Have you checked out Yelp’s new Questions & Answers feature yet? This feature enables the Yelp community to ask and answer specific questions about a business. Each question is connected to a specific business and the answers to the questions can come from other consumers or the businesses themselves.
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This feature differs from reviews in that consumers are able to get crowdsourced feedback about a specific feature, product, or experience related to the business. For example, users can ask anything from whether a restaurant would be a good choice for a birthday dinner to how long it typically takes to explore a local museum.
Since users can vote for the answers they find most helpful (and downvote the ones that don’t add any value!), the community effectively gets to choose which answers are “right” and, therefore, most visible.
With traditional review sites, many customers leave and don’t look back once they’ve shared their opinion (that is, unless a new experience dramatically changes their mind, warranting an update or new review). But Questions & Answers invites the community to continue answering others’ questions to share their experiences and maintain an ongoing connection with the business online. Just as it’s important for businesses to monitor and respond to online reviews, it will be equally as important for them to be proactive and involved in the Yelp Q&A community.
Why Local Business Owners Should Pay Attention
As Yelp Product Manager Brian Boshes pointed out, this feature allows consumers to actively engage in a “potentially limitless way.” We recommend all local businesses take advantage of this limitless opportunity to foster customer relationships, adopt a more active role in addressing customer needs, and learn what consumers want to know about their business. (This will be a great way to find out what Q&As should be added on the company website.)
Major Benefits of Yelp’s Q&As
The many advantages of this aptly-named feature include:
- Excellent opportunity to build an engaged local community, especially since users can opt-in to receive notifications whenever a question of interest gets answered.
- Easy way for customers to access reliable information they can trust, especially because top responses are decided by a public voting system.
- Businesses that respond to questions can clear up any misinformation that might be spread by an incomplete or incorrect answer.
- Make information more accessible and specific to consumers who are considering becoming customers.
Yelp created a guide to make it easy for business owners to understand the Q&A feature in more detail. It will be important for business owners to make sure they are receiving notices from Yelp at an email address that is being monitored. Just like a negative review, unanswered questions could have a negative impact on the business.
I’ll be watching as this feature evolves and will keep you posted. In the meantime, while we’re talking about reviews, do you have a solid solution in place to monitor social mentions and respond to reviews? Request a demo to learn about our reputation management solution and how we’re helping our partners each and every day.
Keep coming back each week for more local search news from the #QueenofLocalSEO!
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