Importance of communication in franchising

When franchise operators are involved with a home office that has developed effective communication skills, they are more successful. When information is received timely and effectively, franchisees can implement special ideas, menu changes, new products/services and company reports.  The strength of Franchisor-Franchisee relationship determines the growth of franchise system and communication is the key to building a strong and harmonious relationship between franchisor and franchisees. Failure of communication can be the major cause of problems faced by the franchise business. The present article will provide you with tools to improve communication with your franchisee.

1.Create Environment of Trust and Collaboration.

When an environment of trust and collaboration is created, you can be proactive in your communication. Having a good business model doesn’t imply that your franchise will certainly be successful.  If your franchisees are fed with support, trust, positivity and determination, you give them the opportunity to succeed. Discover how your franchisees like to be communicated or contacted. Approach them and choose the channel accordingly. When franchisee get the supportive environment, they feel comfortable and realize that the franchisor is concerned about them. Although technology provides plethora of options to open communication channels, going beyond technological platforms and initiating a dialogue to connect with each franchisee and foster support to them shows that honest dialogue is prioritized. If you can’t establish a personal connection, you won’t have the right relationship with your franchisee.

2.Use Active Listening Techniques:

When you use active listening techniques to get to the heart of any confusion or concern, or to relate to any negative news to your franchisees honestly, you’re illustrating to your franchisees that communication is not simply about efficiency, but also about relationships. It’s said that good speaker is always a good listener. A good listener will focus on the other person’s complete thought before responding or forming an opinion of his own. Following are some tips for improving listening skills:

  1. Give undivided attention to the speaker and acknowledge the message. (Non-verbal communication also speaks loudly.)
  2. Make use of body language and gestures to show that you’re engaged. (Ensure that your body posture is open and interested.)
  3. Provide feedback.
  4. Allow the speaker to finish each point asking questions.
  5. Responded appropriately.

3.Training and Education:

Training allows the brand to be an integral part in the franchisee’s success by sharing the practices and concepts proven to be successful. Franchisees as well as their employees can attend courses and receive continual training when they have time. The strong training program imbibes a sense of preparation and confidence in franchisees to follow guidelines and methods. Keeping current situation in mind, web-based training, which is both efficient and cost effective can be used. The training program should be so strong and effective that even the newest franchisee should be able to represent your brand to the standard needed.

4.Create Active Help Desk and Employ Tools and Data to Support:

When franchisees come on board, they need to be able to get a quick response to questions. A staffed helpline covering all the time zones (in which franchise operates) uplifts communication and boosts the speed of franchisees’ success. The internet-based help desk also should be created providing quick responses. In order to support communication and underpin the conversation, data can be used. Your data clearly shows the value of your playback and that’s why you should focus more on the qualitative aspect rather than the qualitative one. It’s important that franchisees have the information they need to have to do their jobs effectively. Besides emails and meetings, you can use tools like Calendly, DocuSign, Dropbox, Google Docs, Facebook Group, Slack etc.

To sum up, opening up a channel of communication and maintaining the quality of communication between franchisor and franchisee is important for the success of entire franchise system. The aforementioned ways can definitely help you strengthen your communication with the franchisees.

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