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Yelp Enhanced Profile; Apple's Siri Changes the Value Proposition for Car Dealers Seeking Reputation Management

Apple's Siri May Change How Dealers Look At Yelp...

 

With all the recent buzz about Apple's new Siri application, which is part of the latest Apple iOS operating system update, is it time to reconsider the value propositions that Yelp offers to car dealers with products such as their "Enhanced Profile" package? 


Since 2008 I have designed several Automotive Reputation Management solutions for the auto industry, and have been in a position to monitor and review what components, strategies and tactics seem to work, and to what degree of effectiveness. Because of several factors, including the fast growing size of the Yelp Community and the ever increasing impact of consumer reviews posted within the Yelp network, each package or strategy I have designed since 2008 has included the Yelp Enhanced Dealership Profile... Along with DealerRater Certification and a strong recommendation that participating dealers use an on-site customer posted ratings and reviews process that includes dealer-owned reputation management websites and content syndication systems from either PrestoReviews or BusinessRater

 

Despite the very cool reception that the Yelp team received at the 11th Digital Dealer Conference in Las Vegas last month, I have always found the Yelp team to be responsive to their actual customers... Advertisers such as dealers who purchase any of their fee based services or ad packages.  Yes, like everybody else, Yelp tends to have their hand out for money every time you want them to do work for you, but you know what? So do I, and so does everyone who works in this business...

 

So let's take a look at why the Apple iOS 5 System and the Siri voice operated app has changed the automotive marketing landscape in a way that may merit reconsidering Yelp as part of your dealership's Reputation Management strategy.


Yelp, Siri Says

Following section written by Chantelle, Yelp Communications

 

While unveiling the new iPhone 4S, the SVP of iOS Software at Apple, Scott Forstall, also shared one of its newest features, a voice-activated personal assistant: Siri.


Among other tasks, Siri will take advantage of Yelp reviews to show you the businesses nearby -- and she'll even read them aloud for you automatically! How does it work? Perhaps you’re strolling down Madison Avenue and break a heel. Besides cursing Christian Louboutin (or in my case, Nine West), pull out your iPhone 4S, tell Siri you need a cobbler and voila! She’ll pull up a list of nearby shoe repair shops via Yelp -- helpfully sorted by rating. (She’s also a sassy thing so be careful what you ask her...)

Photo Credit: Engadget

Since launching with the iTunes store way back in 2008, Yelp has long been an Apple supporter. In fact, James Temple of The San Francisco Chronicle recently asked Yelp CEO, Jeremy Stoppelman: “How Apple has affected the business of Yelp... The iPhone in particular must have had a huge impact on the way that people use the service over mobile devices.”

Jeremy responded: “The iPhone launch and the subsequent opening of the App Store was a bit of an atomic bomb in our space. It really changed the landscape forever. We always thought mobile would be a big part of what we did, but until the iPhone there was no mainstream mobile web browsing experience. We, of course, are all Apple fan boys and in 2008, most of the engineering staff had iPhones. So we were very excited about having an app that would marry this content with the user on the go. It just changed the game. I find the search experience on Yelp when using an app is just far more intuitive than on the web.”

Since then, mobile has, in fact, become a big part of what we do -- including a recent (and very fancy!) upgrade to our mobile site: m.yelp.com. One thing’s for sure: whether at their desk or on the go, consumers are relying on Yelp to help them spend their hard-earned money -- and starting today, now it will be even easier with an iPhone 4S (and Siri!).

Yelp Mobile Metrics, August 2011:

  • Yelp had over 5 million unique visitors to our mobile apps -- 63 million total unique visitors to Yelp.com 8.5 million of which were from mobile browsers.
  • More than 2,216,896 calls were made from a Yelp app. That’s nearly 9 calls every 10 seconds to a local business.
  • Over 40% of all Yelp searches were done on one of our mobile apps.

