The Basics of Customer Relationship Management in Franchising

The Basics of Customer Relationship Management in Franchising

Most often, when people research franchisors to buy a franchise, they focus on the financial aspects, the training, and, of course, the communication. Those aspects, without a doubt, are crucial if you plan to go into business with a franchisor. 

However, these entrepreneurs often forget one of the most important factors – the technology the franchisor uses. This is essential if you want to buy yourself a better work-life balance. 

Among the most important pieces of software you will have to use (and more often than not buy) is the CRM. The Customer relationship manager is the most efficient way to streamline processes, build robust customer relationships, increase sales, improve customer service, and ultimately enhance profitability. 

Naturally, if you have to build all of this without the help of technology, this will take ages. You will have to work 24/7 and still fall behind those who rely on technology for these mundane tasks. So, let’s talk a bit more about this cornerstone technology. What it is, why you need it, how it works, what it will bring to your business, and how to choose one. 

What is CRM?

At its core, CRM involves managing relationships with individual people, including customers, service users, colleagues, or suppliers. 

When people refer to CRM, they may mean it as technology, strategy, or a process. It can be a technology product, a business philosophy about managing relationships, or a system adopted by a business to nurture and manage those relationships. 

Today, however, we will focus on the technological aspects of CRM, as they will play the most important role when deciding which franchisor to partner with. 

As a technology, CRM is software that allows business owners to keep track of almost all aspects of their relationships with their customers. For example, if you are a deep-house cleaning franchisee with Fantastic Services, you will be given access to their custom-made CRM system. 

Through this system, you will be able to seamlessly record, report, and analyse interactions with customers. This CRM system becomes a centralised hub where information about customer preferences, service history, and feedback is stored. For instance, if a customer prefers eco-friendly cleaning products, this information is logged, ensuring that future interactions align with this preference.

Why is CRM important for businesses?

The customer relationship management (CRM) system is a basic building block of business that provides the basis for long-term sustainability and success. The point is there is a strategic objective that goes beyond the usual transactions that are mainly based on building important customer relations.

CRM allows for detailed knowledge about customer tastes, service journeys and communication channel preferences. If the customer consistently picks up particular cleaning routines or shows a passion for particular cleaning products, the CRM system records this information. As a result, the franchise can adjust its offerings to the requirements of every client, thereby providing a service that gives a sense of individualised care and breeds a closer attachment to the brand.

Also, a CRM is not just a system that stores all customer interactions, but it is a secure option as well. Here is where we get all the types of issues: inquiries, service requests, feedback, and more. 

With a cleaning franchise, we have to take a 360-degree view of how a customer’s journey unfolds: from the moment of the first inquiry until they become our regular customers. Leads may be lost during the communication process, which could be avoided by enabling one to tailor responses to the customer in a timely manner.

Moreover, A CRM system acts as a centralised repository for all customer interactions. This includes inquiries, service requests, feedback, and more. For a cleaning franchise, this means having a comprehensive view of a customer’s journey — from the first inquiry to ongoing service engagements. 

This streamlined process aids in customer acquisition by ensuring timely and personalised responses. Moreover, for existing customers, the franchise can proactively address concerns, leading to enhanced retention rates.

Furthermore, CRM provides valuable insights for sales teams in a cleaning franchise. Sales representatives can access information about a customer’s previous services, preferences, and any specific requests. This knowledge equips them to have informed conversations, recommend additional services based on past engagements, and, ultimately, increase upselling opportunities. For instance, if a customer has consistently booked deep-cleaning services, the sales team can propose related services like carpet cleaning.

Most importantly, however, Efficient customer service is a hallmark of successful franchises. A CRM system allows the customer service team to seamlessly track and manage customer inquiries. For instance, if a customer raises an issue on social media and later contacts customer service via email, the CRM ensures that all interactions are centralised. This prevents information gaps, leading to quicker issue resolution and a more satisfactory customer experience.

How does a CRM work?

A CRM may seem magical based on how helpful it is, but in fact, it only follows predetermined protocols. Now, how a specific CRM operates is entirely based on its development. However, most CRMs tend to include at least several similar operations crucial to any business, regardless of its size. 

