Online reviews are a proven driving force behind business growth, particularly for local businesses trying to claim their share of the market. With more and more people recommending products and services on social media and review sites, other consumers are using online reviews as a way to decide whether or not to make use of a business.
Franchise reviews, in particular, should be part of online brand reputation management for franchise owners to ensure long-term and sustainable growth. For businesses with multiple locations, having an enterprise reputation management goal is a must. It is extremely important to get more Yelp reviews or get more Google reviews to successfully create a reputable brand, build customer trust and apply it across different locations.
In this article, we’ll discuss the importance of franchise reputation management and how to get online reviews for franchises that can benefit the entire brand.
Why Reputation Management for Franchises Is Important
When you have dozens or hundreds of locations, building a brand that is widely recognized with a consistent brand image can be a challenge. Often, franchise business owners are not aware of the benefits that come with managing franchise reviews. Without a clear understanding of enterprise reputation management, they cannot expect to achieve stellar results, let alone implement an all-encompassing reputation management strategy to get more Google reviews.
Here are some statistics that illustrate the impact of online reviews on local businesses:
• Eighty-seven percent of consumers read online reviews for local businesses (Source: BrightLocal)
• Reviews rate as the third factor for ranking on search engines (Source: Moz)
• Around 15 percent of consumers don’t trust businesses without reviews (Source: Status Labs)
• Ninety-eight percent of Yelp users used a business they found on the site (Source: RevLocal)
• Five or more negative reviews can bring down sales by 70 percent. (Source: Martech Zone)
Judging by these facts, we can narrow down the main reasons why a franchise business review is crucial to business growth. Focusing on online reviews for franchises benefits not only your business but also your customers and prospective customers who are looking for the best product or service online.
Build Customer Trust
Customer trust is essential to an online brand reputation management strategy. Without it, your business might find it hard to succeed.
There’s no doubt that positive franchise reviews can encourage more customers to use your business. For franchises, having positive reviews on Google My Business (GMB), Yelp or Facebook can significantly increase customer trust and lead to more conversions.
BrightLocal’s Consumer Review Survey indicates that 31 percent of consumers visit a business’s website after reading positive reviews, and 16 percent visit a business’s physical location.
Clearly, having many positive franchise business reviews is key to earning the level of customer trust that leads them to choose your business over your competitors.
Get Better Search Engine Visibility
Moz has revealed that online reviews are the third-most-important ranking factor search engines use to rank businesses on search engine results pages (SERPs). This simply means that the more positive franchise online reviews your business receives, the better your search engine rankings will be. Better rankings mean showing up on the first page of search results, which helps attract more traffic and leads to your website.
However, you need to ensure that most of your reviews are four-star or five-star – this is what tells search engine algorithms that a business is worth the high-visibility status. The purpose of ranking businesses based on online reviews is to present the best options for a person looking for this business.
Increase Your Revenue
We’ve discussed the many ways that online reviews impact a business’s bottom line, but the most compelling proof comes from a Harvard Business Review study. It collected restaurant reviews from Yelp and compared it with the business’s revenue based on data collected from the Washington State Department of Revenue. The study found that a one-star increase in review ratings results in five to nine percent higher revenue.
While this study may not apply to all businesses, it confirms the theory that positive franchise online reviews and ratings earn customer trust that leads to them making a purchase. If this is applied to a franchise business with the potential to scale, then even a small percentage of sales increase can be greatly significant if achieved in multiple locations. Ultimately, positive reviews impact corporate reputation management, provided the right strategies are implemented.
How To Get More Franchise Business Reviews
Many franchise business owners struggle to get more Google reviews, while those that do can’t seem to keep them coming on a consistent basis. Restaurants and service-based businesses also find it difficult to get more Yelp reviews. These are just some of the many challenges of generating online reviews for franchises.
