Published August 23, 2012
MOOYAH CEO Alan Hixon discusses his franchisee satisfaction survey and the importance of treating franchisees like customers.
Did you use any type of survey before Franchise Business Review’s?
No. We tried to keep up with things ourselves, but you only get so much information doing a survey internally.
Why did you decide to survey your franchisees with FBR?
As a franchisor, we are very much concerned about the level of satisfaction in the franchise community–they are our customers. Much like our units do mystery shopping and things like that to see where they stand with their customers, we’re basically doing the same thing as a franchisor with the franchisee being our customer. It’s very important to understand how they’re responding to things we’re doing. We want to be the best franchisor that we can be.
Were you surprised at all by the results?
No, not really. There were a lot of positives, but of course there were also some areas of opportunity, which I would have guessed. For the most part, we were working on most of them already.
Do you share your results with your franchisees? If so, what reaction/feedback have you received?
We do. When we get the results back as a company, we review them as a group and look at areas that are indicated for which we could do a better job. We come up with a plan and put that in play.
What are the top three areas that were mentioned in your survey?
1.) Communication: Some people will always feel that they need more communication, some will say they need less. That’s one of the top topics that always addressed.
2.) Marketing: Again, some say they want more, some say they want less. Everybody to some extent has a pretty strong opinion about marketing.
3.) Training and operational updates
Some CEOs tell us that their franchisees are inundated with surveys and emails and they just don’t want to send them something else. What would you say to those CEOs?
Therein lies the problem. You just have to make sure what you’re sending is important if that’s the boat you’re in. We would rather communicate too much than be accused of not communicating enough. We don’t think of franchisees as employees so we make sure not to send out things that say, “Do this now.”
I think even if the survey validates some things, you need to know them–good and bad. I think it helps you confirm that you are, in fact, focusing on the right things. We won’t always agree, we will have differing opinions about what should be happening and what shouldn’t be happening at any given time but you need to look past that. Some answers from some people you would anticipate, but you need to look at the overall.