Ratings and reviews have become not only a top-ranking factor, but the #1 factor in determining which company a consumer chooses. Consumers are invested in online reviews now more than ever. Positive reviews influence a consumer’s purchasing decisions, which can impact sales for your multi-location business.
Because of reviews’ immense impact, your multi-location business must find a way to monitor and manage reviews – both positive and negative. Throughout this blog, we’ll share some tips and tricks to manage your multi-location business’s online reviews effectively, and to maintain a positive reputation.
Determine Which Platforms Consumers Are Using
Before you can begin monitoring reviews online, you must determine on which platforms your consumers are leaving reviews. Data from our State of the Market report found that Google My Business (GMB) has received 14 times more reviews than any other social or reputation platform. Facebook comes in second, however, GMB alone makes up 65 percent of the total volume of reviews over the last four quarters. Yelp comes in third, rounding out the top three platforms for reviews.
According to the data, it’s clear your multi-location business should have local pages claimed on GMB, Facebook, and Yelp – and you must be monitoring ratings and reviews on them. For more information on how to claim local pages and why it’s important, check out our blog post on the topic.
While claiming local pages on the GMB, Facebook, and Yelp is important, don’t forget about other platforms your audience may be using. For instance, if your business is in the restaurant industry, Opentable would likely be another platform where your target audience is leaving reviews.
Monitor Review Sites
Once all of your local pages are created, your multi-location business needs to create a plan for monitoring the engagement. As a multi-location business with 100s or 1,000s of locations, it can seem overwhelming to keep track of all of the different reviews on those pages, not to mention respond or engage with them. That’s where SOCi comes in!
SOCi allows you to proactively manage all of your reviews in one platform. SOCi pulls reviews from Yelp, Facebook, Google, and many more reputation networks — giving you the ability to monitor every review on every site using one centralized platform. Through advanced features like sentiment analysis and competitive insights, businesses can now be more proactive in resolving common questions and issues — increasing consumer satisfaction and ultimately sales.
Engage With Consumers
Because SOCi allows you to proactively manage your reviews all in one platform, your multi-location business has no excuse when it comes to engaging with customers. In an ideal world, your multi-location business would be responding to every review it receives. While that might not be practical, responding to negative and critical reviews are a must.
Eighty-seven percent of consumers express a willingness to change a negative review, depending on how the business responds. As we previously mentioned, ratings and reviews have also become the #1 factor in determining which company a consumer chooses for business and responses to reviews are a part of that consideration – making it more important than ever for your multi-location business to respond to reviews.
When responding to negative reviews, you should acknowledge the customers’ negative experience and try to solve the problem. We all know that it can be difficult to make every customer happy, but a personalized response to a complaint can smooth things over by making a customer feel heard.
When it comes to responding to positive reviews, a short “Thank you, name!” can go a long way, but adding in the personalization is key. The more you make a consumer feel like they’ve been heard, the more likely they will trust your business and continue to choose your business.
Prepare for Future Strategies
As your multi-location business begins to outline a localized marketing strategy, be sure to include tactics for how your business will manage online reviews. In today’s society, everyone is obsessed with feedback. It’s important for your multi-location business to stay ahead of the game and get started managing online reviews. By doing so, your multi-location business will maintain a strong reputation and have a leg up on the competition!