How Software Integrations Help Ziebart Efficiently Manage Customer Feedback
The world’s most successful franchise brands understand that collecting feedback and data from customers can provide valuable insight into their experiences. In recent years, franchises have also begun to leverage data to customize marketing, manage staffing, and monitor brand reputation.
However, managing all this information across multiple sources and franchise locations doesn’t always come easy.
Automotive aftermarket service provider Ziebart recognized early on the importance of listening to online reviews and customer feedback.
Says Larisa Walega, director of marketing at Ziebart International Corporation, “The more we know about what our customers are saying about us, the better off we are in understanding their needs and how we can improve our operations.”
Monitoring can be “daunting”
The challenging part for Ziebart was monitoring — and responding to — what customers were saying, particularly across multiple digital channels, online review sites, and customer feedback platforms.
For single-location businesses and SMBs, manual monitoring is one (albeit inefficient) way to solve this problem.
But for Ziebart, which has a network of 800 franchise locations and service centers in 32 countries, manual work was not an option. A solution for automating the monitoring and collection of customer feedback and online review data was needed, especially given the number of places available online for people to heap praise or complain.
Walega says, “Monitoring Google business pages, along with Yelp and every other review website, was daunting.”
Since 2014, Ziebart has been relying on technology from ReviewTrackers, a company that aggregates and interprets data from online review sites, as a tool to help understand the customer experience in its franchise locations.
Walega and her team check feedback left on Google, Facebook, Yelp, and more specialized sites like Angie’s List, Superpages, and HomeAdvisor.
“We monitor all of our stores and all of their accounts associated with reviews,” she says. “If not for ReviewTrackers, our staff would be checking reviews in their sleep. The tool has been imperative in our efforts to better communicate with our customers online.”
Integrations that help strengthen customer relationships
With timely email alerts and summaries notifying Walega’s team of the latest customer comments, Ziebart has also become more responsive than ever to feedback.
It’s especially good practice for franchise brands looking to strengthen their relationship with customers: third-party research has shown that responding to more than 50 percent of your reviews can increase your Net Promoter Score (NPS) by an average of 1.4 points.
Using app integrations, Ziebart is able to respond directly to reviews on Google and Facebook from within the ReviewTrackers dashboard — without each location manager having to log into each review site.
These two sites are particularly crucial. According to online reviews survey results, Google is today’s review site of choice, with 63.6 percent of consumers likely to check reviews on Google before visiting a business — more than those consulting any other review site.
Meanwhile, 80 percent are more likely to purchase from businesses with positive reviews on their Facebook Page.
By staying responsive, Ziebart has even managed to increase its overall rating from 3.6 to 4.4 stars out of 5.
“We reply to the customers as soon as we are alerted through the ReviewTrackers platform,” Walega says. “We then forward our response, as well as the customer’s review, to a team of internal stakeholders to ensure the review is followed up on in a timely manner.”
Automation boosts Ziebart franchisees’ efficiency
The franchise is also using ReviewTrackers’ API to create custom solutions that automate the process of interacting with Ziebart customers.
For example, Walega wanted to send automatic review requests to every customer at 800 franchise locations: a strategy that goes a step beyond what most franchises do.
She explains, “Prospects that we have would only go to a business with positive reviews. So we at Ziebart wanted to take the next step in the customer journey.”
This all comes together in Ziebart’s ReviewTrackers API integration with iBart, its proprietary point-of-sale software.
“iBart is integrated with ReviewTrackers in the form of an API,” Walega says. “Once a customer’s invoice has been closed out through iBart, an e-mail is automatically sent to the address the customer provided, asking them to rate their experience using the Net Promoter Score (NPS) methodology.”
The software is designed in such a way that it intelligently filters feedback so that reports of negative experiences are shared only internally, while happy customers — the company’s identified “Promoters” — are provided with a simplified process for sharing their positive feedback on online review sites.
“Having our POS software integrate with ReviewTrackers has made it so much easier for our franchisees to gather more reviews,” says Walega.
Since using the API, Ziebart has increased its monthly online review total by a staggering 262 percent.
“Being able to put everything (feedback and reviews) into one centralized location has provided us with decision-making insight, not only from a customer service or franchisee standpoint, but also from the standpoint of benchmarking the overall customer experience for the entire franchise.”
By harnessing these app integrations and making its customer data easier to manage, Ziebart is driving the entrepreneurial success of franchisees — and creating the best customer experiences possible.
“It’s encouraging to share with our franchisees the impact that their great work is having by relaying positive reviews back to them,” says Walega. “For Ziebart, the biggest win is our franchisees being able to save time.”