In a recent survey of 500 franchise owners, over 260 of franchisees had said that their biggest problem with the franchisors is the lack of communication from the corporate level to the independent locations. When asking a 100 corporate franchisors what the biggest problems they have with their franchisees is that they are not receiving the relevant information they need to make sure their businesses are operating.
When taking a step back, it is clear BOTH parties are not communicating enough. Franchisors and franchisees are not exchanging the information that the other party needs in order to make informed decisions. Starting from the disclosure document when singing on, there are a lot of ideas coming from the franchisees and a lot of structure from the franchisor. When looking at the information needed and given franchisors give a lot of direction while the franchisees deliver the results.
The biggest question a franchisee always has trouble answering is, how are the clients reacting to the products and services provided. Franchisors are always demanding metrics of measuring so it is important for a franchisee to have a system to able to report back on how they are doing, along with understanding their own location to see what they can improve on. The best way for both of these to merge together is to get reports and feedback from their clients, patients, and customers.
A business, by definition, exists to provide goods and services to customers. Without having the right product or a product customers are not happy with, business cannot sustain themselves. However, thanks to developments in technology, there is a solution to finding out customer’s reactions in a measurable way. Namely, you ask!
Websites like Yelp and Zomato are REACTIVE reviews of an experience. Franchisors often look at these reviews to gauge what franchisees are doing wrong, as majority of experiences on these websites are negative reviews. Unfortunately, unhappy customers have a reason to remember to review, whereas happy customers go about their lives until prompted to remember their time with you.
Despite this, reviews should not have a negative conation! Reviews can be constructive feedback that helps build a loyal customer base. Responding to these reviews is a great way to save a relationship with a client and impress anyone who is still on the fence.
Often times clients make decisions about the reputation of a franchise based off a single visit to a particular location. This can end up having the franchise lose out on a client because of a single off day. This is where feedback is very important. A franchise, at its core, is a business with a successful business model that sells their rights to 3rd parties. When looking at the root of many businesses such as McDonalds, all of them have mission statements that involve satisfying the customer.
Customer reviews are also a great way for the corporate side to really be able to dig deep into their locations. This doesn’t mean micro-managing, but rather assisting locations in maximizing their potential! Reviews can help the corporate level also be able to evaluate situations based off of management, marketing, or logistics which can lead to a greater profit margin. No two franchise locations have the same recipe for success because they have two different audiences. Feedback can be the answer that helps solve the missing variables in formulas.
Another big aspect that will easily be covered with a more hands-on customer review approach is the need to have a hotline or a surveying tool like the One Question Reputation App. Having the survey take place in person and at the moment will give the most raw, genuine response so the company as a whole can see what each location, city, region, and other geographical bases can improve on.
When looking at the corporate ladder, it is important for everyone to get the information they need to execute their job to the best of their ability. Whether it is the drive through food quality not being up to par or the hotel room service not cleaning the room thoroughly, feedback in different departments can also help with mandates.
A corporation is not fifty people sitting in an office but thousands of people spread out across the nation. Everyone needs to get the information relevant to their position. When said information is in a database from the source they are serving, it can easily help the marketing team design a better kids toy or a clinic look at the type of instruments they use. Yet, at the same time, it can also see what works in a positive manner when doing beta testing across the nation.
Franchises often time lose touch with clients and communication between those in the corporate offices and those running the locations can lead to a greater divide. Seeing words or actions from the sources itself can help everyone stay in the same page and create a game plan together on how to solve the issues at hand and maximize on what’s going well.