1851 spoke with the leaders behind some of the top 10 brands ranked in Franchise Business Review's 2018 Franchisee Satisfaction Awards to learn more about the importance of validation.
1851: Why is franchisee satisfaction so important for your brand?
Paul Pickett, Chief Development Officer for Wild Birds Unlimited: It’s the ultimate test of how happy your franchisees are. It gives you the opportunity to see how you’re stacking up against the other brands that are surveyed, and it shows you where you have opportunities to improve and where you have met your goals. Franchisee satisfaction is so much more important than nearly everything else because it’s a consolidation of all the metrics and KPIs that we look at. If you’re not moving the dial on sales, profitability and communication, you aren’t going to have happy franchisees. But if you’re franchisees are happy, it’s a sign that you’re doing a great job with everything else.
1851: How does your brand leverage the information and data that comes from Franchise Business Review's franchisee surveys?
Pickett: First, we obviously look at how we’ve performed against ourselves in each category as well as how we’ve performed against other retail brands. We look at those numbers and then use them as a part of our annual goal setting. These results are also a part of our annual performance plan and review for everyone at our Franchise Support Center. We drill down and use the data by parsing it out by business coach so that we can look at each individual coach and learn where there are specific opportunities to improve. We really slice and dice the data, and the feedback that we receive through Franchise Business Review is turned into an action plan that we work through to implement positive change on a regular basis.
1851: What steps does your brand take to receive such high marks when it comes to franchisee satisfaction?
Pickett: Focusing on a few key things that make a big difference is what we’re doing well. We’re providing our franchisees with the tools and guidance that they need to make a difference in their business. We also listen to what our franchisees want and respond accordingly.
1851: What is your top tip or piece advice for brands looking to improve their level of franchisee support?
Pickett: My first piece of advice is to do the survey. Without that information and data, you can’t track how you’re making a difference in how your franchisees are rating you. By doing the survey and analyzing data points, you can manage, establish and understand true KPIs. That then provides you with numbered metrics that you can review, track and change.
1851: How is your brand going to build on this recognition and success going forward in 2018?
Pickett: We’re looking at everything that we can. We’re comparing our public data with the public data that’s available from every other brand in the top 10 and seeing how we stack up and where we have opportunities to improve. We’re determining what we can do differently to push ourselves up to the number one position. But even when we get to number one, we’re still going to be looking at every score to see where we can improve. We never want to stop improving. It’s one of Wild Birds Unlimited’s foundational values.