While avoiding overly complicated experiences remains a top priority for customers today, it is those brands who consistently demonstrate their attentiveness and willingness to go the extra mile that win business. And with the franchise industry now operating in a dynamic world of online platforms, ‘image’ is everything. As such, it is vital that brands adopt a strong sense of customer-centricity in order to reach the 94% of people who say a brand’s treatment of its customers influences their decision to purchase1. Here, Frank Milner, the Global President of Tutor Doctor, discusses how brands should champion customer-centricity in 2023.
It sounds obvious, but with so many franchises today focusing heavily on their operational processes and ensuring the business looks attractive to prospects, they often forget who the most important part of the equation is – the customer. More than ever, we are operating in an environment where word of mouth, reviews and conversation-worthy experiences are influencing an entire franchise brand’s ability to grow. And while this is not a new phenomenon in business, the rise of the brand image in tandem with services and products is certainly an area that franchisees should be considering when establishing themselves in their local communities.
Customer-centric companies are 60% more profitable than companies which are not, with more than 89% of companies also seeing customer experience as a principal factor that drives loyalty and retention2. Considering this, it is obvious who and what your strategy should be built around. But how can this be achieved in today’s saturated social landscape? Yes, we are all very aware of the power of social media when it comes to brand recognition in 2023. But it is little known that a staggering 82% of marketers say their social strategy impacts their business’ bottom line3. This means that, without a customer-centric social strategy for a product or service worth shouting about, it is unlikely a franchise will make a significant impact on their industry or communities today. And with franchisees often finding franchise opportunities having also been a customer, franchise recruitment should also be considered when developing themes and content.
So, before you plan anything in your marketing and social strategy, work out exactly what makes your customers tick. What developments have they seen come from your brand that they have responded positively to? What has gained traction on a local and national level? Your greatest asset in business is yourself, and that absolutely involves your best products and services when it comes to filling gaps in your market. How is your brand unique? How does that make you as a business owner not only the right choice, but the obvious choice for customers to go to? These are all questions you should be asking yourself when developing a strategy that is designed to celebrate your customer-centric approach. And you can rest assured, if it is concise, effective and engaging, it will absolutely become a core driver for your overall success.
This also includes going beyond the realm of social media. It is vital that franchisees take on board exactly what their customers are saying about them – the good, the bad and the ugly! At Tutor Doctor for example, our service is heavily reliant on endorsements from our customers. So much so that in 2022, franchisees who generated at least one Google review increased their customer interactions by 30%. This tells us that customers respond positively to a brand that acknowledges feedback. And with review sites and Google becoming the first point of call for a prospective customer, a brand must demonstrate and evidence its willingness to put reviews into action.
For franchisees and franchisors, a strong customer-centric approach to marketing and operations is fast becoming the best way to grow and drive business. Franchises who can appeal to the person behind the customer are continuing to make significant headway in forging significant success in their respective industries. This proven approach is helping Tutor Doctor franchisees up and down the country establish themselves in their local communities and it is absolutely something that should be a top priority for all brands today.
1 Maryam Mohsin, 2023, 10 BRANDING STATISTICS YOU NEED TO KNOW IN 2023
2 MADDY MARTIN, 2023, 75 Must-Know Customer Experience Statistics and Trends
3 Aubree Smith, 2023, The impact of social media across every part of your business