little reminders around the business using the Yelp logo as a visual key, will encourage customers to check-in during their experience.
Incentivize reviews by customers
Coupons or gift certificates are a great way to give that extra nudge for customers to write a review for your business. Consider having your employees mention the discount for a review after a transaction, or have a coupon by the checkout area customers can take home as a reminder to write a review of their experience.