 

Source: http://officialblog.yelp.com/2011/10/yelp-siri-says.html

 

Ralph Paglia Recommends

So with so many people now discovering how useful that the Apple Siri app is in finding the right business, and looking up what customers have to say about those businesses (Yelp Reviews), what do I recommend? After setting up several hundred dealers with Yelp Enhanced Profiles, I would recommend that this relatively inexpensive upgrade package be the first and most minimal action item a car dealer takes to deal with the Siri integration of Yelp business reviews and ratings... Once a dealership gets signed up with the Yelp Enhanced Profile package, a knowledgeable resource will need to be assigned the tasks that must be completed with setting up the dealership's account within Yelp and then flushing it out with the appropriate dealership information, points of contact while using the features that Yelp provides with their Enhanced Profiles.

 

So let's take a look at what Yelp says they include for car dealers in their Enhanced Profile business upgrade package.
 

Yelp Enhanced Profile

Enhanced Profiles help convert viewers into paying customers, project your brand message to prospects, and correctly list contact information for each of your locations. Competitor ads are removed from enhanced listings so consumers focus on your message alone.

Features

Photo Slideshow

Your business will get an unlimited number of rotating photos and the ability to arrange them in any order you choose.

Removal of Competitor's Ads

We will remove local and display advertising to keep consumers' attention on your business.

About this Business

Add specialties, history, and other relevant information to enhance your business profile.

Listing updates

Yelp will ensure that your business name, address, phone, website, and hours are listed correctly. For businesses with large numbers of locations, your location data can be matched and updated in a bulk update operation.

Business Owner Dashboard

Monitor all locations in a single business account with real-time traffic analytics. Messaging capability allows you to respond to reviews privately or publicly. Unique access is provided for different employees/users in your business.

Account Manager

Your Account Manager will help update offers/announcements, upload photos, assign access to different users, provide feedback on how best to respond to reviews, and provide expert advice for marketing your business on Yelp.

Your Account Manager will also report on performance, broken down by individual location, so you can measure the program's effectiveness.



More Information About Siri From Apple

Siri. Your wish is its command.

Siri on iPhone 4S lets you use your voice to send messages, schedule meetings, place phone calls, and more. Ask Siri to do things just by talking the way you talk. Siri understands what you say, knows what you mean, and even talks back. Siri is so easy to use and does so much, you’ll keep finding more and more ways to use it.



It understands what you say.

Talk to Siri as you would to a person. Say something like “Tell my wife I’m running late.” “Remind me to call the vet.” “Any good burger joints around here?” Siri does what you say, finds the information you need, then answers you. It’s like you’re having a conversation with your iPhone.


It knows what you mean.

Siri not only understands what you say, it’s smart enough to know what you mean. So when you ask “Any good burger joints around here?” Siri will reply “I found a number of burger restaurants near you.” Then you can say “Hmm. How about tacos?” Siri remembers that you just asked about restaurants, so it will look for Mexican restaurants in the neighborhood. And Siri is proactive, so it will question you until it finds what you’re looking for.

 

It helps you do the things you do every day.

Ask Siri to text your dad, remind you to call the dentist, or find directions, and it figures out which apps to use and who you’re talking about. It finds answers for you from the web through sources like Yelp and WolframAlpha. Using Location Services, it looks up where you live, where you work, and where you are. Then it gives you information and the best options based on your current location. From the details in your contacts, it knows your friends, family, boss, and coworkers. So you can tell Siri things like “Text Ryan I’m on my way” or “Remind me to make a dentist appointment when I get to work” or “Call a taxi” and it knows exactly what you mean and what to do.


 

It has so much to tell you.

When there’s something you need to do, just ask Siri to help you do it. Siri uses almost all the built-in apps on iPhone 4S. It writes and sends email messages and texts. It searches the web for anything you need to know. It plays the songs you want to hear. It gives you directions and shows you around. It places calls, schedules meetings, helps you remember, and wakes you up. In fact, ask Siri what it can do — it even speaks for itself.

