CRM for Franchises: Using Franchise Software to Delight Customers
- April 25, 2021
- By: Vonigo
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is an important part of any business. But what about CRM for franchises? How can franchises and multi-location organizations, specifically in the home services sector, build and maintain meaningful customer relationships?
The answer lies in knowing what those customers value and becoming the best and most consistent provider of that value. Ask our most successful franchise clients and they’ll tell you: their best customers are increasingly choosing to prioritize convenience over all else. Or as a recent PWC report indicates: “What truly makes for a good experience? Speed. Convenience. Consistency. Friendliness. And human touch—that is, creating real connections by making technology feel more human and giving employees what they need to create better customer experiences.”
Convenience is your best customer retention strategy. To help you take that from a high-level concept and make it actionable in your franchise, here are several specific ways to leverage software to build better customer relationships at the franchisor level. Call it a “CRM for Franchises 101.”
Own Your Customer Data
We list this tip first for a very important reason. CRM is only as good as the data you collect. By data, we mean things like your customer’s contact information, location, purchase history, and service preferences. This is table stakes when it comes to CRM. The larger your business becomes, the more challenging it can be to keep accurate records. That recordkeeping has to be baked into your process. Get the customer’s information as early as possible and keep a record of their purchases.
This tip might even seem like it’s so obvious that it barely needs mentioning. To be more specific, we mean that you should be maintaining these customer records at the franchisor level. It is not to be left to your franchise partners to own these records in silos.
The strength of your business and its ability to build relationships is in your brand and your consistent level of service. Maintaining those service records at the highest levels of the company opens up more options for your organization. The rest of the list consists of some examples of those options and the specific ways they benefit your company, your franchise partners, and your end customers.
Maintain a Better Level of Service by Leveraging Your Strengths
This could get a bit meta. After all, as the franchise owner, you want to maintain a high standard of value to your franchise partners. But you also want to use the strength of your brand to offer your end customers value as well.
How do you do that? By handling all of the administration and “busy work” so your franchise partners don’t have to. In software terms, this means things like having a single online booking portal and call center. You can offer end-customers a consistent experience while taking the burden of job booking off the shoulders of your franchisees.
But wait, there’s more! Job booking and scheduling aren’t the only things you can take on at headquarters in the interest of efficiency.
Automate the Important Stuff
When a customer books a job, they should receive confirmation of that booking. When the crew is arriving at the location, they should be notified again. Changes to the service or schedule? Job is complete? You guessed it — the customer should hear about it immediately.
Having this kind of automated customer messaging adds a level of professionalism and contributes to a positive service experience for end customers. Best of all, it can help answer customer questions and prevent no-shows, which can eat into your profitability.
Something as simple as automating your customer messaging can help both your end customers and the crews of your franchise partners. This is the strength of CRM — the ability to put the obvious stuff on autopilot. Customers are informed and your crews look like superstars. Meanwhile, all they are actually doing is telling your franchise software that they’ve arrived or that the job is completed with a simple tap in your mobile app. Your automation takes care of the rest.
Go Deep with Your Data to Discover New Opportunities
The more data you collect from your various locations, the more you can identify opportunities for growth. A specific service is popular in one area? Promote it in other areas for the benefit of those customers. Or extend seasonal offers in specific locations or niches.
With access to all of that data, you can see which locations are performing well and which ones need attention. For the performers, you can drill down and learn what it is specifically that makes those crews or locations the best. Is it their speed? Is it something else?
Taking the learnings from your individual locations as well as your aggregated data will help you find new advantages and may even inform new service changes or other efficiencies.
Learn More About CRM for Franchises
Vonigo’s franchise management software allows franchisors to connect all of their franchise partners in one central hub and can do everything listed above and more. What’s more, it’s easy to adapt the platform and add locations as you grow.
Want to learn more about CRM for franchises and see how franchise software can work for your business? Read these five mini-case studies featuring franchises or book a free, private demo of Vonigo.
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