Have you ever been on a road trip and stopped at a popular fast food joint because you wanted familiarity, only to have a completely different experience with the brand than you’re used to? Perhaps the service wasn’t as good, or the food didn’t taste quite right. If you’re a brand with multiple locations, maintaining customer loyalty is a huge deal, and consistency across locations is important. If keeping up with multiple locations is causing some inefficiency, read on to learn what to do.
Brands are reactive, not proactive.
When you get a cold you can take all the cough syrup and painkillers in the world to get through it. But you could have taken precautionary methods to prevent the cold from happening in the first place. The same goes for your operations. Stop waiting for problems to happen just to fix them. If you take precautionary steps to avoid mishaps you will save time, money, and your reputation. Start tracking your trends by compiling checklists from all of your locations to see where you’re struggling and where you’re excelling. Come up with a system now to improve what you’re struggling with to maintain customer loyalty and avoid a much larger issue in the future.
Their operations lack consistency.
Although you want to serve each of your unique neighborhoods and markets, you do need some form of consistency across all your locations to be successful. Major initiatives should be executed at each store, as well as all stores should be held to the same standards with clear instructions on how to meet those standards. Including follow up on each initiative in your store audits will then help to ensure proper execution as well as provide an opportunity to hear employee’s thoughts on ways to improve the correlating workflow. We’ve said it before: you should be offering the best experience to every customer every time. Make sure you work to improve and verify consistency at every location in your organization.
Their employees aren’t educated enough.
This is plain and simple. If you don’t take the time to educate each employee of the efficient ways to do their job(s), they are likely to work inefficiently.Take the time to develop an in-depth training program for each position within your organization and take the time to train each employee at their own pace (within reason). Taking the time now will help you avoid taking corrective actions in the future. It may also be helpful to have employees follow a daily checklist to ensure consistency over time. As a starting point, aggregate your store audit data to see where you need improvement company-wide; this is where your training opportunities are.
If you try to be good at everything, you will be good at nothing.
Sometimes it helps to stick to what you know. Your customers choose to patronize your business because you are different from their other options. If you stretch your brand too far from your niche you could jeopardize the activities you used to excel at, because you’re focusing on them less. Only add features and activities to your business if you know they are something your customers need. How do you know? You ask. Having conversations with your customers is a great way to ensure you’re providing them with the best experience possible.
They don’t have a central way of managing all initiatives across all locations.
Your job is so complex that if you don’t have a central system for managing all of your initiatives and locations you will miss many opportunities. If you use paper checklists for all of your initiatives, compile them in a way that you can quickly access the results both by location and company-wide. This will save you time and allow you to compare which initiatives you are successful at and which ones need attention.
A solution for this is to use a store audit or task management software application. That way your reports and trends will be compiled and tracked for you – leaving you time to focus on your initiatives and providing great customer service.