Can Yelp Help Your Business?

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Is WeddingWire a Trap?

WeddingWire? You’d have to walk into a barber shop to find more buzz being generated than this online site, where potential clients can look up reviews of DJs. It’s created an intense competition among DJs to compile as many positive reviews as possible. For a while it was all anyone was talking about. Sure is a long way back to the old ways of cultivating clients.

Or even older ways.

Now, some DJs have begun chirping about the critical mass aspect of the site. Has WeddingWire become too popular for its own good?

And if it has, what can you do about it?

“The clear problem is that 90-percent of the reviews that DJs post come from brides only and 95-percent of the reviews state the obvious three positive aspects of the mobile DJ: that the DJ was professional, the music was great and that everybody commented on what a great time they had at their wedding,” says DJ Jerry Bazata.

“This becomes a vague and narrow observation on which almost every bride bases the decision to choose a DJ service,” he says, “yet we are driven by to beg and even bribe a new married couple to comment on our services. Yes, I’m correct in saying ‘bribe,’ as I recently saw on a few DJ websites that if a bride sent them a comment about their service they could win a gift certificate.

“In 2011 I’ve made a decision to seek the endorsement of wedding professionals such as photographers, banquet managers, wedding/event planners and corporate clients as opposed to brides, who basically don’t provide the insight or candid testimony to the value my service provides.

“Would it not make more sense to demonstrate that you can work well with a banquet manager in assisting in the flow of the reception, coordinating the time-line and specific instances where you helped out in a crisis situation? Endorsements or recommendations such as these will help to demonstrate our ability to work under pressure, and understand the importance of communication and teamwork during a party or event.”

Jerry claims that attention to detail and the ability to communicate and follow up accordingly, along with providing insight and fresh ideas, will create a memorable evening—and not just a packed dancefloor.

“When it comes to proms and school events, I’m focusing on the advisers and school administration to provide me the endorsements and feedback, he says. “Students only want to know that you have the latest music in your library; however, the issue with sexually suggestive dancing and inappropriate version of songs is on the spotlight of administration and teachers.

Over on the west coast, an online review site called Yelp seems to be overwhelming WeddingWire usage, with users utilizing Yelp to find local businesses such as dentists, hairstylists, mechanics and even mobile DJs.

In the San Francisco Bay Area, Mark Haggerty of Denon & Doyle says DJ services tend to live and die based on Yelp reviews.

“I was speaking to someone just last weekend about this and she knows some people who have been hurt very badly by Yelp,” Mark says. “The reviews don’t drop off very fast, and that hurts if they’re bad.

“Still, we actually solicit these Yelps from our clients in our follow-up emails after a gig, and we’re blessed to have so many outstanding reviews and comments. It has actually helped our business and the individual DJs that we employ.”

Mark says the benefit of such online reviews is that if D&D has a problem with a particular client, they can make it right before that individual gets too steamed over something—and they usually can fix the problem before the client is driven to post a negative Yelp.

“To ensure better reviews, aside from doing the job that you’ve promised the client, follow through and give a great performance,” advises Mark. “I’ve usually had a solid rapport with my clients leading up to the event and I check in with them at times during the event, and then someone from our office will how everything went. I never ask that last one myself—if I was the actual DJ—because I want them to be honest. Some people may feel put on the spot, so one of our office people will send the email to make sure the customer is happy with the end result.”

“If there was a problem we can therefore try to make them happy, or straighten out a misunderstanding before they get all fired up to write a bad review. We can usually isolate the problem down to one segment of the party—say the microphone cut out—and then offer them a refund equivalent to the problem.”