Pulse surveys
Published February 28, 2022

Pulse Surveys: A Small but Mighty Tool for Increasing Franchisee Satisfaction

Find out how pulse surveys can give you real-time insights into franchise performance

Pulse surveys are increasingly being used by franchisors as a fast, easy, relatively inexpensive tool to measure system performance. How do they work and what makes them so effective? Read on to learn what makes a successful pulse survey and how to implement them.  

What Is a Pulse Survey?

Pulse surveys are short, targeted surveys sent to the same audience on a regular (monthly, quarterly) basis. They are intended to be a short check-in to give you a snapshot of how your franchisees are feeling at any given time. They can be just one question, or up to 10 questions, but more importantly, they are highly specific, focusing on one area for feedback/improvement.

While a comprehensive annual franchisee satisfaction survey measures the overall health of your system and benchmarks performance year-over-year, there’s so much that can happen in between. Pulse surveys help you quickly identify areas for improvement—before they become problems—so you can adjust as needed and remain agile

Pulse surveys can be used to:

  • Measure franchisees’ engagement in real-time over the course of a year
  • Track effectiveness of changes, initiatives, or new programs (e.g., training, technology, etc.) and how it’s being received by franchisees
  • Dig deeper into areas of the annual survey where you scored low

Pulse surveys are not intended to replace an annual franchisee satisfaction survey; rather, they are meant to complement it. Pulse surveys keep franchisees engaged all year long and help you track progress and measure incremental results. And because pulse surveys are short and targeted, participation is typically higher.

How to Use Pulse Surveys Effectively

  • Be specific on what to measure. Do you want to test the effectiveness of a new program or technology solution before rolling it out system-wide? Do you want to gauge the reaction to a major policy or leadership change?
  •  Choose your questions. Will the questions be the same each time? Do you want to dig deeper into an area of your annual survey or measure feedback on areas outside the scope of your annual survey?
  • Define your audience. Are you reaching out to all franchisees? Or do want feedback from franchisees in a specific region? Franchisees in a specific stage of the franchise lifecycle? Multi-unit vs. single-unit owners?
  • Determine frequency. Because pulse surveys are intended to be short, you can send them out as frequently as once a week. However, monthly or quarterly pulse surveys can be just as effective in taking the temperature of your system.
  • Have a plan. If you ask franchisees for feedback, you better have a plan in place for what you’re going to do with it. How will you share the results? Who will you share the results with? What is the expectation for action?

When used effectively, pulse surveys are a valuable tool to spot trends, measure engagement, and get immediate feedback. Franchisees appreciate that you’re listening to their input, which builds trust, and you reduce risk by acting quickly to adjust strategies that aren’t working.

Sample Pulse Survey Questions

  1. Which mobile technology do you feel is most crucial to running your daily business:
  • POS
  • Time Clock software
  • Inventory Management
  • Loyalty Program
  1. What areas of the [COMPANY NAME] intranet do you find most valuable:
  • KPI rankings
  • Forum where I can connect with other franchisees
  • LTO and marketing/branding area
  • Corporate policy updates
  • Ops Manual
  1. On a scale of 1-10, how connected do you feel to the other franchisees in our system?
  1. What is the #1 reason you chose to franchise with [COMPANY NAME]?
  1. [COMPANY NAME] has a strong, positive culture. (strongly agree to strongly disagree scale)

Ready to see how pulse surveys can help you improve franchisee satisfaction and engagement? Learn how Franchise Business Review can help you through the entire process, from survey design and execution, all the way to creating an action plan for sharing and implementing the results, or simply click here to contact us about getting started.

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About the Author: Ali Forman

As the Marketing Director, Ali’s role is to educate franchise companies about and inspire them to participate in FBR’s research in order to grow and improve their brands. Ali's previous experience includes senior marketing communications roles in the employee benefits, data privacy, and publishing sectors. She lives in Maine with her husband and two sons.
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