Nobody likes to be audited, inspected or reviewed for compliance. But the franchise model requires that owners follow the brand standards outlined in the franchise operations manual. The only way to ensure that franchisees are following your best practices is to visit them. However, for many of your franchisees, that franchise field manager might be the only franchise representative that they see until your convention. Ensuring that you have a productive visit is equal parts art and science.
Visiting franchisees is an opportunity to gather information beyond financials on how your owners are applying the franchise model in their local market. Using mobile field audit software helps quickly capture this information real time without having to reenter data into a spreadsheet enables your field managers more time to interact with your owners. During this interaction, it’s important that the franchisees know that the purpose of the review is to help identify areas where the owners can be more profitable. Everyone wins when franchisees gain market share and win over customers. They do this by applying the working model and bringing some of their own creativity and expertise into the people management side of life. The reviews should be accessible to franchisees immediately as well so transparency and accountability become a constant. Mobile compliance review and inspection software apps allow for this centralization of data, action items and accessibility.
Franchise Compliance: A Rising Tide Lifts All Ships
Franchisees are looking to capitalize on a strong Franchise brand. When they represent that brand by following the brand standards, they create recurring local customers. Those customers now have a big social media microphone that makes protected franchise territories less geographically meaningful. When each franchisee adheres to the operations manual, everyone wins and the franchise brand becomes more powerful and appealing. If your customers get a different experience in each of your locations, the integrity of your brand has been diminished. Net promoter scores are helpful but now always the whole picture. Customers are more likely than ever to switch to a competitor. Inconsistency is a huge factor in franchise detractors.
Sell the “Why” of Brand Standards Compliance
Managing franchise compliance without ruining your relationships with your owners is not impossible. Jamie Notter understand this concept well in a recent blog. Culture is extremely important but it needs to drive success in the organization and he writes, “the second measure is about clarity and consistency, or perhaps a better word is alignment. Do people actually do what is valued?” In this context, your field personnel should compel owners to follow the model for the sake of their own economic interests. If owners are out of compliance on standards, why and what can corporate do to get them back on track? These are questions that put people ahead of protocol but are the most effective in getting protocol to happen. So whether you call them franchise surveys, inspections or field compliance reviews, you need to be in front of your owners as a profit consultant first and a compliance agent second. They are in fact one in the same.