Franchise reputation management is an essential service for franchise businesses. Learn how to leverage this powerful solution with our comprehensive guide below.
Owing a franchise business presents unique challenges. In addition to the staffing, supply chain, marketing, and logistics of business ownership, you must also establish and maintain a visible digital footprint.
The franchise industry is growing rapidly; the Better Business Bureau lists hundreds of BBB-accredited franchises in all parts of the United States. With exploding competition and service locations popping up in every corner of the country, the chance of running a successful operation has become even more complicated. Thankfully, there’s a solution.
The best way to build a visible and trustworthy digital footprint is through reputation management. In our guide to franchise reputation management services and strategies, we’ll present timely information, helping you to make smart decisions about how to supercharge your business and how to stand out from the competition.
What is the Strength of Your Online Reputation?
In the modern age where nearly everyone has access to a smartphone or computer, does your franchise appear in online search results?
Positive and negative reviews form the bulk of information customers read about your business before making purchasing decisions.
When you use Google to search for your business, what results do you find? Are customers leaving positive online reviews, or are they saying negative things about your service locations and staff members?
Great reviews and positive information help to build your business. Negative content in search can undermine everything you’ve worked so hard to achieve. Remember: your reputation is at stake. In our next sections, we’ll provide details to secure your reputation as well as introduce some of the tools and strategies used in franchise reputation management.
How Online Reviews Can Help or Hurt Franchise Businesses
In today’s digital environment, online reviews are some of the leading factors that contribute to how your business is perceived by customers interesting in hiring your company.
Obviously, you want as many reviews as possible — and you want them all to be favorable. While review volume is important, it is the quality of online reviews that can make or break a business.
Examine the following statistics about how positive and negative reviews can alter consumer perceptions:
Benefits of Positive Reviews
How important are positive reviews? Consider:
- 93% of consumers in a brief feedback survey indicated that good reviews influenced their choice of business.
- Good reviews lead to higher revenue; on average, consumers spend about 31% more on a business with glowing reviews and testimonials left by members.
- Great customer feedback helps franchise businesses stand out more in online searches; search engines favor businesses with great review profiles and 5-star ratings in search rankings.
Risks of Negative Reviews
If great reviews help build success, what can negative reviews do to your bottom line? As you might imagine, bad reviews can damage more than your revenue stream; they can also cause reputational damage that is difficult to overcome without a specialized reputation management strategy.
- Only 13% of consumers will consider doing business with a company with 1- or 2-star ratings on Google reviews.
- 94% of potential guests indicate that bad reviews or negative comments have convinced them to avoid a business altogether. A single scathing consumer review can begin to damage the business reputation you’ve worked so hard to build.
- One negative review can result in as much as a 22% loss in your customer base. If three or more poor reviews appear online, the potential for lost clients jumps to nearly 60%.
- Star ratings influence revenue streams; every decrease in your gym’s rating results in 5-9% lost revenue.
In a later section, we’ll present details about review management using tools like Rize Reviews or a review widget installed on your company’s business website. With a personalized dashboard at your fingertips, managing consumer reviews and making review responses is easier than ever before.
Online Reputation Management: An Overview of Services
Most people judge a business by the quality and quantity of information they find in online search results. Typically, a person will go to Google or another search engine, type in a business name, and is then presented with a list of results.
To manage those Google results and to control the digital narrative, businesses use online reputation management (ORM). Using proven strategies and reputation management software, the goal of ORM is to highlight the positive and remove or suppress the negative in Google searches.
ORM is an extension of your brand voice, supplementing the digital marketing and advertising you’re already using to reach your target audience. Franchise online reputation management is essential in the digital age.
Typical ORM Services
A reputation management company may offer services like:
- Online review management
- Search engine optimization (SEO)
- Local SEO
- Public relations
- Crisis management
- Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising management
- Negative content removal
- Social media management
- Google My Business/Google Business Profile management
Because every business is different, each will have distinct goals and needs. Online reputation management tools are not always “one size fits all,” necessitating a tailored approach.
