Uniformity in brand messaging is a key part of making franchise business work. As any experienced franchisor will tell you, franchisees often want to put their own personal stamp on their business. It is something to do with human nature why this occurs but, to the franchisee, it creates problems. Either customers don't receive the same level of service or they end up feeling like they could just as well have gone to an independent operator. As such, much of what a franchisee does is focussed on creating uniformity across their brand so that these sometimes minor differences are ironed out. In fact, it is only by keeping to a determined plan that franchises business will succeed in the end.
Tools & Messages
For many franchises, a great deal of the aforementioned uniformity is achieved by paying close attention to marketing messages which must be the same every time. In addition to this, business tools should be the same in all of the franchises so that similar customer experiences are obtained across the board. This might be the way in which franchisees set up their own local websites within your overall framework, for example. In addition, you should also consider the important role that modern telecommunications systems have to play in creating uniformity among franchises. How do they help in this regard?
The Best Telecoms Option
A single telecommunications system which is used by all franchisees in a franchise business offers real benefits to customers, franchise holders and franchisors, alike.
Firstly, from the franchisors point of view, a single, scalable telephone system means that you can organise your entire commercial model with a single monthly bill which covers everything. As franchises are added to your business, so extra lines and extensions can be added. If any depart, so the reverse is true.
However, don't imagine that this single system approach is inflexible. Modern telecommunications systems mean that your franchises can be set up in any location around the UK with their own dedicated lines, if wanted. What's more you can control how inbound calls are handled. For example, a lone customer service support line might be advertised for all franchises which clients call. Once answered automatically, customers could navigate their way easily to their local franchise to receive the support they're after or even to place an order.
In fact, with modern data logging that goes on with phone calls, franchisors can also keep tabs on which franchises are good at answering their calls and handling their enquiries as well as monitoring those which are not, allowing you to take remedial action where appropriate. A single phone system also means that anyone working at Franchise A will already know how the system works if they were to end up working at Franchise B down the line.
In short, one system doesn't merely mean greater uniformity of experience for customers, it means greater simplicity for everyone working at one of your franchises.
Billing is another important part of a single telecommunications system. With a unified approach, you can have a single billing system that you can reliably predict costs for. This means being able to bundle in the costs associated with franchisees' telecommunications needs with their monthly or annual fees. As for outbound call costs, franchisors can obtain weekly or monthly call charging reports and pass these on to franchisees as they see fit, either at cost or with a mark-up if preferred.
Talk to GPS about how our flexible telecommunications solutions are suited to franchise business models in the UK.