Here are some tips that help with generating franchise online reviews that support corporate reputation management campaigns:
Provide Exceptional Customer Service
There is no fast way to get Google My Business reviews that speak positively about your business. Before you can create a franchise online reputation management plan, you need to set the highest standard for customer service in all of your locations.
Every store in your franchise has to provide the best possible customer experience to earn positive reviews that strengthen your online brand reputation management campaigns. Training employees, gathering feedback and monitoring customer reviews are just some of the measures you can take to ensure your customers are treated well throughout their interaction with your business.
Encourage Happy Customers To Leave Reviews
It is wrong to assume that all customers have the time or motivation to leave reviews – especially happy ones. Most often, it’s the disappointed customers that write reviews, which makes a negative impact on your reputation.
One of the simplest franchise online reputation management tactics and review generation techniques you can implement is to ask customers to leave a review.
Teach your store personnel to identify happy or satisfied customers and ask them to leave a review right after their purchase. If the transaction happened in store, then filling out a review survey can be a great move to immediately capture a positive review.
Customers who are in a hurry can receive an SMS or email, allowing them to leave a review in their own time. Also, offer alternative channels on which to leave reviews, such as Facebook, Yelp, TripAdvisor or Google.
Develop Adaptable Review Management Strategies for Every Location
Most reputation management for franchises falls short because it is often too complicated or difficult to implement on a large scale. While every store might not be able to implement all your corporate reputation management tactics, at least make your plan flexible enough to suit the unique nature of a location.
Get the buy-in of every store manager and listen to how they can personalize your strategy to suit the location’s target market. This process eliminates miscommunication and friction when implementing your strategy while making it more effective for that particular location.
If you are unsure how to do this, you can consult with a reputation management expert and get guidance on implementing a franchise online reputation management strategy that works for you.
Franchise Review Management Best Practices
Rize Reviews has worked with several franchise businesses over the years. In having done so, we have discovered many effective ways to get Google My Business reviews that are positive and make a good impact on a business. Here are some of the best practices we have implemented as part of our franchise reputation management services:
Personally Ask for Reviews
Nothing beats person-to-person interactions. Instruct your store employees to ask for customer reviews right after customers make a purchase, usually during checkout. You can use a simple review form or offer digital surveys like an email or SMS.
For physical stores, Rize Reviews reputation manager expert Tim Clarke also recommends providing printed review generating assets, like a printed QR code or business card.
Put a Review Button on Your Website
Just in case a customer wanted to find your business online and write a review, having a review button functionality on your website can help. You can use a review widget and install it on your homepage to make the process easier for your website visitors. This presents an opportunity for you to gain social proof right there on your site’s homepage, visible to all visitors.
Always Respond to Every Review
Focusing solely on positive reviews is not a beneficial strategy for your online reputation in the long term. Responding to all reviews, especially negative ones, is crucial to the success of your enterprise reputation management campaign. Research shows that 45 percent of consumers will give businesses a chance if they see how well they respond to negative reviews.
More importantly, responding to negative reviews can turn the customer experience around 360 degrees. The best-case scenario is that the customer changes the review from negative to positive.
To make sure that all reviews get a response, you need a review management system that is easy to use and can be implemented across your organization. Rize Reviews offers a streamlined reputation management software and a team of reputation management experts to help you easily manage your reviews and boost your reputation online.
Get Started With Franchise Review Management Today
Whether you’re aiming to get more Yelp reviews or increase positive Google My Business reviews with consistency, it will be hard and challenging work. From having an efficient review monitoring system and review generating tactic to making sure that all your store locations are following through, there is so much that needs to be done.
If you want to secure the best possible results, you need the help of a reputation management expert with experience in providing effective franchise reputation management services.
At Rize Reviews, we have highly qualified and experienced reputation management professionals who will offer their insight and expertise. We’ve helped multi-location business owners create a reputable online presence with our winning reputation management campaigns.
Get in touch with us to learn how our franchise reputation management services can help your business get more positive reviews today.