April 27, 2011

How to guide: replying to multiple Yelp reviews

I found a bug in Yelp that allows me to reply to every single one of my reviewers. Why would that be a bug you ask? I have not clue. But Yelp doesn’t allow more than 5 messages a day from business owners, which had me falling behind. I’m committed to replying to any customer who reaches out to us with feedback, whether it’s at the restaurant, truck, on the website, or through Yelp.

I don’t think you’ll find a restauranteur who honestly loves yelp. And those of you who’ve been with us since the beginning know I’ve ranted about Yelp more than once. Sometimes I’ve been right, sometimes I’ve been wrong. I’m at a place now where I value the feedback from customers I get from Yelp, but still don’t think much of the company. They try to charge restaurants an outrageous sum to market to customers using a site most assume is user generated, not manipulated.

My latest episode with Yelp involves replying to multiple reviews. One thing I love about Yelp is that they let you reply to reviews. And if you have multiple restaurants they let you batch those restaurants under one location. It’s pretty cool.

One thing I can’t stand about Yelp is that they limit your replies to customers to 5/day. I try to write back to every single reviewer. Now that we’re growing that’s getting harder. Imagine. If we get more than 1 review at each location a day I simply cannot reply to all. This is real. Yelp limits your number of replies. And if you have more reviews than replies in a day tough luck.

So I called Yelp HQ to talk to them about this. They tried to sell me stuff. I asked if that stuff (manipulative advertising disguised as customer reviews) would allow me to reply to my reviewers. NOPE. But it would help me to sell more blah blah blah. So I called again. I asked, “is there any way I can reply to more than 5 Yelp reviews in a day? I’ll pay you.”

They said NOPE.

BUT, I found a flaw in their system. This is really cool. If you’re on the Yelp business owner review page, click on the private message response button AS A NEW TAB. So I now open say 8 tabs in my browser, each containing a review. Got it so far?

Next, you go to each tab and reply. No limits. It’s great. A little bug or loop hole in their system. So now that I know this you all can write as many reviews as you want!

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