Why would you buy from a franchise?

I only have anecdotal evidence for this article, but I'd love to do full a study on it.

Why would you buy from a franchise?

I’d like to suggest that using a franchised business, at least a trade or home service, is by far the most effective way of making sure that you get a reliable, trained person and that the work is done. And done well. And we could all make a bit more of it when we’re talking about franchising.

The whole underpinning basis of franchising is an operating model – the ‘how to’ guide for franchisees. The franchisee is almost always guided on business standards – call return times, managing customer expectations, customer service standards, the best way to do good business and get more business. And get those all-important outstanding reviews. Under promise, over deliver. And they are trained, or checked for standards, or monitored to ensure that they are competent, if not brilliant, at what they do.

The model is usually underpinned with technology – making sure that the franchisee and/or their team, know where they are meant to be and when. And what they are going to be doing when they get there. Payment has generally been sorted – the customer has paid, or knows what they might be paying, certainly how they will be paying, or at least the terms and conditions of business.

All of this should mean that the customer gets a great service.

In the event that the system isn’t followed, an ensuing customer complaint has consequences beyond that job. The franchisee will need to account for their ‘misdemeanour’ to the Franchisor, as well as the customer who has complained. It’s a big deal, with the franchisee potentially bringing the brand into disrepute. This is legislated for in the franchise agreement. As a customer, I love this idea.

I’m not suggesting that there are no non-franchised businesses that get this right – but there are so many more that don’t.

Using a reliable one-man band operation is fine, until it goes wrong. The route to complaint is direct to the business. If that fails, there may be a professional association if the person belongs to it. But there it will stop unless a customer is prepared to take it to a lawyer.

I need a gardener. I don’t have a huge garden, but I am not able to maintain it as should be, so a gardener is needed. Every now and then, someone pops up on the local Facebook page, or NextDoor  (other apps are available) offering their services. Six times now I have responded with a ‘yes please’. Two requests were totally ignored. Two made appointments and didn’t show. One came, did some work, promised to return and didn’t come. I contacted him and he came for half an hour after work on a Saturday. And I’ve not seen him since. And now, I am waiting for number six – who has already let me down once and it’s still not looking promising.

I never haggle on price. I pay on time. I make tea or coffee and make the gardener feel as comfortable as I can. But still, here I am, with a garden in a mess, and no gardener.

I am confident that, if there had been a local franchise who would help me, and who had availability, they would be here: when they say they will be here. And with follow up plans in place. And of course, plans to upsell me or coming back regularly. Please!

My point is that there is so much opportunity for a business that does what they say they will, delivers on the promise, and treats customers well that franchised businesses will undoubtedly make a decent living based on what their competitors can’t, and won’t do. And franchisors need to shout about that. Loudly.

So, tradesmen of the world, please consider utilising a franchise as your vehicle to market because you’ll join with structure, processes in place and a business just ready to start driving. And your business will be so much better for it.

Does anybody know a good gardener, please?

Louise Harris
Louise Harris