Trouble Connecting with Your Franchisees?
by Ed Teixeira
Some franchisors experience difficulty connecting with and motivating a
certain number of their franchisees. Here are some tips for dealing with this
Certain franchisors can be frustrated with their relationship with their
franchisees. Rather than moving together on the same path toward the same goals
the two parties have a type of disconnect. The franchisor believes that they
have the right franchise program, the right staff and the right product.
Although some of their franchisees are doing well, a number of them arenít
performing up to expectations. A limited number of franchisors survey their
franchisees on a periodic basis or use a third party. Although this can be an
effective way to evaluate and measure levels of franchisee satisfaction it may
not be the most effective way to drill down to the causes of any disconnect that
may exist. Nevertheless in some cases, the use of franchisee surveys can uncover
existing or potential problems.
Ways to identify why there is a problem and how to address it:
1. Identify a representative group of franchisees that fall into the
category of those who are ďdisconnectedĒ or not fully engaged. Youíll
want to include those franchisees that are in compliance with the terms of their
franchise agreement and those not on the verge of default. Although a franchise
advisory council could be useful in this effort, this entity or group typically
includes a cross section of franchisees that represent all franchisees on
various issues. A FAC could help facilitate a solution but it may not be the
most productive way to proceed with all types of problems.
2. Gather data on the group of disconnected franchisees so that you
can establish an overall profile of the group. This can include how
they compare to the more successful and responsive franchisees include how long
they have been franchised and any other pertinent statistics. This might help
identify any common problems or issues that this group shares.
3. Create a reasonable number of franchisees that can serve as a
representative body. For small franchise systems, there may only be a
few franchisees, therefore it may be better to meet with them on an individual
A Suggested Agenda for Change:
1. Discuss and identify franchisee expectations when they first
started the franchise and whether there has been a significant change in these
expectations. There may be situations where a franchisee has
expectations that cannot be fulfilled. The key objective is to try to determine
if the disconnect is the result of unfilled expectations or other factors.
2. Organize the responses and information into a workable list of
items that can serve as a basis for change. The importance of this step
is to determine if change should or can make a difference. There may very well
be situations whereby the franchisor cannot be expected to resolve all of the
issues. One result may be that a franchisee would be better served to exit the
franchise. The key point is to identify any root causes.
3. Create an action plan for resolving any issues. This is
the most important step in the entire process since it involves determining how
to solve the problems. Each problem or issue needs to be considered in terms of
whether itís correctable. There can be some issues that canít be changed. If the
resolution can be addressed with training, adjustments to the program, marketing
strategies or staff support, then there is an opportunity for success. In some
cases, a resolution may be difficult to achieve.
When a franchisor has a group of franchisees that are non-responsive or
disconnected itís important that the franchisor takes steps to address and
resolve the issues where possible. The time invested in meeting with these
franchisees is an opportunity for a franchisor to resolve problems or identify
potential problems before they get out of control.
© 2013 FranchiseKnowHow, LLC
Ed Teixeira is the President of FranchiseKnowHow, LLC. He
can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org