With the internet constantly at our fingertips, managing your multi-location business’s online reputation can be a full-time job. To make it even more difficult, consumers expect businesses to respond to their questions and concerns quickly, reinforcing the fact that reputation management is key. Reputation can greatly impact business sales as well. For instance, data from our State of the Market report found that 40 percent of consumers expect businesses to respond to a critical review within 24 hours, and only 53 percent of people would consider using a business with less than 4 stars.

It’s clear that a strong online reputation is imperative to obtain, but it can take years to build and only a few minutes to break. Is your multi-location business doing everything in its power to maintain a positive online reputation? And how can chatbots potentially revolutionize reputation management? We’ll dive deeper into those questions next. 

Broadcast messages across locations instantly 

If your multi-location business has ever had a PR disaster, you know the importance of staying ahead of the story. Take United Airlines for example. Back in 2017, a passenger was dragged off a United Airlines flight that was overbooked. Instead of apologizing immediately for the incident, United’s CEO, Oscar Munoz, first apologized for “having to re-accommodate customers.” It wasn’t until footage surfaced showing the horrific scene that Munoz issued a full apology. United saw a major drop in share prices around the time of the incident. This story proves the importance and potential impact that reputation management can have on your bottom line.

If United Airlines acted in the appropriate manner and contacted all of their consumers right away to address the incident and provide a full apology, the negative impact of this incident would not have been nearly as severe. This is where chatbots come in – you can quickly broadcast a message to all of your audiences. 

Chatbots can also help your business communicate with consumers in real-time. 

Engage in real-time conversations 

While chatbots can help manage your business’s reputation through negative events, they can also be a key tool for your business to maintain and nurture an online reputation. This can be done through real-time engagement with consumers. 

Before chatbots, consumers had to interact with a business through a support email address or a phone number found on the business’s website. Responses to these emails could take hours, days, or even weeks, and the phone calls would take minutes or hours. Plus, 41percent of companies ignore customer service emails altogether! Oftentimes, consumers would forget they had reached out to a business and move on before receiving a response to their question or concern. This all changed with the development of chatbots. 

Chatbots allow consumers to ask questions about products or services, leave feedback about their experience, and receive answers – all in real-time. These real-time conversations also provide consumers with a more personalized experience and help retain engagement. 

If a consumer feels acknowledged they will be more likely to leave a positive review about the business. Many chatbots also include the functionality to receive reviews and feedback within the chat. For example, at the end of a conversation with a consumer, the chatbot can prompt a consumer to “rate their experience” or “leave feedback.” 

While this information may not be found on reputation platforms like Google My Business, Facebook, or Yelp, it is great for use on a website, or even on social platforms, like Facebook through Messenger. Marketers have started to see the benefits of chatbots on social platforms and consider it a necessary tactic in their localized marketing strategy. Chatbots on social platforms can help businesses get consumer data like contact information, make sales quicker, and convert visitors. 

Multi-location businesses can use the feedback collected from chatbots to influence, and make improvements and optimizations to current marketing strategies. Through the use of chatbots, you’re able to reach and engage with customers instantly, which can help solve customer service issues more proactively, versus a customer going to a reputation or review site and sharing their experience there.

Regulate customer expectations 

Chatbots are also a great way to manage customer expectations, which in turn will help manage reviews. As previously mentioned, consumer expectations are at an all-time high, so marketers must find a way to meet these expectations. This is where chatbots can truly make an impact. 

By providing news-worthy updates promptly and engaging in real-time conversations, customers feel valued. In today’s digital age consumers expect to get responses to their questions and resolutions to their problems faster than ever. Chatbots allow consumers to have this experience, and provide businesses with the tool to make this happen.

As long as consumers feel as though their expectations have been met, they are likely to return as a customer. Happy customers leave positive reviews, which in turn, leads to more customers and ultimately increased sales. 

Manage Your Reputation With SOCi 

While chatbots have revolutionized reputation management, there are still other ways marketers should be proactively managing their business’s reputation by: 

  • Monitoring online ratings and reviews 
  • Responding to reviews in a timely manner 
  • Maintaining an active presence on local search and social platforms 

Enter, SOCi. SOCi can streamline reputation management for multi-location businesses.

SOCi pulls every review for all your business locations into one centralized platform — accessible by both corporate and local teams. The platform also gives local marketing teams the power to respond to reviews, and your corporate team the ability to maintain oversight through the creation of approval workflows. 

For more information on how SOCi can help your multi-location business manage its reputation, request a demo today!

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