September 22, 2009 // Franchising.com // DAYTON, OH -- Franchise sales continue to grow at Instant Tax Service, a retail income tax preparation company recently ranked the #1 new franchise by Entrepreneur Magazine. As new recruits come on board, the franchisor has increasingly turned to innovative new training programs to help their franchisees succeed.
"The challenge we face in training our franchisees is that we operate a seasonal business," says Kyle Wade, Vice President of Franchise Development. "When franchisees come in for training during the summer, most of our stores are closed. This makes it difficult for franchisees to experience a real-world customer interaction."
So, Wade and Sheila Bailey - the company's Training Director - decided to bring the customers to its franchisees. Prior-year Instant Tax Service customers from the Dayton area - where the company's headquarters is located - were invited to be part of the program. Customers who arrived on time the day of the training simulation and stayed for the full three hours received $50 and were invited to the next session. The training simulation takes place at the company's flagship store in downtown Dayton, OH. "The response was much greater than we anticipated," says Bailey.
According to Bailey, the program allows franchisees to interact with the company's target demographic and understand their specific needs and concerns well in advance of opening their own doors for tax season. It also lets franchisees experience what a typical opening day is like.
"We wanted to simulate what it feels like to have a crowded lobby and a line of customers out the door," says Bailey. "This gives franchisees a taste of the kind of pressure they may be under opening day and challenges them to complete a high volume of tax returns in this environment. Any mistakes made during this program serve as learning experiences, and won't negatively impact our customers."
Instant Tax Service® is a retail income tax preparation company franchising over 1,200 locations in 34 states. Founded by Fez Ogbazion in 2000 and franchising since 2004, Instant Tax Service offers tax preparation, electronic filing, and refund anticipation loan services.