Yelp today released a new app called Yelp for Business Owners (iOS | Android) that can notify immediately businesses when a customer posts a message or review on the company’s Yelp directory page. According to Yelp’s blog, the new app is “a way for businesses to get real-time mobile notifications of new Yelp messages and reviews, and facilitate faster response times to consumers.” It’s also a long-over-due response to a consistent complaint from  business owners who are Yelp’s primary source of advertising revenue.

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Other features of the Yelp for Business Owners app:

  • View Yelp Business Page activity including the number of user views and customer leads they have generated over the past 30 days
  • Respond to reviews by sending a private message or posting a public comment
  • Respond to customer inquiries from the Message the Business feature
  • View reports on ad clicks from Yelp users (advertisers only)

In the announcement, Yelp says new features are planned for future updates.

As the ability to respond quickly to reviews is one of the keys to managing a company’s online reputation, the new app is a response to one of the most consistently heard complaints from local retailers, hospitality and service providers that feel the impact of Yelp. The gap time between negative review and the owner learning of it has previously depended on the regularity with which the owner visited Yelp.

Here is Yelp’s video introduction of Yelp for Business Owners (via YouTube):

(via: Techmeme)