from Bill Redfern, CEO and founder, A Buyer’s Choice Home Inspections and iCare Intelligent Home Care Solutions.
Who says you can’t teach old dogs new tricks?
It is critical to propel your franchise ahead of the curve technologically. I’ve always believed that if we don’t adapt at a pace faster than our consumers, we’re moving backward. Our customers and our franchise partners deserve the most efficient systems we can provide.
Recently, my franchise concept A Buyer’s Choice Home Inspections (ABCHI) launched a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system to automate our databases across the franchise system.
Here are four lessons our executive team learned through the process:
Find Room for Improvement
It behoves every franchisor to look objectively at his or her concept and find where improvements can be made. When the ABCHI executive team was considering a CRM system, we had two objectives: to cut down on the amount of time franchise partners spend on each inspection, and to provide more efficient communications with our customers.
With these goals in mind, we were able to find the system that worked best for us.
Before implementing a technology change across your franchise system, take inventory of your franchise partners. There’s a possibility that many of them have been working successfully for years and will be resistant to change. Be prepared to quantify the value of the new technology – in time and in dollars.
When switching to a CRM system, we did thorough studies and research, and were able to provide the service at minimal cost and interruption to the franchise partner. This is the benefit of planning ahead.
…But Be Flexible and Offer Ongoing Support
It’s important to remember that, no matter how well you plan, there will always be questions about even the most minor technological changes. Set up exceptional internal and/or external support – this strengthens your brand and increases its value.
Depending on the size of your system, you might want to hold an in-person seminar where you can show your franchise partners the new tech hands-on, or, if you’re working with a larger audience across different time zones, consider a series of webinars.
Plan for bumps in the road. It’s unfortunate, but it’s going to happen. Our franchise partners possess varying levels of computer skills, so onboarding people less familiar with efficient computer use was challenging. However, we have very smart and capable franchise partners who have all stepped up to make this a tremendous success.
Evaluate and Adjust Based on Results
The bottom line for every franchise partner is, “how will this help my business?” With proper planning, your franchisees could begin seeing results immediately. But think realistically about your results. Evaluate the successes and failures of this new adaptation. Make adjustments where they are necessary, and leave the door open for future improvements.
Our franchise partners have greater profit margins and increased efficiency resulting in a better work/life balance than any of our industry partners. Once we realized how well the system worked, we started sharing the news with our franchise prospects. Intrigued by the evident success of the streamlined system and rave reviews from customers, we have seen a definite uptick in leads. Additionally, we are so confident in the new CRM system’s ability to positively influence business that we are guaranteeing all first-year franchisees an income of $52,500.
With a balance of outstanding internal and external support, we were able to onboard our system of more than 150 North American franchise partners and began seeing results nearly immediately. Proper planning and quantitative analysis have helped us keep the momentum going, and has increased franchisor/franchisee trust levels and brand identity.
Bill Redfern is the CEO and founder of A Buyer’s Choice Home Inspections and iCare – Intelligent Home Care Solutions. Based in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Bill and his team are passionate about making the entrepreneurial journey accessible to qualified candidates all over the world. ABCHI is North America’s fastest-growing home inspection business meeting the huge demand for home inspections. Focused on developing and maintaining local, trust-based relationships with its customers, ABCHI is creating a home inspection business unlike any other. Currently, there are more than 150 ABCHI offices in North America with dozens more internationally.
For more information, visit www.abuyerschoice.com