Brand Image
Google is an indispensable aid to small businesses. Of course, you want potential customers to be able to easily find your site and your services. Once you have a customer, though, that shouldn’t be the last connection between you and Google. In recent years, Google Reviews has become increasingly important in maintaining your clientele and attracting new customers. In fact, it’s been proven countless times that reading reviews heavily influences service choices. Let’s look at how you can add Google Reviews to your website and take advantage of its power.

What is Google Reviews, and How Can it Benefit You?

Google review links are direct links that customers can use to write a review where others will see it. With a direct link, customers can post a review of your business in just a matter of seconds. The reviews can be as simple as one to five-star ratings, or your customers can leave detailed descriptions of their experiences with your business. While there certainly isn’t anything wrong with a quick five-star rating, customers who elaborate on their interactions with your business will give new site visitors a clearer idea of what you offer and a much better chance of turning them into future clients. Google Reviews’ algorithms also can give a boost to your search ratings, as the more positive the reviews, the higher your local search ranking.

Ways to Add Google Reviews to Your Site

Naturally, you want to inspire customers to leave comprehensive (and positive) reviews on your site, but don’t think that providing that space will be complicated to implement. Google allows you to connect to reviews directly through its Google My Business section (formerly Google Places). When someone Googles your business or searches for it within Google Maps, reviews will be automatically displayed within the search without the consumer having to go directly to your site to see them. Third-party platforms such as WordPress offer easily installed plugins that not only encourage reviews but can also store the reviews on your website itself, rather than having to depend on Google to keep them visible to your site visitors. Upgraded widgets can tie together reviews from other search engines and display only top rated testimonials. If you want to be more proactive in soliciting reviews, you can send customers a link to Google Reviews’ submission form.

The Good, the Bad, and the Misunderstood

If you’ve ever read any business reviews, you know that no matter how impeccable the services provided are, someone will be negative. Sometimes it’s just trolling, sometimes it’s a misunderstanding, and sometimes…well, maybe it was indeed a service breakdown. Considering that businesses with two or more negative reviews can lose up to 44 percent of potential customers, it helps to be able to offer your viewpoint as well. Google My Business allows you to respond to negative reviews, with your responses as easily visible as the reviews. If the issue was a genuine service error, an apology and offer to make things right can go a long way towards easing minds. However, you don’t want to get into an argument with a reviewer or provoke trolls to new creative heights. If that’s the case, a simple “I’m sorry for the inconvenience” should handle it, although if things escalate you can certainly take other measures. Ninety percent of consumers read online reviews and influence buying decisions, so you’ll want to make sure that you respond quickly and tactfully. In fact, unhappy consumers are 70 percent more likely to use a business’ services if the business responds to their negative reviews and solves the problem complained about.   When you make it easy for your customers to spread the good word about your product or services, you can gather data about what’s going well and what needs improvement. Even better, you can sit back and watch your business grow. For all your brand management needs, let us help — contact us today!
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Brand Image
It’s important to make your business accessible for people from all walks of life. Whether they’re an employee or a client, people with disabilities will benefit from handicapped services at your place of work. Businesses can thrive with inclusive services to strengthen their reputation and draw more revenue.

The Visually Impaired or Blind

Your visitors with visual impairment are more likely to return if your office is inclusive to their needs. Braille Works encourages to think about installing braille displays for transactions and directories. You should also make sure your establishment accommodates seeing eye dogs, and train your employees on how to interact with service animals. If you have a health care plan for your employees, consider adding eye exams and glasses to their benefits. You may even set up holiday charity drives and fundraisers to get the entire office involved.

The Deaf or Hearing-Impaired

Businesses should be able to be inclusive to clients and employees with hearing disabilities. Qualified interpreters should be provided at a moment’s notice. 5 Star Interpreting explains that The Americans with Disabilities Act requires qualified interpreters to be provided in the following situations: medical situations such as clinics and hospitals; law enforcement situations, law firms and a court of law; school and daycare; employment interviews, training, and orientation; and the hospitality industry. Show your visually impaired employees your appreciation with access to health care and simple necessities such as a backup of hearing aid batteries. Train staff how to guide coworkers with visual impairments.

