Office Pride Commercial Cleaning has been an FBR client since 2006, and was inducted into the FBR’s Hall of Fame in 2017. On a recent survey of their franchisees, Office Pride rated 15 percent higher than the overall industry benchmark for Training and Support. Eight-eight percent of franchise owners who participated in the survey rated their training and support above average.
Wouldn’t it be nice if your training sessions were available whenever you had the time to listen – maybe when you’re stuck in traffic or working on mundane tasks? Welcome to the age of podcasts.
Office Pride Commercial Cleaning Services has begun a weekly podcast devoted to training for franchisees. Office Pride Founder and President/CEO Todd Hopkins serves as the host, deftly interviewing seasoned franchisees, business leaders, marketing experts and authors about topics that business owners need to know – everything from hiring to billing to customer service.
“I really like the genuine, real conversations that we have,” said Hopkins. “They are easy to listen to and offer an easy way to franchisees to learn. They can listen while they’re driving or even sometimes while working on routine tasks. They love hearing from other franchisees about best practices.
“Of course, we can always put together training in a classroom format, but it’s not any more effective, and it’s certainly not as accessible. Plus, when we get into conversations, it draws things out of my head from 27 years of experience that I may forget to include in a workshop,” he added.
Hopkins, who founded the company in 1992 as part of an independent research project while working on his MBA, enjoys listening to podcasts and became more interested in starting his own after guesting on other podcasts. He found his conversational style suited the medium, and so late in 2018, he launched an Office Pride podcast. He also built a studio at the company headquarters and invested in high-quality sound equipment.
“Ongoing improvements to the training content and materials are impressive.”
-Office Pride Franchise Owner
Hopkins said his main goal of the podcasts is to help franchisees be more successful, so topics are decided based on their feedback.
“We started with a series on hiring and keeping good quality workers,” he said. “Our theme for 2019 is to ‘Achieve Customer Amazement,’ so we are doing a series on that. Recently, we aired a podcast on the importance of answering the phones instead of letting them go to voicemail. Many potential customers, if they reach voicemail, will just hang up and go to the next number on their list.”
“Office Pride continues to provide superior training and support to its franchise owners. The training and support received has improved with every year I have been in business.”
-Office Pride Franchise Owner
He offered some advice for other franchises interested in starting their own training podcasts:
- Include your franchisees. Ask for their input in choosing topics but also ask them to be your guests. Rather than scripting the session, encourage them to share what they want. That will ensure that you get helpful information and authentic engagement.
- Have a knowledgeable, energetic host. They need to know the business and be comfortable leading the conversation.
- Keep it interesting. Hopkins always tries to have multiple guests on an episode to ensure good interaction. “It’s an unscripted conversation between people who understand a topic that you want to know more about, and they’re inviting you to listen in,” he said.
- Don’t talk too long. You don’t want listeners to avoid downloading your podcast because they won’t have time to complete a session. “Twenty to 25 minutes seems to be the sweet spot, so we cut them off at that point,” Hopkins said.
A good podcast is hard to beat, Hopkins said. “Of course, we were excited about video, when that was trending, too, but podcasts are more accessible and just as effective. We know that more people already have downloaded our podcasts than all the videos we made. Even though the podcasts are longer, they are easier to fit into your schedule.”