 

Here's a convenient link to the Apple Siri Frequently Asked Questions web page

 

Shown below are several descriptions and links from Yelp of listing products and advertising resources they offer to car dealers:

Views: 1800

Tags: Apple, Car Dealers, Enhanced Profile, Reputation Management, Siri, Value Proposition, Yelp

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Comment by Cole Matthew Mitguard on November 14, 2011 at 9:17am

Ralph - I think that once Siri makes the inevitable transition onto the iPad that it it could potentially be a force in the industry. For while I just can't imagine a customer doing any decision making (when reputation matter most) based on their iphone... we all know that customers are turning more and more to the ipad/tablet market for casual research (ie. car shopping) and using Siri as the "search engine" for that is very possible.

But, I fully agree that dealerships need to focus their attention on there online reputation through Yelp and other reputation sites. I also encourage all dealerships to  get started on their Google+ Branded pages, as that will certainly play a role in online reputation soon enough. I took the screen shot to demonstrate that Google+ reviews are already starting to show up in the SEO results. Here is an article for anyone that is interested in getting started.

Comment by Ralph Paglia on November 10, 2011 at 9:11pm

Iris - No... Siri will return results showing Yelp reviews regardless of whether or not the enhanced profile upgrade has been applied.  However, you have more control over what your listing shows, as well as the ability to respond to reviews if you have the Yelp Enhanced Profile.

Comment by Ralph Paglia on November 10, 2011 at 8:26pm

Cole - You may be right, part of the time, but I find it hard to believe that people will ONLY use Siri to find out about car dealerships when they are in their car and already driving to the dealership of choice... Heck, I have seen my own relatives use Siri to look for used cars while they were in my living room after memorial services for my mother-in-law! Which kind of bothered me when it happened a little over a week ago, but is part of what prompted me to do my research... With that said, I also recognize the fact that it will take awhile for the iPhone 4S and the coming iPhone 5 to reach critical mass.

 

Like you said, Yelp Enhanced Profiles were a smart move before Siri, and may make even more sense if Siri catches on and is adopted by more automotive consumers.

Comment by Cole Matthew Mitguard on November 10, 2011 at 2:58pm

I don't see the impact of Siri as it pertains to the value proposition for car dealers... the simple reason being that by the time that a customer is using Siri they are in the car on the way to the dealership... I don't see a huge number of car shoppers who are going to ask "Take me to the best Toyota dealership" they are going to have that research done prior. In addition, when you consider that the majority of Siri users are going to be rather tech savy, we know from their shopping behavior that this demographic MOST certainly has already chosen their destination dealership well in advance. 

That being said, I think that Yelp Enhanced Profiles are a must for every dealerships, especially those in large, competitive areas. 

Comment by Iris Claudio on November 7, 2011 at 8:55am

Question - does this mean that Siri only recognizes businesses that are enrolled in Yelp's Enhanced Package?

Comment by Ralph Paglia on November 6, 2011 at 11:54am
Brian, thank you for the collaborative comment... There are many reasons I like the Yelp Enhanced Profile for dealers, not the least of which is that it gives dealers an enhanced ability to monitor and respond to all reviews, both positive and negative.  Also, it has been my experience that Yelpers respond much more positively and seek to do business with dealers who respond appropriately to critical or less than perfect reviews.  However, by the same token, dealers who respond with arrogance or a bad attitude towards criticism will suffer greatly in lost business.  Yelp should be handled with great care, but the rewards are right up there with any of the other review sites when handled properly by the dealer.
Comment by Brian Pasch on November 6, 2011 at 5:14am

Ralph

You are right on the mark recommending dealers engage with their customers and identify those the are Yelpers.  The last time I used their mobile app, the review would not go live until it was confirmed from a web browser, which makes the Yelp mobile app a 2 step process.  

 

It will also be a challenge to see how Yelp responds to the complaints that one-yelper reviews will not show for dealers.  So, the process in the dealership needs to ask not only if a consumer has a Google account (for places) to do you Yelp.

 

Love how this business keeps changing...

Comment by Tom Gorham on November 6, 2011 at 4:49am
Ralph, I've been considering Yelp since DD11 and I think you just made up my mind.  I hadn't considered the Siri aspect of it.  Thank you!

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