Stories from the Covid-19 Front Lines: CDO Q&A with Eric Little of Right At Home
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Stories from the Covid-19 Front Lines: CDO Q&A with Eric Little of Right At Home

Stories from the Covid-19 Front Lines: CDO Q&A with Eric Little of Right At Home

Name: Eric Little
Title: Chief Development Officer
Brand: Right At Home
Segment: Senior Care
Units: 600+
Locations: U.S., U.K., Canada, Australia, Ireland, Netherlands, Japan, China

What are you doing differently with your marketing program as a result of Covid-19? 

We have pulled back on most non-broker lead generation for the time being. That said, we are still seeing some leads come in organically. We also hosted a webinar for franchise brokers recently. And we’re communicating with our leads database to re-engage those who may now find themselves looking for another opportunity as a result of a layoff or job-related uncertainty.

What are your plans for the next 60 days (April & May)?

Our first virtual training class was Monday 5/18, and it includes a franchisee who attended our first virtual discovery day in April! Because senior care businesses are essential and stayed open during this pandemic, we expect that we’re going to see a lot of interest in our category going forward – similar to the way people reacted after the 2008 financial crisis. Over the next 60 days we’ll continue to refine our messaging to prospects and brokers related to Covid-19, the industry, the brand, and the opportunity that exists with Right at Home. We also have several candidates tracking for our next virtual discovery day in June.

What are your plans for the following 90 days (June , July, August)?

We will monitor lead flow and candidate sentiments, and make sure that we are continuing to educate candidates about how Covid impacts our business (benefits and risks). From a marketing perspective, we will most likely stay focused on broker leads for the remainder of the year, with perhaps a little support from traditional franchise development lead generation in Q4. We will also continue communicating through our social media channels.

Have you made major changes to your franchisee recruitment program or sales process?

Yes! We had new and resale candidates in our pipeline who still wanted to move forward just as Covid-19 began to make landfall, so to speak. We had to figure out a way to responsibly allow them to proceed, while staying true to our core values. Bottom line: We didn’t just want to look the other way and hope things would be okay. We wanted the candidates to make informed decisions, based on their own risk assessment of the facts available. This meant we had to make some rather significant changes to our process to help provide them with information about the virus. In addition to implementing virtual discovery days and creating a virtual training class, we’ve evolved our entire sales process to help educate buyers about Covid and its potential impact. we’ve added a Covid “logo” to slides in our business overview presentation that cover portions of our business model that might be affected by the virus (PPE costs, opening timeline, virtual training, etc.). Each time one of those slides comes up with the logo on it, our sales directors talk about Covid’s impact. We’ve also created a list of sample questions for candidates to ask our current franchisees during validation about the impact the virus has had on their business. All qualified candidates also get invited to a biweekly call with our CEO and COO where the only topic is Covid. There’s more, but overall we just want to make sure that we’re talking openly with candidates about Covid and its potential impact.

Have you made any changes to the roles or duties of your team?

Yes. One of the most significant is that we now have our internal legal coordinator audit the communications records in the CRM to verify that candidates have received information and multiple communications about Covid from us. We have developed multiple touchpoints for franchise candidates in our process related to Covid. The legal coordinator uses a checklist to verify that those touchpoints occurred and are logged in the CRM before opening franchise agreements for signature. This helps us make sure that we have done our part to help candidates understand the impact the virus may have before they sign with us.

Published: July 12th, 2020

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