Before executing tactics in your digital strategy to improve local search rankings, every business owner needs to take five critical business moves on an operational level to ensure that customers are genuinely pleased enough to document their experiences. Based on our work with a number of leading, growing, and emerging players in the HoReCa vertical, we have compiled the top five offline factors that can preserve the reputation of a business, and facilitate the sentiments that lead to high organic search rankings.
Not all businesses revolve around their employees, and it’s a mindset the world will no longer tolerate. Whether it’s the open knowledge that your staff is mistreated or the first-hand experience of being mistreated by your staff, both can play a role in shaping the tone & sentiment that is communicated in a review, rant, blog or video log. As the algorithm gets smarter and recognises intent, detection of positive and negative experiences becomes much easier for the engine. If you need to retrain staff, the first point of contact for any walk in customer, do so and fast. Organic search will be fueled by reviews.
In a commoditised retail environment, the ambience can play a huge role, both aesthetically and via the human senses. With bakeries wafting the scent of their fresh goods in and out of the cafe, or a series of stories surrounding the outlet, both can give your walk in customer something to blog or tweet about. The power of social media, according to our chief creative officer, extends to search marketing as well. It’s your job to create something worth broadcasting.
Especially in the hospitality industry, any signs of poor cleanliness can spur a chain reaction of assumptions and presumptions in the minds of your prospect. Take no risks in this regard and find ways to communicate their standards of your business in a light-hearted and organic manner.
For the sake of organic search, minimise inconvenience by conveying exactly what the reality is. Not everyone has time to read the fine print. So if you have an offer, spell it out clearly. The worst experiences are those where the reality is far below the baseline expectations. If your ads say 24 hours, then make it so. It’s better than your ads reflect the reality, lest your scorn the wrong influencer.
Similar the point above, but on an added note, owning up to any mistakes. We use a number of tools to determine online sentiment and a major contributing factor for a drop in trust is the lack of perceived honesty in a business. Whether this means hiring the cheapest staff member for the most critical role and failing to impart them with details regarding the meals being offered. In many cases of this sort, customers who just came from a workout were annoyed with the branch manager was unable to give them the exact calorie count of the meals in a self-proclaimed fitness cafe. Know who or what you are and broadcast that. It’s good to have aspirations but matches your reality for stronger trust building.
Given the scope of work tasked to the business or marketing manager, it’s quite easy to spiral out of control and neglect the factors that will impact the operational customer experience. These five listed points are among the majority of the reasons that people are turned off by retail businesses. By ensuring that these offline factors are on point, a business owner can organically expect happy customers will share their experience either on their own or when nudged with an incentive that matches their wants & needs.