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May 10, 2022

4 Technology-Driven Reputation Strategies for Multi-Location Businesses With Scaling on the Mind // Local Marketing Insider #033

4 technology-driven reputation strategies for multi-location businesses trying to scale review response and review generation efficiently.

The last two LMIs have been…long. This week I’m going to go bite-sized.

I’ve reviewed all of the marketing emails we’ve sent in the last year and picked out the 4 most popular pieces of content. Topics include why you should respond to positive reviews, technology-driven tactics to increase star ratings and review volume and my favorites from our 50 quick rep tips list.

I’ve distilled the points that resonate for me, and each is linked to the longer article if you’d like to learn more. 

Not responding to all of your positive Google reviews? Here’s why you should.

This is a short one. 

The reviews you engage with by responding will lead Google to assume that they’re more important, thus increasing the likelihood that the review will show up in your business’s “Most Relevant” reviews list at the top of your page. 

A business that only responds to negative reviews risks promoting negative content accidentally.

The best solution is to respond to all reviews so every customer gets great service, increasing return visits while ensuring negative reviews are not unintentionally promoted.

Read insight

5 Proven Tactics to Increase Your Google Star Ratings Without a Major Customer Service Overhaul

Your rating baseline begins with great customer service:

Offer a quality experience to your customers. You don’t need to change your in-store experience to improve your rating, it can be improved with the right review generation strategy, but the foundation of a good reputation is always a positive in-store experience. 

What you’re actually here for, the technology + strategy tips you can employ to increase your ratings without changing the in-store experience or demanding any of your staff’s time:

  • Ask every customer for a review via SMS.
  • Make the process of leaving a review easy - just a few steps with a good mobile experience
  • Personalize your communication so the customer understands why they are getting the message.
  • Respond to every review - good or bad - within 24 hours.
  • Solve problems for customers who post a negative review, increasing the odds of an updated positive rating.

From our POV, it's important to separate the two from a strategic perspective. A good reputation strategy includes an enjoyable in-store experience paired with automated technology that increases the chances of extracting positive sentiment from your customer base. Then, present it online where it is most valued for its ability to attract future customers.

Read more about ratings

4 Nuanced Strategies to Get More Reviews

Ask every customer

Getting reviews is a numbers game and most people will need to be asked. Automate this process with Widewail Invite to guarantee a 100% ask rate and save staff time and resources.

Prioritize big spenders

Products that cost over $100 get 10% more reviews than products that cost under $30. This is due to the larger monetary investment - shoppers are also investing more time, research, and consideration into the purchase. They’ve invested more of themselves into the process and will have more to say about it. If you're already asking every customer for a review then this point won’t impact your strategy, but if you are a business that sells products for over $100 and does not have a proactive review strategy in place, consider the extra value.

Personalize with customer and sales rep name

SMS requests for a review may be delivered by a number unfamiliar to your customer. You can localize the area code to increase familiarity, but more than likely the number won’t be a saved contact. So, to help with recall you should add the customer name, name of the sales rep they worked with, and the business name in the text message. This can all be added automatically using personalization tokens paired with a CRM integration.

Low volume, high-touch businesses should pre-emptively mention the request

For specific types of businesses, like real estate agents or contractors, the jobs are longer and the relationships are deeper. While these types of businesses won’t be able to collect high volumes of reviews, the depth of the relationship is such that the request to review conversion rate can be much higher than a high-volume business (potentially 40-50% vs. 10-20%) and the quality of content has the potential to be more substantial. In this case, video testimonials make a lot of sense. However your business collects reviews, giving a verbal heads up can increase the likelihood of your customer fulfilling your request.

Read insight

50 Foundational Reputation Tips For Marketers Looking for an Edge

Here are my favorites:

Consider the context

If it’s a product review, give them a week to use it. If it’s a haircut, ask them for a review while they’re checking out.

Respect repeat customers

Leave at least 60 days between review requests to the same customers.

Embrace the ancillary

The byproduct of generating more reviews will be increased star ratings and a reduced percentage of negative feedback. Your happy customers will be better represented.

There is an ideal number of reviews

It’s more than your competitors.

Think about the future customer

Your review responses have two audiences, the review author and all prospective customers.

Read the other 45.

Hey, just wanted to say thank you to the LMI community. We're 3,400 strong and growing. I enjoy writing this twice a month.

Check out this week's LMI Live, our new video podcast series: How to have an immediate impact on your reputation.

And when you're done watching the video be sure to follow Matt on LinkedIn to get easy access to future videos in your feed.

See you in 2 weeks - Jake, Marketing @Widewail

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Jake Hughes

I’m the Director of Marketing here at Widewail, as well as a husband and new dad outside the office. I'm in Vermont by way of Boston, where I grew the CarGurus YouTube channel from 0 to 100k subscribers. I love the outdoors and hate to be hot, so I’m doing just fine in the arctic Vermont we call home. Fun fact: I met my wife on the shuttle bus at Baltimore airport. Thanks for reading Widewail’s content!

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