Franchise reputation management software makes it easier than ever before to manage and control your digital footprint. When you use a franchise reputation management tool like Brand24, App.NetReputation, Rize Reviews, or SEMRush — or have a team of professional reputation management experts handle the campaign for you — you’re taking steps toward building a robust and visible digital presence.
Essential Online Reputation Management Strategies for Franchise Businesses
As illustrated in the section above, reputation management is a complex set of strategies and tools. For franchise reputation management, you may or may not need the full slate of available reputation management services. Much of that depends on your goals, needs, and existing digital reputation.
However, among these varied tools, a few of the most important franchise reputation management services stand out for their importance. These include:
Whether you realize it or not, people read reviews about your franchise business before making decisions on which businesses they want to patronize. In fact, as many as 95% of all consumers read reviews before picking up the phone or visiting your location. At the corporate level, the quality and quantity of your reviews can improve — or damage — your digital reputation.
Positive reviews build trust and highlight every positive customer experience. Negative feedback in the form of negative reviews, poor ratings, or negative mentions can damage the reputation you’ve worked so hard to achieve. Because rave reviews are critical in establishing and maintaining your franchise reputation, review management can be considered one of — if not THE — most essential parts of a franchise reputation management strategy.
Franchise review management for your business is comprised of four parts:
- Review monitoring — this component gives franchise business owners a better understanding of what customers say about their experiences. This allows you to watch your company’s reputation for potential problems before they can lead to a bad reputation. Rize Reviews is a useful tool for monitoring your review profile.
- Review removal — fake reviews are a severe threat to your reputation. With review removal services, management professionals help you identify each fake review and any review of a defamatory or misleading nature. Then, they use proven strategies to get those reviews deleted from all the popular review outlets like Google Reviews, Sitejabber, and more.
- Review generation — a steady stream of positive online reviews helps to improve your brand reputation. Review generation encourages customers to leave honest feedback through point-of-sale apps, automated feedback surveys, and email invitations. As an essential reputation management tool, the goal of soliciting more customer reviews is to improve brand awareness and reinforce the trust you’ve built with your customer base.
- Review responses — smart business owners know that responding to every new review can serve as a way to build brand loyalty as well as serve as a form of damage control. When you commit to responding to each positive review or negative review left by your guests, you’re telling them that you care about the guest experience. Review responses require a consistent voice and tone; your franchise online reputation management partners can assist you with setting the tone of your responses. Your franchise reputation management team can also help you craft a review response strategy that provides transparency and honesty — two factors that resonate with your customer base.
With over 90% of all consumers using online reviews to evaluate businesses online before making purchasing decisions, franchise review management should be at the top of your list. With a dedicated support team by your side, you can harness the incredible potential of review sites, exerting brand control for your franchise locations.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the set of principles and practices that optimize pages for maximum visibility in online searches. These can include on-page factors as well as off-page strategies to help a web property stand out in search.
As a franchise reputation management tool, SEO is critical. Not only can SEO help your customers find you on search engines, but it can also help you control the digital narrative about your business and brand. SEO — done correctly — secures your rankings at the top of search pages, improving discovery by prospective customers.
Social Media Management
Social media is one of the hottest tools in digital marketing, giving business owners the power to connect with people worldwide. Social posts that feature honest feedback, interesting content, and personal recommendations or testimonials go a long way toward building a trustworthy, visible, and engaged brand for your franchise business. This feedback serves as “social proof” for prospective clients and customers. Satisfied customers showcased on your social profiles work to establish the trust you need to thrive, even in competitive markets. and serves as a source for collecting positive reviews from your customers.
Unfortunately, getting the most from social media is a time-consuming process that often requires specialized skills. With a social media management team in place shouldering the load for you, you can concentrate on what you do best: growing your business online through sales and delivery of customer service excellence.