Firstly, the CRM stores relevant data. For instance, Mrs. Johnson regularly books deep-cleaning services for her residence. A CRM system aggregates Mrs. Johnson’s contact details, service history, communication preferences, and any special requests into a centralised database. This consolidated information serves as a comprehensive profile accessible to all relevant teams, from sales to customer service.

Moreover, Mrs. Johnson interacts with the cleaning franchise through various touch points—website inquiries, phone calls, and service appointments. A CRM system creates a 360-degree view of her interactions. If she recently inquired about upholstery cleaning during a phone call, this information is logged. The franchise can then tailor future communications, ensuring a personalised approach based on Mrs. Johnson’s specific interests.

Furthermore, the CRM will automate data capturing, reducing manual work. Naturally, this will minimise errors and ensure that every customer interaction is promptly recorded for future reference. Also, Within the CRM system, customers can be segmented based on criteria such as service preferences, frequency of bookings, or geographical location. For instance, if there’s a surge in demand for oven cleaning services in a specific neighbourhood, the franchisee can use CRM segmentation to target marketing efforts, offering promotions tailored to the unique needs of that customer segment.

So, what will your business get from all of this? What will you win by implementing a CRM system in your franchising business?

Benefits of customer relationship management.

The benefits for any business are plentiful. In fact, it can reduce significant portions of your manual work and give you enough time to work on what really matters – growing your business. So, let’s have a look at the biggest benefits of using a CRM.

Saving time and money

Efficient CRM systems, such as those integrated with franchise management software, save time and money by organising business processes, avoiding duplication of effort, and providing real-time information. This is particularly valuable for franchisees who have little to no experience dealing with customers and working in management positions. 

Increases sales

CRM tools streamline the sales process, helping sales teams understand their pipeline better. Sales managers gain insights into individual and team performance, while sales reps benefit from reduced administrative tasks and more time for selling.

Better tracking of teams

Apart from sales, CRM benefits other business functions. It provides sales managers, marketing teams, customer service teams, and even HR with tools to track, manage, and improve their respective functions. This contributes to overall efficiency and collaboration within the franchise.

Better communication

CRM enhances communication by providing a centralised platform for tracking conversations across various channels. This is crucial for franchises with multiple locations, ensuring that important communications are not missed or lost.

Anyone can use it

User-friendly CRM systems make it accessible to everyone within the organisation. Whether it’s sales reps, marketing teams, or customer service representatives, the CRM’s interface is designed to be intuitive, allowing easy adoption across different roles.

Customer retention

CRM is instrumental in customer retention by providing tools for personalised communication, sentiment analysis, and addressing customer issues promptly. Repeat business and customer loyalty are fostered through effective customer relationship management.

Improved data storing and analytics

CRM software offers detailed analytics, providing businesses with actionable insights. It enhances data storage, making it easily accessible and actionable for all team members. This centralised system of record ensures that essential data is stored in one place, facilitating informed decision-making.

How do you choose the right CRM?

Selecting the right CRM is crucial for franchise success. Considerations include the reputation of the CRM provider, the scalability of the system, integration capabilities with other software, user-friendliness, and alignment with the specific needs of your business niche. 

Most franchisors prefer a CRM system that works with their line of work. You won’t be able to choose freely what CRM to use, so it’s crucial to choose a franchisor that uses a CRM that provides you with enough automated options and benefits. 

The best option is to become part of a franchise with their own CRM. This way, you know that every aspect of the software was tailored to your needs, and there will be absolutely no surprises in the long run. 

Some final words

The modern and competitive franchising model requires the use of an effective Customer Relationship Management strategy which is not just beneficial but evidently necessary. 

Whether your business is a restaurant business or a small cleaning franchise, understanding the role of CRM in enhancing customer relationships and easing operation and business growth is the key step towards entrepreneurial success. 

The choice of a good CRM will empower franchisees to enjoy many advantages, such as increased sales as well as improved team cohesion, and better customer satisfaction and retention. 

As Bill Gates implies, “The manner in which you collect, manage and use the information will play the key role of whether you win or lose.” Therefore, a successful CRM strategy is the winning formula for franchises that intend to grasp the competitive market.