Posted on Oct 17, 2011
How Franchises Can Enhance their Credibility Online
It's been said time and time again, "It's not personal, it's business." When that line is used, it seems anything can be a legitimate action. However, it is becoming more and more obvious that the honest business is the one that will end up with the most clients. For franchisees and franchisors, this is even more important, because they are accountable for their franchise location(s) and helping to promote the overall brand. Service reviews have become so accessible that a negative comment on a Yelp page can deter potential new customers quicker than anything. So how can you ensure that you gain the credibility you deserve?
As a business, you should constantly be checking exactly what the customers are most likely looking at. You yourself undoubtedly use the same review pages that everyone else uses. If people give bad reviews or complain about a specific incident, try to take the necessary steps to ensure that doesn't happen again. Engaging on discussion forums to defend your business often shows the client that you have a deep interest in retaining your credibility, and you will not allow a couple negative reviews to jar you from that.
Similarly, it pays to control your online message by maintaining a strong social media presence, whether through the use of Facebook pages, Twitter pages, a top-ranked business blog, or other digital communication channel.
In addition to the advice above, here are a few ways to stay up to date with your online credibility, courtesy of Vannesa DiMauro.
- Online Presence- Ever try to find a franchise opportunity or restaurant online, only to discover they don't even have a menu up? Most likely you just kept on clicking to find a more convenient place to eat. The same thing happens for business. If the customer can't find a website, LinkedIn profile, Facebook, fan reviews, or any other information online, they'll probably click right past. Make sure you have your bases covered on these platforms and have the basic information that your customer is most likely searching for.
- Twitter- If you are using Twitter, customers may click through to see what kinds of tweets you're sending out. If they seem inappropriate or immature, the client may feel they would be wasting their time. However, if the company is making a conscious effort to put out valuable information, the client is more likely to want to see more.
- Site Rating- With useful gadgets like the Alexa toolbar, anyone can see where your website ranks in the web. Your customers will probably check out a few different sites, and see how you measure up to your competition. If you have a very niche product that doesn't drive as much site traffic, that may be a different case, but it's still an important factor in a client's decision.
Check out the full list at Vanessa DiMauro's blog.
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