Local Citation Management/Local SEO
Once you’ve launched your franchise operation, your next goal is to attract potential customers. Here, getting listed in business directories is critical. That’s the purpose of local citation management services, which help you create profiles in local directories and on business-oriented platforms like Apple Business Connect and Google Business Profile. A local citation is any mention of your company’s name, phone number, addresses of multiple locations, etc.
Whether you have a single franchise location or operate multiple locations or multi-location brands, your brand presence gets a valuable boost with local SEO. Listings for individual locations or service locations can be tailored to suit a specific service region; even if you have a single franchise location, you can add the keywords and citations needed to stand out.
Closely related is local SEO, which assures great visibility in local search results. Local SEO incorporates tactics like adding geographic information to your business listings and information on your company website, social media profiles, and web properties. After all, people in your area are looking for businesses convenient to them; if they are able to find you in search results, they are more likely to pick up the phone or visit your local business.
Do you have a franchise brand? Have you worked on creating and supporting your brand image, or is a “brand image” something you haven’t considered?
If you aren’t already aware, branding is an essential part of any business. For franchise business owners, your brand tells potential customers who you are, your culture, and what benefits you provide to your customers.
Brand management is the practice of ensuring brand success by creating a visible, recognizable, and trustworthy brand image. Research shows that prospective visitors respond to visible brands. With branding services, you can highlight your customer-first mentality, expand your digital presence, and reinforce your digital marketing channels with the content needed to tell your story. Simply put, your brand reputation can be made into a dominant force, giving you a significant competitive advantage in your industry or service region.
As a franchise owner, you need to understand that franchise reputation management is a neverending battle. It requires constant attention to achieve and maintain success in your industry.
One of the best ways to identify urgent concerns and to gauge the quality of feedback your customers are leaving is through reputation monitoring. ORM teams use powerful reputation management software to spot brand mentions, customer feedback and comments, online reviews, and concerns your customers have voiced in the digital environment.
Think of reputation monitoring as a way of spotting problems before they can damage the reputation you’ve worked so hard to build. With monitoring on social media and other channels, you’re gaining actionable intelligence that can help you preserve your brand credibility like never before.
The Benefits of Franchise Reputation Management Services
In the above sections, we’ve learned what franchise reputation management is, what reputation management services and strategies can help you maintain a positive brand reputation, and how franchises can use these tools to protect reputations.
With all of that in mind, what are the benefits of franchise reputation management? There are many; a few of the most valuable benefits include:
- A great reputation builds credibility in your franchises; positive customer feedback reinforces this credibility.
- When your reputation is strong, businesses tend to experience higher sales volumes.
- A positive reputation helps you stand out on search engines, resulting in higher traffic as customers discover you in search results.
- Franchise reputation management works to extend your digital marketing campaigns in a cost-effective manner.
- A positive reputation attracts top talent to your organization. People want to work for trustworthy companies, and as a recruitment tool, your franchise reputation helps you remain competitive with quality candidates.
- Maintaining your reputation serves as a form of crisis management, allowing you to weather the challenges presented by emerging reputational threats. If your reputation is already strong, it is easier to recover from negative reviews, unflattering customer feedback, or negative social media mentions.
Whether you use franchise reputation management software in-house or hire an internet marketing agency or ORM support team for help, the benefits of franchise online reputation management services cannot be overstated. Pave your pathway to success with reputation management for franchises and enjoy the boost in sales, web traffic, and customers arriving at your front door!
Contact OnlineReputation Today
OnlineReputation is a leader in information resources for the online reputation management industry. Our guides provide the details you need to make informed decisions, helping you to select the services and strategies for your franchise business.
Your business’s reputation is a valuable asset, but protecting this asset requires specialized tools and knowledge. Business owners who wish to stand out in competitive marketplaces need reputation management services to get the most from their digital profiles. By harnessing ORM, franchise businesses stand out to the people who matter most: customers who are searching for you on the web.
To learn more about franchise reputation management, including review management and social media management solutions for any type of franchise operation, contact our team today at 844-230-3803 for a free consultation.
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