What do you think of when you hear the name “Yelp”? You probably think of a place to check and leave business reviews. Well, that’s no longer all that happens on this social platform. Yelp is now also a place where potential customers can request quotes, discuss their needs directly with businesses, and even get appointments booked!
BuzzFeed recently reported on Yelp’s move in adding its new Request a Quote feature for a wide range of business categories, including home repair and other home services. While Yelpers already had the ability to message businesses directly, the wording on the message button was only recently changed to say “Request a Quote.”
Here’s what you get when you click on the “Request a Quote” button at the top of the regular Yelp results:
And here’s what you get when you request a quote from an individual business:
According to Yelp’s blog, the new feature has led to the following results:
- A 15x increase in the number of messages generated in the home services category
- A 2.5x increase in message response rates from business owners
- Over half of messages from Yelpers receiving responses within 24 hours
This is all great news for both consumers and local businesses. For consumers, contacting a business becomes much easier, as they don’t have to take the extra step of calling or visiting the business’ website. They can also send quote requests to up to 10 businesses at once to make the process even more convenient.
Meanwhile, the business can more easily connect with people who are searching for services in their area, which can possibly lead to new jobs. The feature is available on both desktop and mobile.
It Takes Some Effort on the Business Side
Yelp’s new Request a Quote feature can be extremely beneficial—for those that actually opt in. If you are one of the home service businesses that decides to participate, you will need to make sure that you actually take the time read and respond to messages in a timely manner. Failing to respond quickly will likely leave a bad impression on the potential customer and lead to a lost opportunity to gain a new customer.
In addition to that, businesses that opt in for the feature will have both their average response rate and their response time publicly displayed, so too much lag time can hurt your business’ reputation in that sense as well. (The fastest responders are rewarded by having their response times highlighted in green, according to Yelp.) If you decide to sign your home service business up for this feature, you’ll have to go all in!
Positive Yelp Reviews Are More Important Than Ever
As Yelp takes on a larger role in the process of shopping for home service businesses, it becomes even more important to stay on top of your Yelp presence. Have you set up a Yelp profile for your home service business and filled out as much information as possible? Is your business information up-to-date? Do you have enough positive reviews and ratings to make potential customers want to choose your business?
If you answered no to any of these questions, it’s time to get to work on your Yelp profile—whether or not you are participating in the Request a Quote feature.
Think of it this way… if you are one of the home service businesses opting in, you’ll be head-to-head with other local businesses that also offer direct messaging. Stellar ratings and reviews may be just what you need to get Yelpers to reach out to your business and request a quote, or even still consider your business if another business offers a lower quote. On the other end of the spectrum, if you aren’t participating, you may need to prove yourself even more in order to get customers to take the extra step of picking up the phone and calling your business when they can just chat online with another one.
If you need help managing your local directory listings, online reviews, and overall Internet presence, our home services marketing team at Scorpion can help. Contact us and tell us about your needs!
To find how you can improve your online reviews, check out this free guide.
About the Author
Jordan Wilson is the Senior VP of National Brands at Scorpion. For nearly a decade, he has worked with businesses of all sizes, from Fortune 500 companies to businesses at the local level. Professionally and personally, Jordan fosters the relationships he develops with his clients, always striving to exceed their goals and expectations. Jordan graduated from the University of Mobile where he played college soccer and won the National Championship in 2002. He is an avid traveler, and he loves a good Irish Pub, LSU Football, and spending time with his family.