When I talk to franchisors that haven’t worked with Franchise Business Review before, I always explain that we offer both a paid and a free franchisee survey option for our franchisee satisfaction surveys. I’m often asked, “What’s the catch?” or, “Why are you doing this for free?” In case you’re wondering too, I thought I would answer both of these questions.
I promise, there really is no catch! FBR has been active in the franchise industry for over 15 years, and if we were doing anything other than what we promise, there’s no doubt you would know about it. We are completely up front with the questions we ask on the survey, our confidential process, and what you receive when you participate — all before you sign on.
We invite any franchisor with 10 or more franchisees open and operating to participate in our research. So why do we offer it for free?
We believe validation and unit economics are the biggest pillars of a franchise system. If you don’t have those things, you shouldn’t be selling to prospective franchise buyers. Plus, having more brands and franchisee responses we have in our industry benchmark helps our clients gain true perspective on how they stack up to other systems.
If you decide to participate in the free survey, you don’t get ALL the data we collect, but you do get your overall benchmark score to compare your system to the highest and lowest scores on the survey to see where you stand, and if your franchisees rate you well, it qualifies you for our awards and to be featured in the editorial of our quarterly publications for candidates.
So how do we make money here at FBR? We work with franchisors that pay for the survey because they want ALL the data we collect, and they usually customize our standard survey to get more specific feedback about their system.
They can read open-ended comments from franchisees and see aggregate data on things like training & support, leadership, and financial opportunity. And by comparing each question to the industry benchmarks, they can quickly identify their strengths — differentiators they can use in development and marketing efforts — and weaknesses — what they need to do better and where they need to where to align franchisees’ expectations to move forward together. In addition, franchisors that have great data have the opportunity to share it publicly with our candidate audience through our quarterly recruitment and validation programs, pay-per-lead program, advertising, and even sponsored content.
Most importantly, though, is asking franchisees to share their feedback. Whether you have high scores, or you anticipate low scores in some areas, simply asking for input from your system and then using the data to make improvements goes a long way in building trust, goodwill and loyalty with your franchisees.
I am always surprised that all franchises don’t take advantage of our offer — there’s no cost or risk. I would love to hear what questions YOU have about our research. I’m happy to share the questions we ask on our standard survey and walk you through exactly what you get for free and in the paid version. And if not, let me know what’s holding you back from finding out how you compare to over 1,100 other franchise systems that have participated.
Thinking about adding franchisee satisfaction surveys to your annual operating plan? If you’re not already using franchisee satisfaction research data to identify organizational priorities and accelerate development, now’s the time! This free comparison tool will help you get the most for your investment.
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.
Franchise Business Review is the leading market research firm in the franchise sector specializing in franchisee satisfaction and employee engagement. Since 2005, we have helped more than 1,100 franchise brands drive better results. Let us put our insights to work for you.