People trust online reviews and recommendations more than anything else. As a result, business owners implement marketing campaigns to increase positive online reviews.
A 2019 research indicated that 82 percent of customers read online reviews before making purchases. The study further stated that the average shopper reads 10 reviews before trusting a business or brand.
While it’s easy to see that businesses can benefit from positive customer reviews, it is not always easy to achieve.
Getting more online reviews for one business is manageable, but doing so for a multiple-location business can be challenging.
For instance, implementing company-wide marketing strategies, like reputation management, can be a complicated process. With employees in different locations, there’s a higher chance of misinformation and miscommunication. As a result, your strategy for increasing online reviews might not be carried out as effectively as you would expect.
To help your multi-location business increase its positive online reviews, we’ve rounded up a list of tips on enterprise reputation management for multiple-location business owners.
Register your business on review websites
To make sure that your business can receive customer reviews, you need to register your business first. Some major review sites include:
- Google – Go to Google My Business and set up an account
- Yelp – Claim your business or create a new listing in Yelp
- Facebook – Create a business page for your company on Facebook
- Amazon – Set up your Amazon seller page and use it to highlight positive reviews
- Better Business Bureau – Create a business profile in the BBB’s directory to receive customer reviews from their website
Once your business is registered, you can start receiving and responding to reviews. You can also hire or assign a dedicated person to monitor reviews from all these sites.
Create and implement a franchise reputation management strategy
The next step to increasing positive reviews for your franchise or multi-location business would be to create a plan of action for reputation management.
Reputation management is the act of influencing a person’s opinion of another person or organization. It further extends to online reputation management, which is essentially the same concept but refers to using the internet to reach an intended audience.
A good reputation management strategy for multi-location businesses would have three phases:
- Monitor – Track what is being said about your business online using a tool like Google Alerts
- Respond/Request – Respond to all reviews online and request reviews from customers
- Track and measure – Put a system in place to track and measure your business’ review ratings before and after implementing your reputation management strategy
Reputation management is essential not just for getting positive online reviews, but for discovering complaints and problems that customers bring up in negative reviews. It’s an opportunity for businesses to improve their product or service based on actual customer feedback.
Once you have a plan in place, the next important step would be to communicate this with your branch managers to ensure everyone in the company is adequately informed.
Make it easy for customers to leave reviews
A simple way to increase positive online reviews is to ask for them. Encourage customers who have not yet written reviews to do so and make it easy for them.
Research shows that in 2019, out of the 34 percent of respondents who did not leave reviews, 56 percent are willing to leave reviews in the future. What’s more interesting is that 60 percent of customers wrote positive reviews while only 25 percent wrong negative ones.
For getting more online reviews from new customers, you need to make the review process quick and easy. Some helpful strategies include:
- Creating links on your site that lead to where customers can leave a review
- Enabling reviews on your e-commerce store
- Asking for reviews via email a few days after a customer receives a product/service
- Optimizing your site for mobile so customers can leave reviews on the go
These are just some of the many ways to get more reviews for your business. As you conduct enterprise reputation management tasks, you’ll discover new techniques and how they fit into your strategy.
Complement your reputation management strategy with Local SEO
Local search engine optimization (SEO) refers to a marketing approach that targets people who are looking for information about a business in their locality.
Local SEO focuses on local search rather than general or informational search.
For instance, a general search term can be “how to bake a cake,” and a local search about this can be “bakeshops near me,” or “bakeshops in new york.”
Local SEO practices focus on the latter in the example above, to inform the customer of the business, its location, hours of operation, contact details and customer reviews. This group of local information is called a local pack and appears below the map of a local search engine result.
Thousands of positive reviews won’t matter when your business does not appear in a local pack or other search terms with local intent. This is why local SEO is a necessary partner for reputation management.
Improve your product or service based on negative reviews
While it’s tempting to find a fast method of getting more online reviews, it’s wiser to focus on a long-term strategy when you improve a product based on customer feedback, the chances of getting positive reviews in the future increase significantly.
Meanwhile, it’s important to let your customers know that their feedback is heard and valued. Responding to negative reviews is a great way to assure customers that the necessary actions are taken to improve your product or service.
Responding to negative reviews might also increase your chances of acquiring new customers. A 2016 Capterra survey found that 52 percent of online shoppers trust a product more if it has a few negative reviews.
Automate the review process
Asking for reviews can be a repetitive, time-consuming and labor-intensive task. You can save time and maximize results with an automated process for soliciting reviews online.
The best way to automate getting reviews is through email or SMS. A recent study revealed that 70 percent of reviews come from follow-up emails for customers who made a transaction. It also mentioned that 56 percent of online reviews were made from mobile devices.
You can set up automated emails or text messages for customers who have purchased a product or service. Ask them for a review a few days after they received the product or service, with a link to where they can quickly write their review.
If the review request is left unanswered, you can set up another automated message to follow up on your review request.
This method will require setting up an email marketing tool, but it’s still low on cost rather than manually asking for reviews.
Getting more online reviews for multiple-location businesses is not a complicated job. It might require some research on strategies that may be new to you, such as local SEO and enterprise reputation management. These tasks are all worth your time as they are part of your marketing journey as a multiple-location business.
As you might have guessed, there is no secret method to get customer reviews online. It all comes down to providing excellent customer service and supporting it with a great product or service. When you focus on creating positive customer experiences, positive reviews will follow.