Leverage Your Learning And Create Something Positive
If there is one thing we are learning from Covid-19 it’s that being flexible and agile is critical to business success. There’s an increased spotlight on building trust in all that we do. The first step in building trust is being transparent and authentic in our communications and actions, in all we do. As franchise owners you need to lead by example for your people, your customers, and your community.
In a recent conversation, we talked with Kim Kraemer of Citrin Cooperman and Michael Einbinder of Einbinder & Dunn LLP, strategic partners we work with in the franchise space. We discussed how we are not in this alone and how we can use what we are learning to create a more innovative customer experience as we move forward. Doing so helps build additional community trust as we find ways to keep customers and employees safe, and still deliver the service they need.
You have an opportunity to leverage all you are learning and turn it into something positive. Your people, customers, and community need you to be present and forthcoming with information; and when you show up, they show up. There are new and better ways to leverage technology to create a more dynamic customer experience.
Here are two key ways you can start doing that today:
- Create a pandemic policy – Make sure your franchise has developed a policy at the brand level. But create your own based on what you have learned from government shutdowns, reopening plans, and importantly, safety protocols. The reason safety protocols are a good place to start is because they set structure and expectations for your people and customers. They create a foundation for you to have a communications plan where you build trust by communicating often and with clarity. It is OK to say you don’t know, but it is not OK to do nothing about it. A good policy protects you, your people, and your community.
- Evaluate your succession plan – This pandemic has proved more than anything that you should have a succession plan. Evaluate your plan and recalibrate if needed. If you have not started, then start now. A succession plan builds trust with your people as they know what to expect when the unexpected happens. This also ensures your ability to be agile and flexible while making your people feel protected. All of this trickles down into the customer experience and a sense of safety in the community.
When an unknown such as a pandemic hits, it is easy to focus on the negative aspects. The unknowns, the anxieties, the fear of what is next or what the new normal might look like. But the positive side of a pandemic is that it teaches us how to plan, prepare, and progress into the future. If we can take what we are learning and turn it into ways to do business better and create stronger ties to employees, people, and communities, it sets us up for future success when the unknown hits again.
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