Recruitment: Why Your Employees Are The Face Of Your Brand
Franchise companies come in all shapes and sizes, but they’ve got one thing in common: branding is a critical factor in their success. In today’s competitive business environment, franchise brands quite rightly prioritise their brand and reputation to differentiate their business.
If you’re a franchisee striving to build a popular franchise too, have you ever stopped to think what your customers’ perception is of your brand when they come face to face with your employees?
If the answer to this question is ‘no’, then you’re not alone. Employees are one of the most underestimated elements of a successful franchise. They’re often the first people customers engage with and are a living representation of your brand, but they are often left at the back of the queue when you're considering your image. They provide your customers with the experience that makes you stand apart from your competitors, so it's essential that they embody what your brand stands for.
Many factors influence the perception that your customers have when they first interact with your franchise. From your location to the quality of your products and services; everything is taken into account. But nothing leaves as lasting an impression as the behaviour and attitude of your employees and how they treat your customers.
The robustness of your recruitment process will determine the quality of the employees you hire. Make sure that you invest adequate time and effort into developing structured interviews and applying effective recruitment techniques. The whole recruitment process can be lengthy and costly, but it’s worth the expense if you hire the right employees as a result.
Franchise companies should consider that the most important thing to remember when recruiting is that you can teach an employee how to operate a business but what can’t be taught is attitude, personality and passion. You’re more likely to hire the ideal employee if you give some thought to how they will fit in with your franchise culture, rather than recruiting the most talented and experienced candidates.
During interviews, focus on asking questions that help you to understand how the candidates communicate, interact with others, and deal with difficult situations. Customers are more inclined to buy from people rather than franchise brands, so it’s essential that your employees have excellent customer service skills.
Is there such a thing as a perfect employee?
The perfect employee probably doesn't exist, but by hiring candidates who demonstrate the following characteristics, you may get pretty close:
- Friendly and approachable: Employees need to be open, considerate, and empathetic. They should make customers feel appreciated at all times.
- Flexible: The ideal employee can adjust to different customer demands and situations effortlessly. They can adapt their communication style to suit the needs of fellow employees and customers.
- Assertive: When it comes to dealing with conflicts or concerns from customers you want an employee who can confidently deal with the situation. Having strong employees in place enables you to focus on developing and growing your business rather than being weighed down by day to day operational issues.
- Positive: Having people on your team who have a can-do attitude is not only refreshing but reassuring too. Knowing that you have employees who are representing your brand who look for solutions instead of problems is comforting.
- Willing to learn: For your franchise to be a success, your employees need to understand the franchise model and why it’s so important to follow the guidelines detailed in the operations manual. Having an employee that wants to learn and develop from their experience of working with you makes them easier to teach. Who knows? They may even end up becoming a franchisee themselves one day.
Employees as the face of your brand
You can attempt to become one of the most popular franchises by offering your customers the best or cheapest products, but you're far more likely to succeed if you provide them with superior service to that of your competitors. If your employees go above and beyond when dealing with customers, they will create an environment in which your customers feel valued.
On the flip side, if your employees offer the customer a bad experience, it will have a lasting impression and can damage your franchise image. If a customer decides to complain, or worse, vent their frustrations on social media, they will rarely focus on the individual who gave the poor service. Instead, they will implicate your franchise as a whole, therefore impacting potential customers perception of your brand.
The key to any successful franchise is consistency. The reinforcement of your brand’s image and reputation rely on your employees delivering consistent service to all customers. Through training and emphasis on the importance of uniformity, you can mitigate the risk of losing loyal customers due to inconsistent levels of service being delivered.
Treat your employees as if they were your customers.
For your employees to accurately reflect your brand image, you need to inform and educate them using internal marketing techniques just as you would promote what your business stands for externally.
Only when employees have an accurate understanding of your brand can they fully commit, remain motivated and strive to perform at their best. You should immerse your employees in your brand and ensure that they have all the support and training they need to fulfil their role as your franchise brand’s ambassadors. The role training plays cannot be overemphasised. It’s vital for the achievement and consistency of your brand values.
The top franchise companies are also aware that the way you treat your employees has a significant impact on the way that they treat your customers. If your employees feel valued and have a sense of job satisfaction, they'll be much more likely to provide an enhanced experience for your customer base.
The Editorial Team, Point Franchise ©
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