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The Crucial Role of Customer Experience in Franchises

In the world of franchising, providing an exceptional customer experience is not just an option — it's a necessity!

By Erica InmanStaff Writer
8:08AM 07/08/24

Customer experience plays a vital role in shaping a franchise’s success and is dependent on a wide variety of factors; however, by prioritizing customer satisfaction, brands can give their customers a better overall experience. The customers, in turn, will recognize and appreciate these efforts, which will hopefully lead to increased brand loyalty.

1851 Franchise spoke with Joel Wolfe, president and founder of HiredSupport, about the crucial role of customer experience in the world of franchising.

Prioritizing the Customer Experience

Exceptional customer service lays the foundation for brand loyalty, recognition and advocacy. In a market saturated with options, businesses must go beyond offering high-quality products or services. They must strive to create memorable interactions that leave a lasting impression on their customers. Not only will this encourage existing customers to return, but it will also help build a positive brand reputation in the community, leading to new customers in the future.

A customer’s experience with a brand includes every point of contact made with the business. In a restaurant, for example, the customer experience is largely impacted by the friendliness and helpfulness of the staff serving the tables, but it is also impacted by the ease of accessing or understanding the menu. In addition, customers’ experiences can be impacted before they even visit the restaurant in person if they choose to browse the website or pull up the app beforehand. Thus, making it easy for customers to get in touch through online portals is vital. 

“If a customer can converse with your representative, you have won the client over,” said Wolfe. “If a customer has to go through hurdles when getting in touch with a point-of-contact person, that’s the last time you’ll see them on your website.”

Every consumer-facing element of a franchise impacts the overall customer experience and should be made as hassle-free and enjoyable as possible. 

Given that these consumer-facing elements are often many and complex, mistakes are bound to happen. This doesn’t mean that a customer’s experience will be completely spoiled with a single mistake, however. If a franchise can transparently and promptly address issues, it can showcase that it values accountability and customer satisfaction above all. In short, customers don’t necessarily expect an experience with a brand to be perfect, but they do need to establish trust with the brand before becoming a loyal, returning customer.

Community Engagement and Brand Building

Providing stellar customer service both in-person and through online portals is only part of the customer experience equation, however; community engagement is also a key element. 

“It’s important to have a community built around your brand,” Wolfe said. “This will not only help your existing customer base but also help you acquire new ones.” 

A good reputation is a powerful tool for any business. By actively participating in local events, supporting community initiatives and engaging with residents, a franchise can cultivate brand visibility, along with positive experiences that customers will associate with it.

“A positive experience becomes the foundation for creating a brand that relies on word of mouth, which is still the strongest marketing technique,” Wolfe said. “What’s better than a walking-talking testimonial?”

Establishing strong connections within the community builds trust and loyalty. Consumers are increasingly drawn to businesses that demonstrate a genuine commitment to the well-being of the communities they serve. 

“Having a strong community forms the basis of building a strong franchise that lasts for ages to come,” Wolfe said.

Creating a Positive Customer Experience is Vital

The success of franchises hinges not only on the quality of their products or services but also on the experiences of their customers. By prioritizing customer satisfaction and engaging with the community, franchises can build loyalty among consumers while continuing to grow their brand.

Interested in learning more about how franchises can improve their customer experience? Check out these related stories on 1851 Franchise: