What We Learned at IFA 2018: Become an Automated Franchise
This past week, we were sponsors at IFA 2018 in Phoenix Arizona – the Super Bowl of franchise conferences. It was a spectacle of an event…from industry influencers to some of the world’s largest franchise brands. What made the event impressive were the breakout and round-table sessions. Conversations ranged from employee motivation to the future of franchising; however, one theme that everyone talked about was the idea of automation.
Everyone wanted to know how to become an automated franchise.
They wanted to know how it would enhance their franchise and make their brand more memorable.
In response to this theme, we’re breaking down how automation can affect your service franchise in two critical ways.
Automation improves customer communication
For any service franchise, your brand is held entirely in the eyes of the beholder. Meaning you don’t decide what your brand is, your customer does. If you don’t follow-up with a customer, they’ll view your communication as poor and most-likely voice their opinion on Yelp – letting others know about your “bad” brand. If you send consistent notifications and frequently call them to let them know that their appointment is still on, then you’ll be seen as transparent and competent – this time boosting your brand perception.
Service Franchise Tip: Being customer-centric is the best way to build brand loyalty and trust. But, keeping your customer in the middle is also…EXHAUSTING. This is where automation comes in. Having a platform that can automate your most important customer communication touchpoints can save you time and energy – all while boosting your NPS and brand loyalty.
Time spent waiting for in-home services and appointments cost American workers $37.7 billion (IBOPE Zogby, 2011) – With automation, no longer will customers have to feel that “hopeless” and “left in the dark” feeling when interacting with a service franchise.
Automation provides 24/7 visibility
Knowing what is going on with your franchises is difficult. Depending on how your franchise organization is set up, your franchisees can operate as fully-independent businesses or rather, as part of your larger network. This sometimes leads to franchisors not always knowing what is going on with their franchises – which is precisely why the need for automation is real.
When you equip your franchisees with the digital tools to automate their customer communication, you gain real-time information about how each branch is performing. You can know how they’re communicating with the customer, if they’re regularly informing their customers of ETAs, and if the customer is messaging and sending photos to the franchise. Once all this customer communication is centralized into one platform, then you as the franchisor can gain valuable insight into your entire franchise network.
Service Franchise Tip: The fastest way to gain 24/7 visibility is to provide your franchise network with a digital platform that can automate customer touchpoints. Those touchpoints will be shared with you (franchisor) in real-time so that you will know exactly when something is going right and when something isn’t – 24/7 visibility at its finest.