The business directory and crowdsourced reviews forum Yelp announced Tuesday that it would be displaying feedback on company pages on these companies’ health and safety practices during the pandemic.
Yelp said the initiative will begin with “social distancing” and “employees wear masks” as these are the health and safety precautions that are easiest for customers to observe.
The company added in a statement, “Much like how users can provide feedback to Yelp on whether a business is’ kid-friendly ‘or’ ideal for groups’, we are now reflecting our users’ observations on company safety practices during the pandemic.”
In June, Yelp revised the Covid-19 section on company pages to allow these companies to provide more information about their updated service offerings and health and safety precautions. On the platform, consumer interest in companies that added these updates to their pages increased 41% between September 1 and December 31, 2020.
Akhil Kuduvalli Ramesh, Head of Consumer Product, told Adweek, “We turned to new product features and updates for Covid-19 in three phases. The first focused on making sure the most important information is available to consumers and enabling businesses to communicate directly with the people who visit their business page. This included: making sure we had updated the hours of operation and that consumers knew that the information with a timestamp was correct; Release a personalized banner alert on company pages so companies can tell employees how and if they are doing business; and release current service attributes that companies can include in the Covid-19 section of their page, e.g. B. Outdoor restaurants, virtual services, available space, etc. “
He added, “The second phase focused on making sure people feel safe again when they visit companies. Then we published the health and safety properties that businesses can post on their pages, as well as new restaurant features in our waiting list product to help manage capacity easily. “
Yelp outlined the criteria it has put in place to ensure businesses are fairly represented and cannot be unduly tarnished by an individual customer’s opinions:
- Multiple responses must be received by consensus from multiple users.
- Only registered Yelp users are allowed to provide feedback on corporate health and safety practices.
- The only responses counted are those received within the last 28 days.
- In cases where companies have multiple locations or franchises, user feedback is only counted and displayed for each specific location.
Ramesh said, “To safely and fairly show a sliding scale of what consumers are watching in a company, we first had to make sure we had enough data to build consensus among users about whether a company can be consistently enforced or not social distancing or requiring employees to wear masks. By collecting this data over the past few months, we can create a meaningful system that ensures that the feedback we receive is presented fairly, keeps the information current, and is not based on an individual’s observation. In addition, we have implemented advanced technologies to reduce the possible misuse of the function. “
Yelp said it will display a green tick next to “Enforced social distancing according to most users” and “Employees wear masks according to most users” when the majority of responses indicate that they do.
If the opposite is true, you will see orange question marks next to “Social distancing may not be enforced by most users” and “Employees may not wear masks by most users”.