My recent blog post for Franchise Business Review:

Any business leader understands the importance of customer satisfaction. An unhappy customer can impact your business especially in the world of social media. The reverse is also true. A very satisfied customer will provide positive feedback and sing praises of products or service delivery.

Employee and franchisee satisfaction should not be underestimated either. Businesses that focus only on getting new business while ignoring the needs of their employees and/or franchisees can be detrimental. Good leaders share information with their team. They share the good, the bad and the very ugly. A good leader shares what motivates them and strategies for the future. They involve the team and work together on the strategic plan.

As a franchisor leader I will admit it’s not always easy reading satisfaction surveys knowing what the franchisees are thinking. I encourage honesty about the quality of the support, training programs, communication, competitor analysis etc. I believe there is great value to open communication and working toward a common goal managing and building a successful system.

A few things to remember when conducting satisfaction surveys as a franchisor:

  • Use an outside party that understands how to put the survey together
  • Use a system which such information can be gathered simply (preferably electronically), confidentially and accurately.
  • Be sure the questions cover all topics: training, support, marketing, operations, communication, relations and financial projections.
  • Dedicate time to read the results!
  • Keep the communication open before and after the survey

Years ago, as a franchisee my biggest complaint was the lack of communication in our franchise system. When I joined the corporate team I made it my personal mission to correct that. We have a policy that each franchisee must receive a call once a month from someone on the support team. We communicate via group calls or individual one-to-one calls. The entire system knows that I am always open and many have my cell number and don’t hesitate to call or text when needed. They respect my personal time and may send an email on the weekend knowing it will be retrieved by my blackberry and I will respond accordingly.

As a potential employee or franchisee ask if the organization has conducted a satisfaction survey. If so, ask if the results available to you.

Quoting Franchise Business Review, “Satisfaction is everything! Franchisee satisfaction is about bottom line results. It is about improving system-wide performance and driving higher revenues and profits for both you and your franchisees.”