I had an experience a few weeks ago where a salesperson from Yelp tried to get me to advertise. After several days of phone calls and his exasperated sighs when I told him I could not speak at length while customers were in the store (duh!), we finally connected on a day when Norma and I were both in. While she deftly handled customers (lucky Norma), Alex and I were on the phone for at least a half-hour.
At first he was shocked because I haven't paid attention to our Yelp page. "Did you know that Yelp is Apple's search engine for businesses?" No, I did not. "Did you know that Yelp is the third most accessed website for mobile users, aside from adult websites?" Again I responded no. "Why have you not handled this?" he wanted to know. Aside from feeling like I was in 5th grade and had been scolded by Sister Marie Therese for not doing my homework, I explained all the other things we do regarding our store. We do Facebook and Instagram, we do all the accounting, we do all the computer work, we manage our book inventory - shelving, culling, and buying, we research and order all the sidelines we offer, we write a blog, create a monthly newsletter, find and schedule authors, we support authors with offsite book sales - this is where he stopped me. "And you don't have time to look at Yelp?" I took a deep breath because I really try not to scream when customers are in the store.
Since our Point of Sale system is also our internet, I told him I would look at our Yelp page either at home or when there was a lull in customers. When I did, I am ashamed to report, that I found Bookends has only 3 1/2 stars based on our reviews - all 7 of them! So, we had approximately 8,000 customers in during the past year, with 4,000 currently in our customer database which means they trade books with us. Out of those 8,000 customers, our "Yelp" reputation is based on the reviews of 7 people - .0875% of our clientele!
The more I thought about it, the more my cookies got frosted. And, the more I knew our customers are voting with their feet and their purses, and not with their Yelp reviews.
I sincerely thank you all for that! But...as I told Norma I ain't too proud to beg! So, if you are a Yelper or if you put reviews on Google or Trip Advisor, and if you even remotely think we are doing a good job in bringing you good books you want to read at good prices, please consider reviewing us on Yelp, Google, or Trip Advisor. We'd really appreciate it and perhaps our reviews would then be somewhat proportional to our wonderful customer base!