Franchise standardization: how to guarantee quality in all stores?

Have you ever thought about how franchising is standardized? This is a fundamental action to guarantee the credibility and authority of the brand. After all, what ensures the success of a franchise, among other great variants, is its ability to follow a standardization in all aspects.

In other words: to know that you can consume a service or product in any city in the world and still have that seal of quality and standard in what was purchased or contracted.

However, ensuring the standardization of franchises is not an easy task. For the brand to gain its credibility, it is essential to have well-trained, aligned and engaged teams. Besides, of course, offering the best product, service, service and experience.

To find out how to get the franchise standardized right, check out our 5 tips to ensure excellence in all your units:

What will you read in this article?

  • 5 strategies to ensure the standardization of franchises
    • Map the processes and create a franchise manual
      • The deployment manual
      • The operating manual
      • The marketing and sales manual
      • The administration and control manual
      • The visual identity manual
    • Offer training and capacity building
      • Franchise online training
      • What to look for when offering training to franchisees
    • Have a hidden customer strategy
      • What is the hidden client?
        • Face-to-face client
        • Client hidden via online channels
        • Client hidden via voice channels
        • Hidden customer with special needs
      • Audit the POS
        • Understanding better: how does POS audit work?
        • Make a standard checklist
      • Invest in technology
        • News that are being applied by large franchises
          • Self service
          • Virtual reality
          • 3D printers
        • Training Platforms

5 strategies to ensure the standardization of franchises

1. Map the processes and create a franchise manual

The first step to guarantee the standardization of franchises is to map all the processes of the franchising store . This action is fundamental and, to be done with mastery, requires the creation of a manual with all the details that govern the brand, processes and standards.

This document must have the complete list of rules, procedures, business formatting and day-to-day practices of the franchise (and must be updated whenever necessary).

It is worth mentioning that it should not be made just a manual, but several different documents prepared by the franchisor and that guide the entire structuring and form of operation of the brand.

Among the mandatory manuals that a franchise must have, the following stand out:

The deployment manual

This document must contain all the administrative and operational information for a brand. In other words, the deployment manual includes the entire step-by-step process that involves implementing a franchise.

In order to be correct in the standardization of franchises, the implantation manual must contain data that involve all the brand documentation. Among them:

  • The architectural project and everything that encompasses it, such as the purchase of equipment, furniture and initial stock.
  • The whole issue that involves the selection, hiring and training of staff.
  • Documents that involve opening a checking account and taking out insurance.
  • Guidance on local marketing actions and other measures that need to be taken to open the headquarters.

The deployment manual offers all support and security to the franchisee. Thus, he will know what are the first steps to be taken in order to open a franchise that follows all the standardization standards of the brand. Finally, this document must be understood as guiding the company as a whole.

The operating manual

The operating manual must contain, in detail, all the operational actions that must be carried out by the franchise. The objective is to boost productivity, reduce costs and maintain the quality standard.

The document must provide all necessary information so that the franchisee can guarantee the same quality of product, service and care. This material must be developed in a detailed manner, since the franchisee, being away from the franchisor, will need to perform the actions correctly.

The operating manual is essential for the standardization of franchises. In a practical way, he describes in an objective and clear way the actions that must be done in the company, such as:

  • Technical specifications.
  • Handling of equipment.
  • Best way to store and pack products.
  • Average time for the execution of each task.
  • Logical and routine sequences for the execution of each activity.
  • How to properly handle the stock and replacement of products, among others.

When developing a good operating manual, the franchisee maintains a line of operation that follows the ideal direction proposed by the matrix.

The marketing and sales manual

A franchise sales marketing manual covers all issues that involve brand awareness. Whether for the media or for direct contact and sales with the public.

It is worth remembering that it is essential that the marketing and sales team be proactive and fulfill their role in an exemplary manner. Also, it is common for each salesperson to use their own tactics to create a relationship with the public.

However, when it comes to the standardization of franchises, it is essential that the approach and advertising material follow the guidelines of the brand. Sales techniques and merchandising actions must also follow this pattern. That is why there is a marketing and sales manual focused only on these issues.

Among the topics that should be listed in detail in this manual, we highlight:

  • The sales policy that will be adopted by the team.
  • What actions should be taken by the sales and marketing teams.
  • What is the ideal posture and profile of the collaborators of these teams.
  • How the post-sales actions will be carried out.
  • Which channels will be used to carry out marketing and sales actions.
  • What techniques will be taught for employees to work and serve customers properly.
  • As the franchise believes it is the best way to serve the customer.
  • How the services and products will be disclosed.
  • What will be released to the media.
  • How to prospect customers, among others.

