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Establishing Loyalty in Your Franchise Over Time

For new and existing franchise owners, the keys to consumer loyalty are varied in size and fit, and each attempt to win loyalty may work for some, though not all. Some popular ways to attract customers involve the localized effort to reach out with specific discounts and offers distributed through daily deal outlets, word of mouth, or specific customer contact lists.  How effective are these and what options do franchise partners have at their disposal?

When the aim is to quickly increase revenue during an isolated period of time, deals that inspire customers to take fast action to receive discount benefits are an obvious option.  Nevertheless, the revenue upsurge is not usually predictable nor can it be relied upon month after month for franchisees who aim to increase overall client loyalty.

Inspiring customers to make future visits with such deals is not usually a simple process as many may be first time visitors merely cashing in on an excellent deal with no real interest over the long term in the brand, the product, or the services offered.  This may change of course upon visiting the location, which is one benefit of such deals, as they offer franchisees a way to invite unfamiliar locals into their location to become acquainted with it, which hopefully will end in some sort of relationship being established with the customer.  This may or may not happen depending on a variety of factors, yet the burden is on franchise owner and staff to retain that new customer, which can involve some degree of magic at the level of operation.

It can also be difficult to ascertain which deals will drive the most traffic into the store in advance and when, which can make it challenging for the store operator to anticipate how to prepare for those who will come in to cash in on the offer.  These factors can make it challenging for the store in terms of operation and staffing. Additionally, training staff and altering IT networks within the store to handle certain deals, particularly online and mobile deals, is likely to take time and complications can arise at the point of sale when customers arrive.  Ensuring that local level stores are prepared to offer such deals is thus a critical part of the success of promoting repeat business.

Conversely, shop owners may find greater success at building and maintaining overall customer loyalty with time through investing in the implementation of ongoing loyalty and rewards programs.  These can come directly from the franchise and may be offered online, through the franchise site, and directly to repeat customers who go to the franchise for business related purposes or personal as well.

In the case of food franchises, customers who frequent the location for work related reasons have a far higher incentive to invest in their own savings down the line, even when paying into the program to access those savings.  When franchisors and franchisees come together, weighing how marketing, advertising, and matters of client loyalty will be handled is of vital importance to ensure that each location has an opportunity to establish itself in a competitive marketplace.

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