3 Must-Have Ingredients for Franchisee Engagement - Part 1
Franchising is a proven way to scale your business by distributing the risk and reward across a community of franchisees. Yet, most franchisors struggle with engaging their franchisees, who are the lifeblood of their growth and success. No matter how big or small you are, you can’t afford to have your franchisees struggle because they don’t have enough engagement with their parent brand.
Engaged franchisees are more likely to stick around and contribute to the growth of the brand. They are also more likely to be successful when they are given the tools, support, and air cover from the franchisor to ensure their success. This helps create a positive feedback loop, with engaged franchisees helping to promote the brand and its values, and the franchisor providing the support needed to help their franchisees be successful.
This 3-part series will help you understand the three key ingredients needed for a high-impact franchisee engagement strategy, along with some tech tips to help you become a franchisee engagement pro!
Ingredient #1: Communication and Creating a Community
The first component of a high-impact franchisee engagement strategy is communication that fosters the feeling of a tight-knit community. Communications must be clear, consistent, and relevant to the franchisees. This means that franchisors must create a process and/or use a technology solution for communication that is both efficient and effective for the franchisees. They also need to make sure that their tone and messaging are consistent with the brand.
A good way to measure communication effectiveness is to look at the number of franchisees who are engaged on your technology solution (measured by KPIs such as open rates, click-through rates, conversion rates, etc.). A platform for creating this can look like an online portal, social network community, or even a learning management and training system. The distribution of new content for your brand should be systematic by using a platform to proactively push it to franchisees.
Bonus points if you can create a way to reward franchisees for engaging with the information (e.g., by offering a contest). Encouraging feedback directly from these individuals will result in them feeling like more than just another team member. Franchisees in the community can then learn from each other, all while feeling that their opinions matter when making decisions about what’s being distributed within the company.
When it comes to company communications, many franchisees feel they’ve been left out of the loop. This is an issue because a lack of communication can lead to poor brand consistency among franchisees, which in turn leads to lower customer satisfaction and higher levels of attrition. To increase engagement with franchisees and promote better brand consistency, organizations should consider including a communications center or hub for franchisee use.
A well-designed communications center will provide all relevant materials in a single, centralized location so they’re easy to find and understand. This also provides an opportunity for franchisors to get feedback from their franchisees on how well these materials are understood, as well as on any other issues or concerns about them. The result of doing this? Increased understanding among both parties about what is happening within the company… and a more cohesive brand.
A learning management system (LMS) is another effective way to keep your franchisees engaged with the brand. An LMS can help deliver training and development content, as well as manage communications between franchisor and franchisees. An LMS also can keep track of progress and performance so you can identify areas where further support may be needed.
Using an LMS can help ensure that your franchisees are kept up to date with the latest developments within the franchise and can help maintain a high level of engagement with the brand. Additionally, it will provide them with the necessary tools to successfully represent your brand in their local market. When franchisees feel confident in their ability to deliver on the brand promise, it leads to a higher level of customer satisfaction and can help reduce attrition rates.
Franchisees are the lifeblood of your brand. They represent your company in the community, and they’re responsible for delivering on your promise to customers. Keeping franchisees connected to your brand can be challenging. By focusing on communication with your franchisees, you can create a high-impact franchisee engagement strategy that will continue to engage and motivate your franchisees. Creating a community can help them achieve their goals, while also strengthening your franchise system as a whole.
Next time: How franchisors can set goals and expectations for their franchisees that will set them up for success.
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