Access for the Mobility Impaired

Those in wheelchairs and with mobility issues need to be able to enter your establishment and make their way around the building. Nicholas Stewart of Instructure recommends asking someone in a wheelchair to go through a building inspection with you. Doing so will ensure that you don’t miss anything as you make the workplace more accomodating. Additionally, you should consult building codes in your area to determine if a wheelchair ramp is allowed on your property. You’ll also want to consider automatic doors and expand office space to make room for wheelchairs and walkers.

Why Does a Business Need to Be Inclusive?

A company is at its most successful when it can provide for a diverse population of clients and employees alike. Being inclusive to those with disabilities will reflect positively on your brand and culture, which will in turn bring in more diverse talent. So not only is it the right thing to do, it will help your business along the way.   In addition, clients may shy away from doing business with a company that doesn’t take their needs into account. Rise above the rest with simple tips and tools so that everyone feels welcome and returns for regular business. Making the initial investment to accommodate those with disabilities should have long-term benefits. If you still need some help with your branding, design, or getting your name out there, let Enthrall help!
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Brand Image, Brand Strategy
Poor communication limits your business’s capability to optimize performance. Communication is essentially the blood flow of an organization. It delivers the information to various people working with or within the business to get work done while providing a mechanism for building and strengthening relationships. It can be a significant factor in building company culture, which ultimately reflects upon your brand identity. However, when there are poor communication lines in your business, their effects are felt across the board, and might even leak externally to your customers. Individually, your staff will feel disconnected due to the lack of clear direction from the management. This leads to decreased engagement, low satisfaction rates, and poor performance. Ultimately resulting in an overall lower output from the entire business. Your customers might pick up on this and take their business elsewhere. Let us look at the various ways in which poor communication might be your brand’s Achilles heel.

It Creates a Culture of Distrust

Trust plays a vital role in the success of any high-performing team. This explains why team-building activities are always centered on getting each member of the team to believe in the other’s skill and willingness to perform their job. Ineffective communication; however, inhibits trust building and thus breeds a culture of distrust. When you do not communicate your goals and important events with your staff, they will eventually start thinking that crucial information is being held back from them. This creates an ‘us versus them’ mentality.

Confusion and Uncertainty

Effective top-down communication is what ensures that all your departments, their leaders, and employees are on the same page. However, when there is no clear direction, the role of departments and individual employees becomes uncertain. This results in a workforce that lacks priorities. The effects are usually inefficiency and a lack of productivity. In other instances, confusion is caused by mixed messages. For example, a manager might provide a directional message today, then give an entirely different vision after a few weeks. Another instance is when front-line managers and top managers have different perspectives on how goals should be accomplished. This causes chaos which leads to uncoordinated or misdirected tasks.

The Need for Open and Consistent Communication

Blueline Rental, the 4th biggest construction equipment rental company in North America, decided to prioritize communication across the company in a bid to show that the company cared about the well-being of its employees. In doing this, the company was able to take its TRI safety score (which should be 1 or below) from 3 to 0.74, making it one of the safest companies to work for in a dangerous profession. When looking to improve communication lines in your business, expect numerous barriers, especially if you have more people in your company. Thus, instead of telling your staff what to do, offer them a clear line of site which details where they are headed, and their role in that objective. Address concerns promptly while ensuring they have access to all the information they need, whenever they need it. Moreover, involve your staff in your decision-making process by holding discussions to get their input. This makes sure they know that their opinions are valued. It is also why clinics use healthcare management specialists to facilitate communication. By enhancing communication in your workplace, you’ll have a workforce that knows where it is headed, and how it is supposed to get there.

Conclusion

Having a shared vision and mission is key to establishing consistency in your brand experience both internally and externally. If you notice some communication slip-ups at work, whether with you or your co-workers, don’t hesitate to start wondering what you can better do to improve the situation. Communication is key to most things in life, and so practicing and succeeding at it as a company will surely lead to improved employee and client interaction.  
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