The success of a franchise often depends on how well the franchisor and franchisee can communicate with each other. If the exchange of knowledge, ideas, problems, and solutions is smooth and free-flowing, your franchise has a high success rate. Unfortunately, we at The Franchise Institute have observed that franchisors often neglect communication and fail to understand just how important it is for a smooth operation of their business. We often encourage franchisors to follow the tips listed below to improve communications with their franchisees.
Before you establish your franchise business, you should establish a solid communications system that would allow your franchisees to contact you easily and quickly. You should also create a set of protocols and guidelines so that your franchisees understand how to contact you and feel confident in doing so. It’s important to actively train them to communicate freely and share details about the problems they face during day-to-day operations.
You need to develop a good, steady rapport with your franchisees but it has to start with you. New franchisees will be hesitant to approach you with their problems; but if you take the first few steps, you might be able to get them to be comfortable and develop a healthy relationship with them. This would be a solid foundation to a successful franchise and all you need to do is communicate with the franchisees.
Today, you can communicate with your franchisees through many different channels. You shouldn’t stick to just one channel because that would limit how well you can interact with them. Here are a few tools you should consider using:
This is a great way to keep your franchisees informed about changes in policies and tactics, new products and services, business or marketing strategies, important dates, important statistics, changes in branding, and other such information about your franchise. This would keep them in touch with your brand and company, which will ensure everything in consistent across all the branches of your franchise.
Video tutorials and text guides about communication policies, techniques, changes, etc, can convey all the information your franchisees need in a systematic and concise manner. Both newsletters and content are indirect ways to communicate with your franchisees, but they work.
Franchisee forums can be a platform where they can ask each other questions, discuss problems, and bounce ideas off of each other. Forums can be an excellent medium to create a community of franchisees and you can interact with them on many topics at once. You’ll understand the common problems, know the opinions and experiences of your franchisees, and socialise with them; this sense of community is very helpful.
Things like dedicated email addresses, live chat support, phone support, etc, can help you provide direct assistance. This is particularly useful if there’s a problem that needs immediate attention.
Never underestimate the importance of personal, face-to-face interaction. You can organise conferences, visit individual franchises, and even arrange for corporate trips to encourage communication and develop a good relationship with your franchisees. Personal meetings and discussions help the franchisees integrate better with the brand and that increases loyalty to your company.
These tips will help you communicate effectively with your franchisees, which will have a direct impact on your brand’s success. If you want to know more about franchising or want some advice, feel free to get in touch with us at The Franchise Institute. You can call us on 1300 855 435 or fill in this contact us form and we’ll reply as soon as we can.
Thanks for reading,
The Franchise Institute Team
1300 855 435