Learn. Connect... Grow Your Business
Launching a Franchise Support Technology to enable effective communication and collaboration with franchisees is mission critical in the overall support plan for franchisors staying in sync with their franchisee business partners. The unification of all franchisees through a partner portal and utilizing Partner Relationship Management (PRM) best practices will improve efficiency, reduce expenses, and most importantly improve customer satisfaction. Did I mention sales….yes, more of those too!
The implementation of a PRM solution for franchisees enabled by a franchise technology platform does involve some important decisions.
Franchise system managers should pay attention to the following seven pitfalls-to-avoid while launching a partner portal to support franchisees:
Promotion – while your franchise support portal may not need a great deal of pomp and circumstance, it is important to properly promote the launch of the portal. Clearly communicating the purpose of the new technology along with creating enthusiasm will improve adoption and provide faster return on your investment.
Content – at the time of the launch, there should be sufficient content available that will directly benefit every franchisee in the distribution channel. The content should be informative and as detailed as possible. Items such as certification processes, class schedules, product training materials, troubleshooting question/answers and recommended sales literature is a great first step.
Management – the portal should be managed by a service group that is directly connected to the business. While your IT may create the partner portal, the accountability and management of portal content should rest on the shoulders of business management departments such as marketing, finance, training or sales.
Connectivity – while the franchisee portal can have links to other types of information, it should not be only a series of links. The portal pages themselves should have useful content incorporated and avoid too many external links.
Updates – the content in the franchise portal must be kept fresh and up to date. This would include training materials, bulletins, schedules and other items. When a user visits the portal the expectation is to see the most current and most updated materials first, with the option to look at historical documents if needed.
Forums and blogs – even at the initial launch of a franchise partner portal, the forums and blogs should be established and welcoming for users to read and discuss particular topics. There should be a best practices area, a “meet and greet” section for less formal discussions or introductions, and possibly a troubleshooting area that allows users to ask questions and receive timely feedback from their peers. This will establish a sense of community and allow users to help each other.
Priority – the ongoing maintenance of the portal should not be an afterthought – it should be part of a routine maintenance and update regimen (just like your public website) that can have a significantly positive impact on your business as well as the entire supply chain.
With the right technology your franchisee partners can build your business and sustain continued growth for many years. Contact the professionals at Logic Bay for guidance on implementing a best-in-class franchise portal solution the right way. With the right partner portal approach and utilizing PRM best practices you will make sure your franchisee partner relationships are kept on solid footing and in lock-step with your business goals.