Finally, it is understood that in the marketing and sales manual all processes that involve customer satisfaction and loyalty should be detailed . The result of a well-applied manual is greater profitability for the franchisee and the strengthening of the image in the market.

The administration and control manual

This manual is essential to describe the most technical guidelines that involve unit numbers. Therefore, it must contain financial, administrative and accounting guidelines.

Today it is common for large franchisors to already use systems and software that help to keep this data control always up to date and standardized.

Thus, it is up to the franchisee to know how to use the system proposed by the franchisor and keep their spreadsheets always up to date, according to the standardization of franchises required by the brand.

To be successful, this manual must contain guidelines for the correct completion of these documents. Finally, they will generate the productivity reports.

The data that must be present in the administration and control manual are those that involve the entire financial transaction of a franchise, for example:

  • Daily cash control.
  • Accounts payable and receivable.
  • The stock.
  • Banking transactions.
  • Costs and taxes.
  • The forms of payment and receipt used by the company, among others.

By using this document as a basis, the franchisee will know how to act in accordance with the requirements that involve the financial control of a store.

The visual identity manual

The visual identity manual is one that specifies in detail all the visual communication elements of the franchise. Here, the architectural design, decoration and graphic elements used in any and all materials produced are included.

All franchises appreciate having a visual pattern that identifies them, regardless of location. It is worth remembering that this manual does not take into account only aesthetic issues, but also the entire positioning of the brand.

Therefore, the best way to maintain the standardization of everything that involves the visual identity of a franchise is through this manual.

– You may be interested in: Discover the best marketing strategies for franchises

2. Offer training and capacity building

Another key topic to ensure the standardization of franchises is having a good team. And, for that, it is essential that excellent training and qualification actions are offered to the teams .

No specific training actions and leveling is difficult for the franchisee to maintain a quality standard.

This is because manuals are essential, but they are not enough to ensure that everyone works in an aligned manner. This is because they explain the theoretical part, however, it is necessary to put all the teaching into practice.

So, the best solution is for the franchisor to offer training and qualification for the franchisee to perform his job well.

In this scenario, a training format that has conquered a lot of space is the one done online.

Franchise online training

When conducting the training remotely there is a great cost reduction. This because:

  • There are no travel expenses to other states or cities.
  • There is no need to search for space rentals.
  • Training time is better spent.
  • Teaching is easy, fast and can be updated whenever necessary.
  • The franchisee can watch the content whenever and wherever he wants.
  • Training can be carried out together with partners and employees.
  • Whenever a new person joins the team, they will receive the material and can attend the training, among others.

It is worth remembering that since it is an online action, the training is flexible. That is, it can be completed by the franchisee at the time he prefers and can dedicate 100% of his attention.

– Check it out: Learn the advantages of using EAD training for franchises

What to look for when offering training to franchisees

To ensure that the training and qualification actions follow the standardization of franchises, it is essential to seek and find an EAD platform that offers all the necessary functionalities for this brand.

So, look for software that is responsive, allows interaction between employees and further enhance teaching.

To ensure that the learning was done successfully, the franchisor may require the performance evaluation of its teams. With that, the franchisor will know if the teams are qualified and delivering what they owe.

For this, it is important to emphasize that the training and qualification actions must be continuous and frequent. This is a feature that should be part of the franchise culture.

3. Have a hidden customer strategy

The hidden customer strategy can also be of great value for the standardization of franchises. This action offers important numbers for the sector. But do you know how this strategy works?

What is the hidden client?

According to NewVoice studies , 58% of people never again close deals with a company after a negative experience. To ensure that your brand does not face this problem, one strategy is to use the hidden customer.

This methodology serves to evaluate the direct contact between the brand and the customer. Its goal is to ensure that the company offers the best possible experience for its entire audience.

This evaluation takes place anonymously and its result can be used to measure the standardization of care in the units. With this, it is possible to evaluate in a practical way the following questions:

  • Are all units following the same standard of care?
  • Is the product or service qualified and follows the rules imposed by the franchise?
  • Is the environment clean and organized?
  • Is the store experience positive?
  • What can be improved to enhance the service and products in the franchise?
  • Is there anything that deviates from the standard?

Thus, it is possible to conclude that the strategy of the hidden customer is fundamental to ensure quality in all stores. There are several formats that the methodology can be applied to. Here, we selected 4 of them that deserve your attention:

Face-to-face client

This is the most traditional format of the hidden client. His approach is classic: the hidden customer visits the establishment. Thus, according to the franchisor’s instructions, it evaluates the service and its experience on site. All of this, of course, anonymously.

In this way, he goes over how the service was, if the employees follow a good script, if they are well trained, if they were friendly, among others.

