Groupon announced yesterday that it is beginning to roll out 7 million local businesses profile pages. Similar to a Yelp profile, businesses will be able to add their contact info, business hours, images and other information such as a menu. And, just like on Yelp, customers will be able to leave comments about the business on the profile.
If you’re reading this as a business owner, you probably just sighed. As if you need one more place where customers can rant about you. Between Yelp, Google Places, TripAdvisor, Facebook, Foursquare and numerous others, you already have your hands full keeping up profiles, updating statuses and replying to customers. This in additional to, you know, actually operating the business. We at OwnerListens sympathize with your plight.
Unfortunately, that’s the nature of the internet. Anyone can build a review site, create a profile with your public business information and start collecting reviews. When someone like that has a large audience, you can’t afford to ignore them. Groupon has 18 million monthly visitors to its site and over 90 million consumers have downloaded its mobile. At least some of your customers are probably Groupon users.
What to do?
- We recommend you check out the new Groupon Pages, claim your profile and populate it with relevant information. Use the same informational materials and offers you’re using on other sites. There is no reason, at this time, to spend resources creating dedicated materials for Groupon. Better to wait and see how the new service evolves.
- Groupon Pages does differ from Yelp and its brethren in that customers may request deals from your business. If a high enough volume of your customers do so, expect Groupon to contact you with an offer. No one knows yet what constitutes “high volume”. We will update as we learn more.
- Make sure to prevent any negative comments from showing up on your Groupon Page by instituting an easy-to-use, safe, fast and (of course) private customer service channel. The beauty of having your own private program for customer messages is that it achieves the purpose of preventing negative reviews on all sites. If you’re already using OwnerListens, you don’t have to set up anything else. The same way it’s helping you engage privately with Yelpers, FBers etc., it will help you engage with Groupon users privately. If you haven’t started using OwnerListens, feel free to contact us to get started with a free trial.
- It is worth noting that, just like Yelp, you can reply privately to customers who post on Groupon, but if someone posts publicly there is nothing you can do to remove the post. That’s why it’s important to keep any negative comments off your page, away from Groupon’s reach and in your inbox or phone only.
We will monitor Groupon Pages going forward and keep you posted on any new developments.