If you run a franchise company, chances are you’re not alone in your industry. However, there is a reason your customers choose you over your competitors. Here are ways you can improve your customer loyalty so your patrons continue to continue to choose you.
Craft an excellent branding strategy.
There is so much to say about brand strategies that there are books about this topic alone. You want to craft a branding strategy that makes customers view you as a friend or expert. To do this, you should create a style guide. A style guide is a prewritten guide on the style all of your content should be written in. So, all your social media posts, microcopy, blog posts, etc. should be written to portray your role in your industry. Do you want to be the lighthearted old friend, an amusing class clown, or a helpful expert? Whatever you choose, all of your marketing content should condone that style. However, remember to choose the role your customers will relate best to.
Once you have figured out how your customers view you, interact with them in this way. If you’re trying to be the lighthearted old friend, post throwback pictures on Thursdays of your founders working in the first store. If you want to be an expert, tweet helpful tips related to your industry, but not necessarily your product. Remember customer loyalty is a relationship not just a series of transactions; so social media should be much more than just product promotion. By adopting a brand style that your customers can relate to, they will view you as more than just a business, and keep you top of mind when it comes time to choose between you and a competitor.
Hire and work with passionate people.
There’s nothing more important than the experience customers have with your brand. By hiring people who are passionate about your products or services, not only will they be able to naturally sell your brand, but turnover will be less of a problem because employees will like their jobs.
Whether you’re hiring store personnel or finding a new franchise partner, there are questions you can ask ahead of time to see if they are passionate about your brand and industry. Here are two to consider:
- What are your hobbies and interests outside of work? If someone has hobbies similar to that of current (passionate) employees, or if his hobbies are related to your industry, chances are he’s passionate about it too.
- What did you initially find interesting about this job/company? This is a great way to verify that someone is truly interested in your company and not just looking for any opportunity.
Create a solid training program.
After you know how you want your company to be portrayed, and after you’ve hired your passionate employees, it’s time to tweak your training program. Rewrite your employee handbook in the style you chose, and make it part of everyone’s job. Interview your most passionate people to see what inspires them, and then pass the advice along to everyone else in your company. Once everyone is trained on the style and culture of your business, they can incorporate it into their customer service.
When you get your customers to view you as more than just a restaurant, gym, hair salon, etc. and have employees that continually advocate your brand, it will help prove to your customers that you’re the best franchise in your market.
Photo source: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Arbetsr%C3%A4tt.jpg