Client hidden via online channels

Online channels have become increasingly fundamental to a brand’s relationship with its audience, but they also require standardization. For this, the hidden customer can contact the franchise via Facebook, Instagram, chats, website, among others.

This strategy can be of great help for the franchise to discover possible flaws in virtual communication. Sometimes, the brand may be taking longer than it should to answer questions, for example.

There is also the possibility of finding technical flaws that had not been observed before, such as the lack of an image, button or call. This small detail may be causing many customers to abandon the purchase before its completion. Therefore, the hidden customer strategy via online channels can identify and serve to resolve this issue.

Client hidden via voice channels

When it comes to standardizing franchises, voice channels are also included. For this, it is essential to frequently evaluate the call centers, call centers or telesales of a franchise.

For this strategy, the hidden customer makes contact via telephone. The call is recorded and the file is saved to serve as a service evaluation.

Hidden customer with special needs

This modality aims to assess whether the franchise is prepared to serve customers with special needs. After all, it is essential to ensure a good experience for all customers.

The hidden client can be performed by deaf, blind or wheelchair users, for example. He must assess whether the team is trained and prepared to meet his expectations, whether the environment is adapted, if there were any unexpected difficulties, among others.

4. Audit the POS

POS is the acronym for “point of sale”. Therefore, another essential way to guarantee the standardization of franchises is to be present.

In other words: the franchisor must have professionals who are responsible for visiting the franchisees. Thus, they should audit and analyze in detail how the entire structure of the unit is working.

The auditor must carefully check the establishment. It must also make it clear to the franchisor that every customer notices the store structure.

That is why it is essential to keep it always clean, organized and orderly. This is because every franchise must maintain its standards of organization . Even the arrangement of items, totems, shelves and products makes all the difference to ensure a better customer experience.

They must be the same in all units, making the customer feel comfortable and familiar with the brand. That’s because he already trusts and knows that space. Remember that a store’s environment directly influences the purchase process.

Understanding better: how does POS audit work?

To ensure the standardization of franchises, it is essential to have an audit carried out by a team of auditors. The job of these professionals is to ensure that franchisees are following the entire brand standard.

The auditor is responsible for paying attention to all the details that make up the POS. These points concern both the store itself, the presentation, and the employees.

For the analysis to be well done, it is essential that the professional list the largest number of possible items that should be analyzed. In this scenario, making a checklist with the help of tools and technological platforms can be of great help.

The modernization ensures that the analysis is done quickly and more assertively, noting in a matter of seconds the points that need to be improved in order to achieve the highest standardization of the establishment.

Think that audits happen at all franchises. Therefore, using technology is the best way to unify processes and make them more practical. Thus, all auditors will know which topics should be evaluated and how to score each event.

Make a standard checklist

To guarantee the standardization of franchises, a fundamental tip is: develop a standard checklist. Thus, the franchisor passes on to all its auditors the essential topics for this assessment. This will make the work of the professionals more assertive and streamlined.

It is worth remembering that this checklist must be done through an integrated software, which allows the comparison of results between all franchises.

– Read: The Definitive Guide to Decrease Turnover in Franchises

5. Invest in technology

Keep in mind that to ensure the standardization of franchises, you must have all the assistance provided by the technology. It is present in all stages. From auditing, to customer service, stock organization, selection and training of teams, among others.

Technology also makes it easier to do all the process control, scheduling and legal procedures for a person to become a franchisee.

News that are being applied by large franchises

With technology getting further and further away, it is common for new trends to conquer the market over time. Among them, self-service, virtual reality, the use of 3D printers and platforms to enhance training are important to ensure the standardization of franchises.

Self service

Some stores and franchise chains already use technologies that allow self-service. Computerized totems for ordering, which are sent directly to the production area, are being adopted by major brands.

This happens because they allow the automation of the attendance and, with this, a smaller number of failures, delays and problems. In this scenario, the self-service format came to be understood by franchises as a way to streamline the flow and reduce customer waiting.

Virtual reality

The virtual reality can serve to make an experience of immersion to the customer. Thus, this is a pre-sale resource that has also been winning many fans. As it is a relatively new modality, it draws attention due to curiosity and increases public interest.

A franchise that learns to use the virtual reality resources in its units stands out and exponentially enhances the customer experience.

– See also: Virtual Reality: how this is changing technology

3D printers

3D printers can also help to enhance the customer experience. This is because this tool is capable of creating prototypes of great impact, enchanting and conquering the public.

Still, more than improving the relationship with the customer, 3D printers can also solve numerous troublesome issues for the franchise.

Because they are 100% modelable, it is possible to create parts and other accessories that assist in the standardization of the units. All of this in a personalized way, specially developed to meet the franchise’s needs.

 

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