Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Biz Review that Counts

This is one example of why writing reviews is important. 

IMS Beauty Supply is listed as a beauty supply store. If you never been inside, you'll never know that it also sells liquor. Since the account was locked by a business owner, so no one could change anything. My numerous attempts failed to convince HQ that this is in fact a liquor store and it has a regulated store hours – closed on Sundays.

One way to make this business stand out is over-using the word “liquor” in my review. I strategically placed total of 15 “liquor” words. I deployed a sitcom scenario and my personal experiences to tell my story.

With the search engine strategy, the more natural words (keywords) show up with its content should receive a favorable position within the results. 

That's the power of writing a review.

The search function is based on your behavior. Example here, Android (left) and iOS as first time searching.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Rating Scale

From a scale of 1 to 5 stars, not all my reviews are rated equally. Sometimes, you'll find a happy review with 4 stars while other problematic ones still at 4.

Here are my rules:

  • Outside of Houston Metro, esp when I travel: 2 to 4 stars - since I don't visit them often, I can only write my review based on my one-and-only experience.
  • Government, Facilities, Events, & Festivals: 4 to 5 stars - minor problems don't bother me. Five is absolutely flawless.
  • Failed to provide basic customer service - automatically 1 star and I won't be embarrassed to tell you about it.
  • Food just absolutely tasteless, awful service and I'll never come back: Not worth of my energy to write a review. Unless I contacted the management for corrective action which turned my experience around.
  • Trying on a new business that I added: 3 to 5 stars - I have to check in at least 3 times to try 50% of items from the menu. Most of time, I start off with 5. Often times, I give the owners direct feedback and watch them make changes. They lose stars as the degrees of my satisfaction drop. 
Yelp is not a place to vent your frustration. If you have problems with the goods and service received, tell the business owners or management. Check for signage at the cash register or at the door for toll-free number or answer a Voice of the Customer survey to address the problems is more appropriate.

You'll notice, I don't waste my words in my reviews to express how I rate them. My reviews contain facts that I collected by talking to staff or doing my own research. I have business owners telling me that my reviews were used in their own promotional verbiage or testimonials. That is my biggest reward on writing Yelp reviews.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Bug Reported on Android app

Just reported a bug to the Yelp Android Beta Testers group on Google +. 

I've been an active tester on the Android for a few months. I'm a mobile addict. I like to help with R&D. There were several new features added since then. 

If you are interested to participate, click on Yelp Android Beta Testers

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Courtesy to Religious Practices

I started a "post cultural events" thread 5 months ago on Yelp. It's going strong. 

I just posted a "happy Ramadan" greeting and started to have strange feelings. It's a religious event not a cultural event, right? I also noticed a deleted reply and thank you messages. 

I have no regrets. It's my respect to people who practice Muslim as a religion. This is America, we have the freedom of religion. my experience with Ramadan was rejection when I offered food to some people before sunset. After reading some articles, I understood how everyone live their lives. We need to respect each other and live in harmony and peace.

Ramadan runs different dates, just like Chinese New Year based on the lunar calendar. This year, it starts 6/29 and ends 7/28. So, don't be offended if someone don't eat your food offering before sunset. Plan your party after sunset will allow more participants.