The foundation of a successful business is a positive online reputation. Brands with a positive influence attract more people since they are perceived as more capable of providing value. Due to this good brand standing, they can charge premium prices for their offerings and generate more revenue.
However, due to the nature of franchise brands, online reputation management becomes more challenging. Franchise businesses are often located in a wide range of locations and are owned by various franchisees who have their own marketing goals to tackle.
This article will discuss the best way to create a solid franchise online reputation management program that satisfies the needs of both the brand and the franchise owners.
5 Steps To Create a Franchise Online Reputation Management Program That Works
For multi-location businesses, the main goal should be to create awareness on a wide scale yet maintain consistent branding across all locations. Differing brand imagery and tone may confuse customers and make them uncertain about the buying experience they are going to receive. Uncertainty leads to distrust, and the chances of losing them to the competition become exponentially higher.
Therefore, to avoid a disconnect between the corporate and individual franchisee business approach, you must create a fundamental franchise online reputation management program. All brand locations must follow this program to create a singular system for online business reputation. Follow our five fool-proof steps in developing a reputation management program that works.
1. Identify Goals
Before creating your program, it’s essential to identify your goals. Without them, your efforts won’t have a clear direction making it difficult for you to achieve positive results. Your goals should also be measurable, so your plans are easier to track, measure and improve as time goes on. A quantifiable objective eliminates guesswork and generalities, consequently minimizing missed milestones.
Here are a few examples:
Goal: Brand awareness
Measurement: Search engine results page (SERP) ranking + web traffic + number of reviews
Goal: Customer acquisition
Measurement: Web traffic + data about leads and bookings
Goal: Customer experience
Measurement: Number of positive reviews + star ratings
You can add more goals as time passes but focusing on the three above is an excellent way to start. If unsure what other objectives to aim for, you can employ consultants who offer franchise reputation management services. An online reputation management agency has review management software and all resources needed to achieve whatever goal you decide on.
2. Assign Area Ownership
Most goals for improving online reputation use reviews as a measurement. This is because consumers turn to reviews to determine if a business is reputable or not. The more reviews you have, the better your chances of being chosen over competitors.
Every franchise online reputation management program must have three areas of ownership: review monitoring, review request and review response.
Online Review Monitoring
Online review monitoring involves social listening to gain control of conversations surrounding your business. By knowing what customers are saying about your brand and services, you can create strategies that effectively improve customer experiences.
The team assigned to this area needs to continuously monitor your business’s mentions online. Thankfully, there are a lot of tools, like an online reputation management software, that can help streamline the entire online review monitoring process.
Review generation is acquiring more online reviews on your preferred platform. Choosing a review site to focus on is a great way to direct your franchise review management efforts to where you want to see results.
An excellent place to start is your Google Business Profile since it helps attract potential customers to your services and is also a significant ranking factor. There are many ways to employ review generation methods, but the easiest way to get a response is through email since 91 percent of consumers open their email daily (ExactTarget).
Review response is an area in your enterprise review management program that brand owners should not overlook. Though responding to every review sounds taxing, the benefits you gain are worth your efforts. Also, there is already a review management software that helps make this area easier to handle.
Review response is an easy way to let your prospects know that you are willing to hear out their concerns, and it displays your eagerness to improve your business in areas where it is required.
Acknowledge every review, whether it is positive or negative. For example, thanking a customer for leaving their feedback makes them feel appreciated while addressing negative comments communicates your willingness to refine your online reputation management.
Franchise review management takes a lot of time and needs a dedicated workforce. If you are short on those, you can employ online reputation consultants to help you in your brand’s enterprise review management procedures. In addition, hiring an online reputation management agency allows you to outsource most of the manpower necessary for an effective online business reputation strategy.
3. Conduct a Pilot Program
Once you have an agreeable enterprise review management program, it is now time to take it out for a spin. A pilot program, also referred to as an experimental trial, is a short-term experiment that helps your business learn how your multi-location reputation program works in practice without releasing it at a large scale. The pilot program allows you to identify and smooth out any inefficiencies early.
Identify the locations you want to start with on a smaller scale and run your program there. Then, regularly track your data and see how your program performs.
4. Roll Out to All Locations
If it gives you the figures needed to achieve your goals, you can now start rolling out your franchise review management program to all locations. As you move from your pilot stage to your live program, don’t forget to identify checkpoints to ensure that everything runs smoothly. In addition, it’s ideal to keep track of the program using review management software to guarantee the completion of each task within the allotted time frame.
5. Continuous Monitoring
You should continuously monitor its performance after your reputation management program rolls out to your entire franchise business. It would help if you also began to think of other review generation methods to ensure that you collect more reviews for your business. Aside from email, you can also solicit reviews through social media, SMS and phone calls.
Reputation Management Metrics To Focus On
Gain the best outcomes from your reputation management program by focusing on the following metrics during the monitoring stage:
High Star Ratings
All consumers expect a relatively high star rating from businesses but don’t aim for a perfect 5-star. A study by the Spiegel Research Center reveals that brands with a perfect 5-star rating come across as inauthentic to buyers. According to the same research, the ideal figures are anywhere between 4.2 and 4.7 when building authenticity and gaining customer trust.
High Review Volume
The more reviews your brand has, the more likely your prospects to buy from you. According to G2 and Heinz Marketing, 61 percent of online consumers like to see 11 to 50 reviews before purchasing.
Again, there are many ways to gain more reviews online. If you feel like your knowledge is insufficient to produce the best outcome, you can hire professionals who offer online reputation management services.
According to Power Reviews, 97 percent of customers consider review recency important when making a purchase decision. In addition,62 percent will not do business with a brand if the only reviews available were published a year ago. These numbers show the importance of being consistent in your review generation processes.
Partner With an Online Reputation Management Agency
Some business processes are better left in the hands of professionals, especially something as critical as your brand reputation.
Online reputation services make it easier for you to have a solid system since online reputation consultants are knowledgeable in the best methods for growing your business while satisfying the marketing needs of each franchisee. In addition, they use an online reputation management software that makes it easier to monitor, gather and respond to reviews across all locations, allowing you to establish your credibility with ease.
Online reputation management is critical to the success of your franchise. However, you can easily overcome the challenges of establishing a solid reputation for your multi-location business by planning ahead. Identify your goals to give your efforts direction and create a comprehensive program that you continuously monitor and optimize.
Rize Reviews offers franchise reputation management services that generate positive reviews from your customers. We have worked with various enterprises to optimize their reputation, including a multi-location restoration company with franchisees in nearly 200 locations.
Using our online reputation management software, we’ve generated 44 new positive reviews for its West Denver location and 20 recent positive reviews for its Suffolk County location.
Leverage Rize Reviews’ online reputation management services and gain a competitive advantage. Contact us by calling 866-325-0303 or filling out this online form if you are interested to know more about our online reputation services.