Yelp in Your Words (Ireland): Interview with Pierre Chapeau of French Paradox

When did you start noticing people were finding your business on Yelp?

We started noticing 6 months ago. We knew about Yelp thanks to our son after his trip to San Francisco last year. On his return, he would not stop asking us why we had not registered with Yelp. Our main customer base might not be a Yelp user, but a new and younger type of customers can be reached and find us thanks to Yelp. In the meantime, the more mature seem also more and more capable of using these modern social tools.

Why should other businesses in your community claim their business page on Yelp?

Yelp is fast developing and, thanks to their experience in the US market, it will become one of the major players as a ‘local businesses finder tool.’

From the suite of free tools available in your business account (eg: adding photos, messaging reviewers, adding information about your business), what have you found to be the most successful in attracting customers to your business?

The whole tool box is complete. The only constraint for small businesses is TIME, but with the help of the Yelp team, we can prioritise and develop our business account step by step.

What are some best practices you can share with fellow business owners when it comes to receiving a critical review about your business?

Take the bad review on the chin, gather your team, talk about it, understand what could have happened and formulate a reply that is as much directed to potential customers as it is to the unhappy customer. Explaining with as much honesty as possible what could explain the bad experience and detailing the steps taken to avoid such bad experiences.

Are there any steps you take within you place of business after receiving a constructive, critical review?

Involve straight away the whole team and use the review to reflect on how we are operating, honestly assessing if the review is fair and if our treatment of our customers is fair. It always works both ways, and challenging our way of operating is always followed by a positive outcome.