Original Article on Franchising USA Magazine
There are many moving parts to running a successful franchise. A piece of the puzzle which seemed irrelevant three to five years ago is now one of the biggest pieces that most business owners tend to forget about or worst, ignore: managing their reputation.
Could it be because franchisees don’t think a bad reputation will affect their business?
Well think again.
A few years ago when a customer had a bad experience at your franchise, they would tell their friends, family or sometimes call the business to let them know. Luckily then, the few number of people who would hear about the customer’s bad experience wouldn’t dramatically affect your business.
Now fast forward to a world where it only takes one or two negative reviews about your business to cripple your brand, your cliental, and most importantly your revenue. We are living in an age where a customer with a bad experience can leave a review about your franchise on sites such as Yelp, Urbanspoon, Google places, Tripadvisor or various other customer review sites for thousands of people to read instantly.
Believe it or not, customers are using these channels to make buying decisions. If you have six reviews and four are negative, do you think you will win new customers over? Maybe if you’re lucky; but the majority of the time you won’t.
Here are three simple tips to effectively manage the reputation of your franchise:
1) Search: Are you aware of what customers are saying about your franchise?
Do a simple Google search using your business name and address. The first two pages will tell you a lot about how your customers feel towards your business, and how new potential customers view your business. The majority of the time Google search results will show reviews from multiple social media channels. You can then go one step further and do individual searches on each of the platforms and review sites. Knowing is the first step, so if you know what’s being said by your customers, then you can learn how to handle it.
READ TIPS 2 & 3 ON Franchising USA Magazine
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