(Originally published in the May 2013 issue of The National Notary magazine) With over 60 million registered users and over 20 million reviews posted on the site, Yelp continues to dominate the social review space on the Internet. Consumers frequently turn to Yelp to look up mechanics, restaurants and other businesses. But Notaries? The National Notary recently interviewed NNA member Eli Angote, founder and CEO of TheBestNotary.net, a national, mobile Notary service, about how he uses Yelp to build a positive reputation for his business. Eli Angote Why did you start using Yelp? Since we live in an increasingly hyper-connected society, consumers want to know their service providers better. I always skim the “About” page of any website to gauge the character and transparency of the people I am about to do business with. So when I launched my business back in 2007, it was only natural for me to post my listing on Yelp. How has Yelp increased your online presence, and has that had an effect on your business? Yelp has become one of the most trusted sources of information for consumers investigating local businesses, and we have received a substantial amount of new business from people who originally discovered us on Yelp. We have a link on our website which directs people to our Yelp page. Once there, they read and leave reviews about us. This tactic has helped convince many people to give us a call and use our Notary service. What’s your strategy when it comes to building a positive reputation on Yelp? Our approach to business begins and ends with customer satisfaction. It’s the number one reason why we have a positive reputation on Yelp. We email our customers and ask if they were satisfied with our service and to leave us a review on Yelp. However, most of our reviews are from customers who were so impressed with our service that we didn’t even have to ask; they took the time and posted a positive review about us on their own. What advice would you give to somebody who gets a negative Yelp review? It is always possible to address the matter by getting in touch with the unhappy customer and rectifying the situation. Then ask them to update or retract their initial negative review. The goal is to ensure that problems are dealt with as soon as they happen. This ensures that a negative review never gets written in the first place. Based on your experiences as a Notary on Yelp, do you have any advice or suggestions to Notaries who might consider joining Yelp? I would suggest that Notaries join Yelp immediately. Basic business listings are free, and the marketing potential is limitless. Even without a website, Yelp can help you build an online presence and get you listed in Google search results. When you do create a listing, be sure to put as much information about your business as possible, including photos of yourself. To promote your listing, use coupons and offers as a way to attract and retain customers. Above all, treat your customers like they are the only reason you went into business in the first place. *** We’d love to hear about your experiences with the National Notary Association. Please leave us a review on our Yelp page. Moses Keshishian is the Social Media Specialist with the National Notary Association.