Listening Helps a Franchisor Better Connect

Problem
The client, a global franchisor in the Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) industry, knew that implementing a new online channel to communicate to franchisees would provide much needed cost-savings. However, the franchisees did not readily adopt the new channel and so key marketing and operations programs were not effectively executed. The lack of communications affected sales, customer satisfaction scores and franchisee relations.

Solution
The company agreed that the "Build it and they will come" strategy was not working, and decided that these valued partners needed to be part of the solution. To begin the needs analysis to close the gap, we developed a comprehensive Communications Effectiveness Online Survey to understand communications preferences as well as the prevailing appetite for new channels such as a secured intranet, email, texting and social media. We coupled the survey with focus groups and interviews to probe deeper on themes stemming from the online survey.

The key findings provided the foundation for a more effective and long-term communications strategy addressing channels, messaging, voice, timing and frequency. The survey has been implemented for two consecutive years with results showing year-over-year improvement in attitudes and effectiveness.

Impact
This longitudinal survey is not only helping the franchisor listen and respond with a more cost-effective communications strategy, but the franchisees are more involved with decisions around communications, eLearning and collaboration. The partnership is on more solid footing and marketing and operations programs are back to being executed successfully.

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