Based on Franchise Business Review’s most recent franchisee satisfaction research of over 300 franchise brands, there are three things that contribute most to setting the five best franchises, the five brands ranked highest by their franchisees when it comes to overall satisfaction, apart from the rest. They are marketing & promotional support, use of technology, and innovation & creativity.
3 Areas Where Franchises With the Highest Satisfaction Excel
1. Marketing & Promotional Programs:
In franchise systems, marketing and promotional responsibilities are typically shared between the franchisor and franchisees. The franchisor handles much of the national and/or regional marketing programs and brand awareness (most often subsidized through a fee collected from franchisees), while franchisees handle their own local marketing, ad placements, and community outreach.As you might imagine, there is much room for discontent among franchisees if they’re skeptical of their marketing fees being put to good use or if the franchisor provides insufficient direction or support for the local marketing efforts. However, many brands have put great effort into making the entire marketing and promotional system in their brands effective, efficient, and transparent, earning them high marks from franchisees. This is definitely a conversation to have with any brand you’re considering to understand what steps they will take to help you maximize awareness and customer acquisition.
2. Effective Use of Technology:
The role of technology in a franchise system can be wide-ranging. It can include modes of communication within the system (inventory orderings, private intranet), operational processes (machines, appliances, or applications for creating your product), and marketing tactics (customer surveys, text messaging campaigns, etc.). Nearly everyone can think of a time in their life that their own personal technology became outdated and difficult to use. When that happens in a franchise system, it can cause inconvenience, frustration, and lost revenues.Staying ahead of the curve and investing wisely in the latest and most useful technology is a very difficult task, but some brands manage to keep (almost) everyone satisfied. A franchisee of one of our top five brands had this to say about his experience: “Very likable young support staff who are great with franchisees and do their best to keep their older franchisees happy and up-to-date with modern technology (which can be difficult at times with their senior citizen franchisees — but, they handle us with understanding, patience, and humor.”An understanding that some people will grasp and adapt to technologies more quickly (and willingly) than others is one of the keys to maintaining satisfaction. We encourage you to ask franchisors not only about their technologies, but also about their training and tutorials for them.
3. Innovation and Creativity:
“Innovation is the specific instrument of entrepreneurship. The act that endows resources with a new capacity to create wealth.” ~ Peter Drucker.
Every franchisee is an entrepreneur, and nearly every franchise system began as an entrepreneur’s start-up that grew into an expanding brand. It stands to reason that everyone from the company founder to the newest franchise owners understand the importance of innovating and staying ahead of the curve — and the competition.Still, many systems struggle to keep up, or just don’t have the creative minds on staff to generate the next great idea.When you’re in talks with a franchise brand, ask them how they innovate and stay ahead of their closest competitors. Ask how they develop new products and services AND how they test them. Do they use corporate-owned locations? A group of franchisees as “beta testers”? These are all important things to know.
When a brand succeeds in continual innovation, its franchisees take notice. When asked about this aspect of their brands, a franchisee from one of our top five brands commented, “[This brand] was the innovator in major media marketing, which really helped our brand.” Be sure to ask franchisees in any brand you’re considering if they think their franchisor is on the forefront of product, marketing, and operational innovation.
Remember that the best franchises are not just the biggest names. There are many lesser-known brands that provide excellent financial opportunity and support to their franchise owners, many of which can be found on our Top Franchises list. All the franchises featured on it are rated highly by their franchisees. And while the areas listed above are not going to make or break an otherwise strong opportunity on their own, we have found them to be the more elusive competencies for many systems.
We encourage you to consider what areas are most important to you when it comes to your lifestyle and financial goals and to do extensive due diligence regarding brands you are interested in including finding out what franchisees think of them. Doing so will greatly improve your chances of investing in the best fit franchise for you.