Embrace Technology to Attract Customers and Franchisees
Editor’s Note: This article was kindly shared with us by Caring Senior Service COO Jeff Bevis. Jeff has spent more than 20 years building successful brands in the home care industry and more than 30 years creating operational experiences that help brands grow across franchise environments. In his role at Caring Senior Service, Bevis has been tasked with showcasing the home care company’s proprietary software, Tendio®, and expanding the company’s franchising opportunities and operational model while accelerating its revenue growth.
When Ray Kroc discovered a successful burger restaurant run by the McDonald brothers in 1954, he correctly guessed that the limited menu and self-service counter were the keys to franchising success.
By the following year, Kroc had developed uniform processes that would ensure the food would taste the same no matter where in the country the restaurant was located.
This combination built one of the most successful franchises in the history of the business world.
And, while uniformity and processes are still the keys to a thriving franchise, indispensable franchisors now must add another key to their ring: technology.
Cutting-edge technology is not only important to franchisees who want to attract customers to their businesses, but also to franchisors who want to attract new business owner. Between mobile apps, virtual reality, data analytics, and AI, customers and franchise owners are requiring that franchisors make it easier for consumers and franchisees to stay up-to-date and in contact with the corporate office.
Staying on the Cutting Edge
Since technology moves at the speed of light, it is important for franchise owners to be able to access real-time data and stay in contact with the home office. Not only is constant communication a great way to help you deliver a consistent culture throughout all of the locations across your company’s network, but it is also making it easier for clients to shop or access data which gives your franchise system an edge over the competition.
Franchisors should embrace new technologies that streamline their business operations and push these time-savers out to their franchise owners on a regular basis. Whether you hold regular in-person or online conferences to introduce new software or offer automatic software updates to existing digital platforms, you want to make sure your franchise takes advantage of new strategies.
It also helps your franchise owners and clients receive the latest updates and can ensure that your software stays secure for use by any of your stakeholders.
Employing the Latest Tech
Anyone who has read over a news item on trends or simply logs onto social media can tell you that artificial intelligence, or AI, is the technology subject on the minds of nearly everyone, from business owners to writers to designers. And, while AI can be used to script customer service conversations, take notes using natural language, or teach robots to handle hazardous jobs, it is not the only cutting-edge technology a franchise can implement.
Other game-changing technologies that can help franchises grow include…
Cloud-Based Platforms: Cloud-based systems help your franchise owners work with both the corporate office and with each other in real time. Immediate access to financial data and other analytics allows your organization to scale, maintain flexibility and focus on streamlining business opportunities.
Automated Business Intelligence: This technology gathers data to provide franchisors with the critical data they need to target new growth for the franchise network.
The Internet of Things (IoT) and Wearables: IoT devices provide real-time insights to help businesses optimize their processes, while wearables supply businesses with people-centric data they can use to provide better services.
Mobile Technology: Smartphones, tablets and laptops are nothing new, but they can be used to employ new ways of doing business. Whether you use them on the go or provide customers and employees with applications they can engage with easily, franchises need to keep mobile tech top of mind.
Case Study: Caring Senior Service
At Caring Senior Service, we add mobile technology to our home care services by placing a tablet programmed with our proprietary Tendio® software in the homes of all our clients. This allows clients and families stay in contact with their loved ones and their caregivers. The software can also assist with caregiver notes, calendars, client medication lists, and even upcoming doctors’ appointments.
In addition, the technology is also beneficial to our caregivers by giving them access to required documentation, schedules and an employee time clock system.
Leveraging New Tech in Your Franchise
The modern business landscape requires that we use technology if we want to stay ahead of our competition, attract customers and drive new growth for our franchise brand.
Franchising has become more efficient and productive using tools that allow us to synchronize in real time and stay in constant communication. Even “best practice” physical visits to locations and working more closely with franchise owners can be more beneficial by using innovative tools that help franchises maintain our company culture, track inventory, or request materials.
In addition to an increase in productivity, franchises can also optimize cost controls to help maximize profit. Analytical software and AI can help you evaluate the value of new franchise investments, while big data and social targeting can show you the best areas of the country to target new locations.
Finally, no discussion on technology is complete without pointing out how it can help your team deliver the best customer experiences. Without clients and continual collaboration with your franchise owners, your franchise would not be able to grow in other markets.
Allowing your customers to prepare for appointments, make payments at any time, or order products or services at their pleasure are some of the more common conveniences technology provides the consumer. But it also allows the franchisee to better target their individual audiences with the products or services they want in their specific market.
Keeping It Safe
All this technology is not only useful but also necessary if you want to continue to attract franchisees and customers. But you must also ensure that your tech remains safe from security risks that want to steal proprietary data, customer information, and financial data.
Advanced technology demands innovative data protection. It could be a make-or-break situation if you do not incorporate the necessary network security into your proprietary software or system.
Network security lapses can result in system malfunctions, financial losses, and, in certain situations, a sizable fine from a governmental body or regulatory agency. The technology you thought would revolutionize your firm could be the swift demise of it if you do not exercise vigilant caution.
No one wants to do business with a company that fails to protect its clients, employees or partners from data breaches.
Franchises would do well to invest in security during innovation and continue to monitor it with regular security checkups and testing.
The modern franchisor must embrace technology if you want your business to grow. Technological disruption is no longer a bad thing and is, in fact, the new normal.
The key is to do your research. Do not adopt technology for technology’s sake, and make sure your new tools are complementary to your business goals. You should continually gain feedback from your franchise owners to ensure any new technology can be easily rolled out to your franchise locations and that staff can be properly trained in the use of the new technology.
So, remain agile, embrace new ideas and research technology to remain competitive.
Find the Best Tech-Savvy Franchise for YOU
Many franchisors are changing the game with innovative tech solutions that make franchise ownership more accessible, smoother, and lucrative than ever before. You are probably wondering how to get a stake in this game.
So how do you find the perfect brand for YOU? FranCoach is a national search firm dedicated to working with individuals who are interested in owning a franchise. We have partnered with over 600 of the top franchisors in the country, spanning nearly 70 industries.
When we work with clients, our number one goal is to help them find the absolute best franchise for them to own. If you are looking to start a business, build a lasting legacy, make an impact in your community, and be your own boss, franchise ownership might just be the ideal path for you.
Reach out to us to learn more about potentially becoming a franchise owner. There is never any fee for our service, so why not take the first step today toward your better tomorrow?