Where do you get recommendations for most of your purchases nowadays? Over 80% of consumers’ answers to this question would be an online platform, more preferably a social media platform or a retail platform.
Consumer behavior has transformed over the years. At the same time, our buying patterns have been influenced by our peers’ opinions and ongoing sentiments in the market ever since the discovery of marketing. The way of communicating has changed to an online medium due to the vast influence of the internet on a majority of the audience. Drawing an analogy from traditional styles, online reviews are the new word-of-mouth, making it one of a business’s most important aspects.
Independent business owners or franchise owners are now shifting their focus toward accumulating an online audience who can be drawn to their brand. Franchises’ news and information have become the parameters for online visibility, ultimately making the franchise profitable. It’s a simple concept- more the online presence of a business franchise-more is the reach to the target audience-translating to more sales of products or services over time. This is one of the primary reasons franchise owners value and are putting a heavy effort into managing the online reputation of their franchise.
To save valuable time, we have put together the four most important tips and tricks you’ll ever need to manage your franchise’s online reputation.
Monitor Brand Perception
In the franchise world, the things your consumers and competitors say play an important role in the brand’s perception. The conversations that go on in social circles often decide the franchise’s fate. How the content flows owes its pace to the meme culture and the adaptation of businesses to use it to promote their franchisees. However, if the sentiment of your franchise goes south, it is difficult to control the slide and change customers’ opinions. To build an effective approach to creating an authoritative online presence, you can take the help of online tools to identify the keywords and hashtags related to the franchise, the industry, and the customers.
To keep the tab on all websites, here are some tools to monitor the growth of your brand:
- Google Alerts
- Social Mention
- Tweet Binder
Adding these easy-to-use tools to your regular online strategy can help you get alerts when your franchise name, hashtags, and keywords are mentioned on various social networks. These will help you watch the frequency your franchise’s name appears in searches or posts. You can leverage this information to create a funnel that disrupts your niche by simply doing brief research about consumer behavior online.
Keep Out the Negativity
Negative news or negative reviews online are a common sight in cyberspace. Some brands follow unethical practices to tarnish the name of competitors through unethical means. What you can do is- simply ignore them!
There are also genuine complaints, reviews, or feedback in foul-mouthed language. As a franchise owner, you must respond to the complaint and request the reviewer to constrain the use of inappropriate comments. However, if the complainant continues to do so, you can keep that information hidden. Most types of negative comments are often out of your control, given the nature and size of your franchise. One negative review cannot determine the fate of your business- so respond to it if you feel it is genuine or ignores it.
What you need to understand is that your franchise will not be able to fulfill the needs of all customers alike. That’s a huge void to fill. For example, you own a business that publishes online franchise magazines promoting your local businesses. You may be the top business franchise magazine in your niche, but some people who don’t get featured will find your franchise magazine annoying. They may try to post negative comments or spread bad news about your business. The answer to them is focusing on expanding your franchise more than trying to reply to unwanted comments.
A wise man moves in a direction away from troubles.
Have Knowledge About Online Rights
If you feel you are being targeted or attacked personally, and if the basis of the negative news is unfounded, you must have some knowledge about the rights of franchise owners. Yes, they exist if you provide factual information about how bad content harms you.
Negative reviews can be removed, but you must contact the site’s owner and request it. Sometimes website owners may take down racist or insulting comments on their own, or they will do it immediately if you alert them. If you believe a bad review or comment is unjustified, it is worth trying to have it removed.
Set up a Strong Redressal System
A redressal system is one quality that tops the pyramid in the importance of franchise departments. Creating and selling products are the foremost forms of acquiring customers, but a strong redressal system helps you understand the customers’ problems and retain them by solving them. If the nature of the problems is statistically analyzed, franchise owners can also find the shortcomings in their services and areas in which they can improve.
You can offer an apology for the unsatisfactory experience and, along with that, reimbursement or refund for the inconvenience caused. The conversation can be taken to an offline mode by offering in-store coupons. Customer grievances often act as a blessing in disguise if you positively view them and improve the product or service of your franchise based on customer feedback.
Creating a strong online presence for your franchise is not difficult, and if you perform these guidelines correctly, effects will be seen to improve your brand. In a nutshell, remember that a strong online perception of your franchise is important, and you can\ do it by using some simple tools. Secondly, everyone does not matter. Customer feedback is appreciated, but negative comments can be avoided. And if you still feel that the comments are not stopping, a system is in place to remove the objectionable content. Lastly, remember that a strong redressal system means a strong customer base. Work on the feedback and keep improving your franchise.