Just saw that Yelp is planning on giving the businesses reviewed on their site the opportunity to respond directly to the responses made about them.
You can look at this two ways. On the one side it’s a great story about truly embracing CRM 2.0 ideas – namely two-way communication between consumers and brands. Great.
On the other, more cynical side, it can be argued that Yelp is simply looking to help itself by making more businesses excited about Yelp – to the point of advertising or paying for premium services.
I guess that regardless of the motive, the end result is a plus for both consumers and businesses. I mean, a lot of reviewers may simply have visited an eatery on a particularly off night. Now, if the proprietor could reach out to that reviewer and turn their opinion around – the initial review would stand, but that customer (and all the people they talk to about how well they were treated by a proprietor that valued their opinion and businesses) will become a potential advocate in the future.