Turning a cheek on prior hesitations, Yelp has decided to launch a mobile upgrade that will allow mobile users to create and post reviews directly from their mobile devices. This mobile review feature was launched today for iPhone users and is said to be available soon for Android users (10/14/13 – Update: Android users are now able to leave reviews from mobile devices).
Prior to the launch of this new feature, Yelp had offered mobile users the option to compose notes or tips from their mobile devices. However, if the user then wanted to convert them into reviews, they were then required to log onto the desktop version of the site to finalize. This new feature, which is already a function offered by rival review sites, has been a long time coming for most Yelp users.
With an obvious demand from Yelp users and competitors already offering this mobile option, many wonder why Yelp has been so hesitate to launch this new feature. Many assume that Yelp had been trying to avoid encouraging heat-of-the-moment reviews, which in theory, would be made more possible by a mobile review feature. Another worry, which was affirmed by Yelp themselves, is that the level of content produced by Yelpers might be lowered as users could revert to SMS shorthand when composing their mobile reviews (example: OMG I just had the best Cfood ever! It was gr8!).
It appears that all of these fears have been thrown out the window as Yelp looks to compete within a rapidly growing online review market. Launching this new feature also makes sense, as Yelp looks to increase mobile app traffic and grow mobile advertising revenue.
How does this new change affect your business? Well, customers are now able to post reviews while sitting within a lobby or waiting room. For those dealers whom actively push their customers’ to share their positive experiences on Yelp, this should be a great opportunity to increase positive reviews upon their Yelp pages. Though, it is true that this new feature does allow additional access to the frustrated Yelpers whom are always eager to voice their displeasure. The hope is that the number of happy customers that forget to post a review or decidedly loss interest during that lag time between transaction and desktop, will out-weight those unhappy customers whom face the same dilemma. Regardless, this new feature will more than likely result in dealers seeing an overall increase in customer reviews across the board and it is important that dealers have a plan to manage them accordingly.