Navigating Yelp’s New Features for Home Service Professionals: From Yelp Guaranteed to AI-Enhanced Searches

16 Jun 2023

In today’s digital-first world, the relationship between home service professionals and their potential customers is increasingly mediated by online platforms. One such platform, Yelp, has become a staple in the digital strategy of many home service contractors, connecting them with prospective clients searching for their expertise. However, like any digital tool, it’s essential to keep up with the platform’s evolving features and understand how to leverage them for maximum benefit.

Recently, Yelp rolled out several innovative features designed to enhance user experience, make searching smarter, and instill more confidence in consumers when hiring home service professionals. From the introduction of ‘Yelp Guaranteed,’ a satisfaction guarantee program, to AI-enhanced search experiences, these new developments are set to revolutionize how contractors engage with potential clients on the platform.

Let’s take deep dive into these new features, explaining what they are, how they work, and most importantly, how you as a home service contractor can utilize them to better connect with potential customers and boost your business.

Yelp Guaranteed

One of the most significant new features introduced by Yelp is ‘Yelp Guaranteed,’ a satisfaction guarantee program designed to offer peace of mind to customers when hiring home service professionals. This feature takes the risk out of hiring for home projects by offering a guarantee that customers can claim up to $2,500 back if something goes wrong with a project. This could be due to dissatisfaction with the work performed, property damage related to the project, or if the business was a no-show on a pre-paid job.

For a home service contractor, becoming part of the Yelp Guaranteed program could greatly enhance your appeal to potential customers. It’s a strong selling point as it provides a safety net for customers, which can be especially reassuring when they’re hiring for high-cost projects.

The Yelp Guaranteed program is currently available for eligible Request a Quote-enabled advertisers based on a variety of qualification factors. As of now, the program is available in San Francisco, New York City, Chicago, Seattle, and Washington D.C. across some of the most popular home services categories on Yelp, including movers, plumbers, HVAC, contractors, landscapers, electricians, and more. However, Yelp plans to expand this feature nationwide and roll it out on all platforms, including Android and the web, thus broadening the scope of potential customers who could see and be attracted by this guarantee​.

By joining the Yelp Guaranteed program, you not only increase your trustworthiness in the eyes of potential customers, but you could also gain a competitive edge over businesses that are not part of the program. This could significantly boost your lead generation and conversion rates, ultimately leading to an uptick in business growth.

AI-Enhanced Search Experience

Yelp has significantly improved its search functionality by leveraging Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Large Language Models (LLMs). This advancement is designed to make it easier for users to discover the right business for their needs, thus streamlining the customer journey from search to service selection.

The AI-powered search experience taps into the wealth of user-generated content on Yelp. By using AI and LLMs, Yelp is now able to analyze this information more effectively and deliver smarter search suggestions to users. This means that when a potential customer is looking for a service like yours, the AI-enhanced search can more accurately match your business to the user’s search intent, increasing the likelihood of the user choosing your service​.

But there’s more to it than just improved search suggestions. Yelp’s AI and LLM technology can also better understand the nuances in a user’s search intent and highlight relevant information from reviews in new snippets that appear under each business listing in the search results. This feature, called review highlights, can provide potential customers with a quick snapshot of what other users think about your business, making it easier for them to decide whether your service meets their needs​.

Moreover, Yelp’s AI is not bound by location. It can suggest businesses that a user may be looking for across the U.S., thus enhancing the discovery experience even when a user is planning for a future need or wants to review a business they visited on a recent trip​1​.

In essence, Yelp’s AI-enhanced search experience not only makes it easier for users to find the right business for their needs but also helps businesses like yours to connect more effectively with potential customers. By ensuring your business profile and reviews are up-to-date and comprehensive, you can take full advantage of these new search features to reach a broader audience and attract more potential clients.

Review Highlights Driven by LLMs

Yelp’s introduction of review highlights, powered by Large Language Models (LLMs), is another innovative development designed to enhance the user experience and facilitate business discovery. This feature works by understanding the nuances in a user’s search intent and subsequently highlighting relevant information from reviews. These highlights are then presented as snippets under each business listing in the search results.

For example, if a user were to search for a specific service or feature, like “tennis courts,” Yelp would not only show the list of parks and sports facilities but also display review highlights about tennis courts under each listing. These snippets could contain information such as booking requirements or specific details about the courts at different facilities​1​.

For a home service contractor, this feature can significantly impact how potential customers discover and perceive your business. If your past customers have highlighted specific positive aspects about your service in their reviews, these could now be more prominently displayed to potential clients. This could include details like your punctuality, the quality of your work, or your professionalism.

By providing relevant snippets of information at the search stage, review highlights can give potential customers a quick but informative overview of what to expect from your services. Therefore, encouraging your customers to leave detailed reviews about their experience could increase the chances of these highlights appearing and drawing in new clients.