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Published November 24, 2020

Beyond the List: Why the Data Is More Valuable Than the Recognition in 2021

How Franchisee Satisfaction Data Can Help You Set New Franchisees Up for Success

Franchise Business Review is known for our Top Franchises Awards, our annual list recognizing the companies with the highest franchisee satisfaction. It’s the ONLY awards list based on franchisee satisfaction: not how fast a brand is growing, or how much they pay Franchise Business Review. Any franchise system with 10 or more franchisees can participate in the research for FREE (seriously, there is no catch – read more about it here), and because it’s open to any brand at no cost, it’s a truly independent and credible ranking of the top franchises.  

That kind of recognition is a one-of-a-kind opportunity for exposure, and it’s where thousands of potential franchisees start their hunt for the opportunity that’s right for them. But as we wrap up a very strange 2020 and prepare strategies for a prosperous 2021, I want to dig into what makes franchisee satisfaction data – what our awards are based on – more valuable than the recognition and rankings. 

 

4 Ways Franchisee Satisfaction Data Makes Your Development Process Easier

1. Shows transparency. Consumers look online for reviews on most big purchases, and a large investment into a franchise is no different. Just like consumers that use Consumer Reports and Yelp, candidates are looking for independent data and sources to validate your marketing and development pitches. Sharing feedback makes it easy for candidates to understand what your franchisees think about the support you provide and shows they’re happy they made the decision to join your system. 

2. Sets realistic expectations. Instead of painting a picture of “all sunshine and rainbows,” use franchisee feedback to show candidates the things you do really well, and the opportunities to get better as a franchisor. William Aruda shares in this Forbes piece the importance of telling the WHOLE truth, EARLY on, and why making documents available are crucial to building trust with your audience. By sharing your franchisee feedback, you get to acknowledge what you learned from the franchisees, and what you are doing to improve scores the next time around. Candidates (at least the ones you want) will appreciate that you value and strive for continuous improvement. If and when they ultimately join your system, they’ll come in with realistic expectations of what it will take to be successful and connected to the community and the brand.

3. Overcomes F.U.D.- (Fear, Uncertainty & Doubt): If you aren’t familiar with the term, most people experience a high amount of fear, uncertainty and doubt (F.U.D.) that can hold them back when making a big life decision. The Brighton Leadership Group recommends you address it head on by acknowledging it, then providing real information. Providing third party data and testimonials (good and bad) from franchisees can help those “stuck” candidates move forward in their decision making process.

4. Creates a culture of listening and communication. Asking franchisees for feedback is a great process to check your gut, and realign expectations by sharing what’s going well and where there is room for improvement. Glassdoor offers ways to create a culture of listening with employees, and these ideas work with franchisees as well. Showing the results and explaining to candidates that if they join the system, their feedback is welcomed. Participation in answering “how are we doing?” helps everyone to align and move the brand forward together.

Candidates today are much more educated than fifteen years ago when we first started surveying franchisees. You may catch their interest with awards, but you can’t close them based just on an award. And if you are a great franchise brand and executive team, you shouldn’t want the candidate that is just interested in awards. You SHOULD want the candidate that is asking hard questions, evaluating the brand and how they see themselves as fit within it.  

Read How Wild Birds Unlimited Partners with FBR to Strengthen Franchise Development, to see how a brand that has topped the awards list since 2006 uses franchisee satisfaction data throughout their development process.

The best part is, getting this data and presenting it in a way that candidates can access it, isn’t hard. Franchise Business Review has a standard survey that we can send to your franchisees, and a proprietary online platform where you can access the results. We also offer different options, based on what your goals are, for presenting your data to get the most visibility with candidates and best practices for using it to help move them through your pipeline. 

Contact me at [email protected] to talk about your strategy for 2021 and how franchisee satisfaction data can help you reach your goals.


 

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About the Author: Michelle Rowan

Michelle is the president of FBR, chair of the International Franchise Association Women's Franchise Committee, and a Certified Franchise Executive. She has facilitated CEO Performance Groups and Executive Networking Groups and is also a mentor of UNH college students. When she is not at work she is usually reading, playing outside, or hanging out with her husband and daughter.
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