While building a strong and positive reputation is something that every multi-location business strives for, too often, we only focus on the positive tactics to impact a brand’s online reputation. There are also several factors that can damage your multi-location business’s reputation that should be avoided.
Throughout this blog, we’ll go over specific tactics your multi-location business can avoid to maintain a strong online reputation. When looking at online reputation, much of it is influenced by local ratings and reviews. With 95 percent of consumers saying that online reviews influence their buying decisions, a positive online reputation is critical.
Slow Response Times
One way that your multi-location business can hurt its online reputation is through slow response times. If a consumer leaves a negative review online or sends an email to your multi-location business, they expect a response promptly. Waiting to respond to a consumer makes them feel like they aren’t a priority, and can hurt your reputation in return.
If you’re unsure how quickly you should be responding to consumers, consider the following. Data from our Q3 2020 State of Multi-Location Marketing Report found that in Q2 of 2020, the average review response time for multi-location marketers in Q2 2020 was between four to six days. With the consumer expectation that responses to critical reviews occur within 24 hours. If your business isn’t meeting the industry standards when it comes to review response time, you’re hurting your online reputation.
When it comes to emails and other inquiries your business receives, the sooner you respond, the better. One of the best ways your multi-location business can improve your response time is through the use of chatbots. Chatbots allow you to deliver 24/7 customer care and lead generation. If your multi-location business doesn’t already have a chatbot in place, consider using SOCi SmarBot™. SOCi SmartBot™ is the only localized chatbot explicitly built for multi-location marketers. The first of its kind, this Messenger chatbot delivers localized, proactive responses to commonly asked questions. It can also drive call-to-actions, including calls, website clicks, appointment setting, purchases, and more! If you’re looking to improve your consumer response times, SOCi SmarBot™ is a great place to start.
Low-Quality Responses to Reviews
While responding to reviews on time is essential, you must also consider the quality of your responses. There are a few things you should consider to ensure that your review responses are of high quality.
- Personalization: A personalized response can go a long way. By adding in the consumer’s name, you’ll make your answer seem a lot more personal. It’s also important to avoid generic responses. Including something along the lines of “Thank you for your feedback.” in your review response will hurt your reputation more than it will help. If a consumer took the time to leave their feedback, they expect a personalized response in return.
- Address the issue or concern: If your multi-location business receives a negative review, it’s critical for your response to address the consumer’s negative experience. Eighty-seven percent of consumers express a willingness to change a negative review, depending on how the business responds. If the consumer feels like they have been heard, they will be more likely to change their review.
- Be professional and genuine: Although this may seem trivial, your multi-location business needs to be both professional and sincere when responding to reviews. Consumers can see through companies that only respond to reviews to check it off of their to-do list, so it’s essential to be intentional in your responses.
- Have a response plan in place: Finally, your multi-location business should have a response plan in place between both corporate and your business locations. If everyone is on the same page regarding responding to reviews, there’s a better chance that the responses will be of high quality. For instance, are local business locations responsible for posting the responses to the reviews? Will there be an approval process? Are there examples of review responses that business owners can use for common reviews?
As a multi-location business with 100s or 1,000s of business locations, we understand that it can be challenging to produce quality responses to all of your reviews, but it’s still imperative. In order to respond to reviews both on time and in a high-quality manner, your multi-location business may want to invest in a tool that helps you develop templates or bulk personalized responses for the reviews your business receives. SOCi’s streamlined reputation management software can help you do just this. SOCi pulls every review for all your business locations into one centralized platform — accessible by both corporate and local teams. Give local marketing teams the power to respond to reviews, and your corporate team the ability to maintain oversight through the creation of approval workflows.
Implementing review response workflows for multi-location businesses ensures brand-appropriate and prompt responses, resulting in a positive reputation for your business.
Inaccurate Local Listings
We’ll keep this one short and sweet. Inaccurate local listings can also damage your multi-location business’s online reputation. There is no excuse for your business to have out of date local listings. If a consumer wants to get information about your business, a local listing is typically one of the first results that appears in a search. If a consumer receives inaccurate information from your local listings, it will cause frustration or confusion, ultimately hurting your reputation.
If your business hours have changed due to the current pandemic, or if you’ve had to adjust your dine-in or take-out services, it should be included in your local listings. If your business changes any of its services or offerings, you should update the information in your local listings to include those changes. Building consumer trust is one of the best ways to avoid damaging your business’s reputation, and trust can be built through updated local listings.
At SOCi, we understand that it can be challenging to keep all of your local listings updated across business locations, which is why we’ve created a tool to help. SOCi Listings can help you take your local search authority to the next level. Ensure that reliable information for every location is found with SOCi Listings. We’ll help increase your listings’ accuracy and improve local search rankings, resulting in stronger brand awareness and a more substantial reputation overall.
Not Utilizing Social Listening to Its Fullest Potential
Social listening is a great tool that can help keep your multi-location business’ reputation on track. Social listening allows users to monitor what people are saying about their brand across the web. It is a great tool to mitigate potential crises. With listening, users can set up listening streams. These streams track mentions of keywords selected by the user. From there, the user can enable smart alerts and email/push notifications anytime one of the chosen keywords are mentioned on the web.
For example, let’s say someone had a bad experience at your restaurant and went online and said, “Don’t go to this restaurant. We had a long wait time and poor service. We’re very disappointed.” If this post goes unseen and unattended, it can cause local and corporate crises. No restaurant wants to be known for providing lousy customer service. Using social listening, you can catch these keyword mentions (“poor service,” “long wait times”) early and respond accordingly, before things spread and get out of hand.
Without using social listening, you may miss the opportunity to respond to a negative review or social media post, which will, in turn, damage your reputation. If your multi-location business hasn’t already incorporated social listening into your localized marketing strategy, it’s time to start. While monitoring the conversation around your multi-location business and its competitors can seem overwhelming, it doesn’t have to be. SOCi has a soon to be released listening tool. Through this tool, you’ll be able to discover what local consumers are saying about your locations and competitors plus activate local engagement across all business locations with localized listening capabilities, sentiment analysis, and user-generated content.
For more information on how SOCi can help your multi-location business avoid damaging your online reputation while helping you create a winning localized marketing strategy at the same time, request a demo today!