While many franchisees plan for economic downturns,...
Online Feedback and the Prospective Franchisee: What to Know Before You Dive In
It's likely no surprise to hear that online and social media management is no longer optional for a business. Consumers these days regularly turn to social media to get in touch with companies, including leaving reviews about their own experiences. While this is still somewhat new territory, navigating feedback from customers shouldn't be a difficult chore for franchisees. Social media and customer reviews have been viewed as a difficult area for businesses to handle in the past because the online environment is relatively anonymous. However, if you are able to properly manage reviews and social media as a franchisee, it can provide an opportunity for you to engage with consumers in a positive way.
As a franchise, you'll receive insight about the conversations online regarding your location and brand, and you can also respond sincerely and quickly, giving you a chance to win customers over. It may feel more natural to ignore negative reviews from customers, but you're going to be better off embracing that feedback. When you respond, regardless of your sentiment, pretend that guest is actually standing in front of you. Be respectful, acknowledge their concerns, and be receptive and open to what you are hearing.
Of course, speak to your franchisor for advice on how to handle negative feedback. One benefit of being in a franchise is that your franchisor will have processes and guidelines already in place to ensure you know what to do in these cases. As it is, you will need to operate within your franchisor's rules for social media and online engagement.
Keep in mind that positive feedback shouldn't go unnoticed, either. Positive social medial engagement and customer reviews allow you to see what customers love about your business so you'll know what is working. Even neutral feedback can give you some ideas on where you could improve.
Truly understanding the importance of social media and customer feedback online is crucial to today's franchisee, no matter what the industry or brand. With the proper tools and plans in place, you can reach a better understanding of what your customers like, what they don't, and what they want that you don't offer yet when you are actively listening to online reviews and engaging on social media. While it can seem overwhelming and foreign at first, social media and online reviews can give you the information you need to fine-tune your location and maximize your profit.