When consumers come to Yelp, they’re ready to buy—90% of people make a purchase within a week. They’re looking for the right business to provide them with a specific service. But sometimes, especially with more complex jobs or services, consumers call around to get a quote or make an appointment. In those instances, consumers often don’t provide very much detail when reaching out, which can make it harder for businesses to accurately respond while also trying to secure the job.
Take a moving company, for example. A consumer looking for a price quote may think to mention that they have a one-bedroom apartment and that the move date is next month. For the moving company, however, there are a number of other questions that need to be answered in order to provide an accurate quote. How far are you moving? Do you have extra heavy furniture items? What floor are you currently on? Are there elevators? Do you need packing services?
This is where Yelp’s Request-a-Quote feature comes in handy. After initiating a request, consumers are prompted to fill out an industry-specific questionnaire so that businesses receive enough information to properly respond to the request.
How it works
When consumers land on your Yelp Page, they will see a section where they can request an action from you. “Request a Quote” is the most common call to action, but it changes based on your business category. Other call to actions include:
Request an Appointment
Request a Consultation
Contact an Agent
Message the Business
Once consumers initiate the request, they are presented with a series of industry-specific questions about the job or service. For example, if a consumer has a plumbing issue, they will be asked questions like: Is this a repair or installation? How long ago did this issue begin? What appliances are affected? Has there been any flooding?
By having these questions answered at the beginning of the process, you’ll receive the most important details about the request so that you can respond efficiently and appropriately—whether that’s providing a quote right away with available appointment times or setting up a call or consultation to talk about it.
Once they submit the request, you’ll receive a message in your Yelp for Business inbox. If enabled, you’ll also receive an email notifying you that you have a message—you can respond to the request by simply replying to the email. Or if you have the Yelp for Business mobile app installed, you can set up your notifications so that you also receive an alert when you have a new message. You can then click on this notification to go directly to the message in your inbox within the app, where you can respond.
The message will contain all of the information provided by the consumer so you can prepare an informed response and initiate the next step, like providing a price estimate, sharing a project proposal, asking follow-up questions, or scheduling the service.
Whether consumers are too shy or busy to jump on a phone call or they prefer a paper trail, many rely on being able to directly message businesses. This feature also allows you to build one-on-one consumer trust and showcase your customer service digitally. This functionality is free to set up, allowing you the opportunity to win over a lead that has taken the first step to initiate a conversation with you.
Note that when a potential customer sends you a direct request from your Yelp Page, they’re also asked if they’d like to send the same request to other related businesses. This allows consumers to receive responses from multiple businesses as they weigh their options. As a business owner, you can opt to receive some of these indirect requests too by signing up for Nearby Jobs or Yelp Ads.
6 tips for managing requests
Receive requests: Check to see that you have Requests enabled on your Yelp Business Page so that you can start receiving requests from potential customers. You can also download the Yelp for Business mobile app and set up notifications.
Respond promptly: Response time is the average time it takes to respond to new messages within the last 30 days, and that information is displayed to users. You can improve your response time by replying to new customer messages as soon as possible or by marking a message as replied to let the system know as soon as you have replied.
Additionally, the faster you respond, the higher the chance you’ll have to convert that inquiry. If you need to take a conversation off Yelp (like by email or phone), you can mark the request as “replied” to keep your response time low. If you’re constantly on the go, consider giving access to your business account to a trusted employee who can help you reply to messages in a timely fashion or use the Yelp for Business mobile app.
Do some prep: In an effort to respond quickly and efficiently, you can create a few templates to streamline your follow-up. You can create one for confirming your interest in taking on a request and one for politely declining a job that isn’t the right fit. A list of questions you typically need to know, beyond the initial prompts, can make things easier when preparing a quote. When you answer a message, make it personal by adding the Yelp user’s name and asking specific questions about the type of service they’re requesting.
Follow up: Having a follow-up system is a great way to close the loop on an inquiry. Reaching back out after the initial response shows you care and that you are interested in earning their business. If the lead responds back and says they chose a different company, remember that it’s still an opportunity to win their business next time. Respond and let them know you appreciate the consideration and are always available in the future, leaving a great impression for the next time they may need your service.
Flag spam messages: If you receive a request that is irrelevant or seems like spam, be sure to flag it so it doesn’t count as a missed or delayed response.
Be personable and authentic: Throughout your communication with a lead, be sure to stay true to your business brand and values while exercising great customer service. After you provide a service to a customer, consider sending a thank you with a note about the other types of services you can provide in the future.