Review improvement strategies for franchise and multi-location companies
WIth local business reviews influencing click-throughs from search (and possibly even local rankings themselves), columnist Brian Patterson notes that large businesses with many locations need to have a strategy for obtaining and managing reviews.
Reviews are an undeniable internet phenomenon. A short 20 years ago, our opinions of businesses were based on advertising, our own experiences and that of friends and family. Now, just two decades later, 92 percent of consumers read online reviews for local businesses, and Googling a company’s name is SOP before doing business with them. Consumer appetite for reviews (and their willingness to write them) is increasing, and Google is weaving reviews into the organic search algorithm.
Every company must face this new reputation reality in some way, and the focus for this article is on businesses who have to be able to address it at scale: multi-location companies and franchises. We work with many companies who have locations across the US, and through this consulting work, we’ve identified common patterns and trends that allow us to hit the ground running to help each improve their review situation.
The following six steps will help a marketing manager at one of these enterprises build a review improvement strategy.
1. Have a company-wide dashboard with custom metrics
I know, I know — another dashboard, another report. This isn’t sexy, but it is necessary. Depending on the number of reviews your locations receive, you’ll want to set up a standard weekly and monthly report that includes key metrics to help everyone understand how things went over the time period and where they stand overall.