06 Jun Franchisors – Are Your Franchisees Happy?
When we talk about business and franchising in general, often revenue figures and profitability are the key focus points. That’s completely understandable because without them the business simple wouldn’t be able to operate.
But what are Franchisors doing to ensure Franchisees are both profitable AND happy?
Franchisee satisfaction levels are often debated. Satisfaction comes in a number of forms, again profitability contributes, but what can a Franchisor do to make sure their network has good levels of happiness? We know strong levels directly correlate to greater service, Franchisee longevity and general growth across the network so shouldn’t it be considered a core focus of the development team?
We’ve highlighted 5 areas that Franchisors can develop in their network to enhance and improve satisfaction.
Is your communication on point? Are you in regular contact with each franchisees, updating them with news, developments and support tools? If there is a systems or operations issue, are they alerted promptly? Do you encourage open channels of feedback so they can discuss issues and thoughts openly?
These are just a selection of questions Franchisors need to be asking themselves to ensure they are really ensuring Franchisees feel heard and understand how the network is developing. A number of relationships in business break down simply through poor communication.
- Regular Meet Ups
Don’t underestimate the power of regular face-to-face meetings. Of course, Franchisors need to balance the ongoing needs of the business, but if you treat meet ups as a standard activity, you will find a way to incorporate it into the calendar. Interacting with people on a regular basis makes people happy, especially if they feel they belong as part of a group and/or movement.
Field visits are often cited as one way of ensuring franchisees are not only complying with their agreement but also to show continued support and advice in a more personal manner, as opposed to over the phone. Franchisors can also schedule social gatherings, team bonding activities and training events. All contribute to franchisee happiness and satisfaction levels.
- Deliver On Promises
If a Franchisor consistently promises something but fails regularly this can breed frustration and resentment. Avoid this be delivering on promises. This isn’t the same as saying every improvement suggestion should be made. Each suggestion should be considered on it’s own merit, however if a commitment is made and deadline agreed, do everything in your power to fulfill that. If for any reason it can’t be met because of changes in circumstances then be prepared to explain that and develop your reasoning so Franchisees can understand.
The Franchisor-Franchisee relationship is a two-way street. Respect should be constant from both sides throughout. If a Franchisee feels let down, lost or disrespected this will lead to a breakdown in trust and any foundation the relationship was built on.
Consider peoples opinions and always aim to try and understand their viewpoint. Some Franchisees are full of excuses, but if it actually turns out the Franchisor is the one with excuses and not respecting others then that will spread like wildfire and cause to disruption across the network.
- Admit Mistakes
It’s okay to tell Franchisees if a mistake has been made. Simply hiding from failures or errors and attempting to cover it up rarely ends well. Franchisors are human and mistakes will always occur in business, regardless of the size and experience of the business. What is critical is that the mistake isn’t made again. If it is, at that point it can become a frustration for Franchisees and over time become an issue on their happiness.
If you are a Franchisor who isn’t ticking each of these boxes, it’s probably best you review your strategy and support levels to the network before it’s too late. Let’s make more Franchisee happy.