ChatGPT and AI: The future of franchising

ChatGPT will have a profound and positive impact on your franchise business but its challenges shouldn't be underestimated.

ChatGPT and AI: The future of franchising

ChatGPT is barely six-months old. But in its first week of its initial release, it acquired more users than Facebook did in a year. This artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot is taking many businesses by storm. And franchising is no exception. When it comes to AI and the future of franchising, ChatGPT will have a profound impact on franchisors who want to improve their operations, increase revenue and enhance the customer experience.

What is ChatGPT and AI?

Simply put, ChatGPT is an AI chatbot. But this chatbot offers astuteness and intelligence that the world has never seen before. When using high quality prompt engineering, you get high quality output from this AI tool. Its impact on franchising is yet to be explored as we are still in the early phases of its adoption.

What does ChatGPT bring to franchising?

As a powerful business model that is driven by constant innovation and development for a better competitive advantage, ChatGPT has important ramifications for franchising. Examples of how it can help your franchise business thrive include:

  • Increased efficiency and productivity
  • Enhanced customer experience
  • Personalised marketing
  • Streamlined operations
  • Real-time data analysis and insights

How can AI be applied to franchising?

If the above sounds too good to be true, take a look at just some of the ways in which AI and ChatGPT can be applied to your franchise business:

  • Chatbots and virtual assistants: helping to take your franchise to the next level, you can now have an immediate interaction with your customers through chatbots and virtual assistants who respond to queries and questions and provide accurate and up-to-date information. This, in turn, will help boost the customer experience.
  • Predictive analytics for sales forecasting and inventory management: if you thought that ChatGPT and AI is just for marketing purposes, you’d be forgiven for thinking so. However, ChatGPT is a strong number cruncher and can predict sales and levels of inventory that may take your human team days to do. It’s therefore excellent for improved productivity and efficiency.
  • AI-powered CRM systems for customer relationship management: customer relationship management is key to franchise businesses. And if you are still doing things the manual way, you’re losing out on precious time and resources when many of your CRM tasks can now be automated.
  • Automated marketing campaigns: you can also instruct ChatGPT to create your marketing campaigns. From taglines and email subject lines to full newsletters, social media posts, email marketing campaigns, brochures and flyers – your marketing tasks just got umpteen times more efficient.

AI in franchising is not without its challenges, though

Of course, some things may seem too good to be true and it would be unrealistic not to look at the challenges of AI and ChatGPT in franchising. 

Firstly, you will need to properly integrate it with existing systems, relying on expert talent to do so. Once done, you’ll need to train your team to use it. This can seem like a bottleneck to some franchise organisations, which simply don’t have the time or resources to set aside for this task. 

A further challenge relates to the all-important issue of data privacy and security. When you are entrusting sensitive data such as customers’ bank account details to AI, you need to ensure that it is 100% reliable and safe for use. Any data breaches could spell disaster for your business.

Finally, franchisors also need to consider the implementation costs. AI at its finest is not free and although there may be AI platforms on the market that come at zero cost or at a low cost, you want to ensure that you get the right package for your business aims and objectives. AI outages due to a high volume of users will also need to form a part of your investment decision.

Final thoughts

Harnessing the power of ChatGPT and AI in your franchise business can have a profound impact on your operations and bottom line. Apart from providing a highly effective customer experience, your sales, marketing and data analysis teams can thrive and become more efficient. That’s not to say that it doesn’t come with challenges. You simply need to weigh up what it takes to get started and the ultimate results you are aiming for.

Dani Peleva
Dani Peleva