That’s right. I posted here about Yelp and an advertiser who at first hated and then learned to love user-generated content. Behind the scenes Yelp allows SMBs to contact reviewers; that’s one of the keys to this turnaround story. The Spa owner in the earlier post apparently did that, was able to make amends with the disgruntled reviewers and viola:
After I had a number of positive exchanges with my critics, the frustration abated. I realized that this was no different than the “real world”, in that I could communicate with clients and do what was needed to make them happy. And ironically, the more I interacted with Yelp users, the more I came to appreciate the potential of this medium and the value of this group of consumers. I stopped being a Review Site Victim.
What Yelp CEO Jeremy Stoppelman told me was that this particular business owner also got involved with and became an active member of the community. She was and is clearly more sophisticated about how to “work it” than most SMBs at this point.
But Yelp is thinking in extremely creative ways about how to facilitate communication between local businesses and their existing and potential customers. In this way the site becomes far more than a way to deliver clicks/CPM views/leads to local businesses. It effectively becomes a CRM platform, in addition to a consumer destination.