You know you stand out from the crowd of other franchises. But, do your customers know that? Have they seen what makes your individual store a notch above the “other guy” down the road? Just because your awning displays a corporate logo doesn’t mean you can’t flaunt your individual small business skills.
Use these franchise tips to let everyone know you’re no ordinary corporate location.
Increase Your Online Presence
If you think the company’s mega website with a local store search option is enough, think again. As a franchisee, you have to make you individual location rise above the rest.
Add one (or better yet, all) of these tasks to your to do list:
- Start a helpful tips blog for your individual store location.
- Ask customers to review you on sites like TripAdvisor, Yelp or Expedia.
- Build business pages on Facebook and Google+ to feature local specials.
By spreading your business name and address across the web, you can be found by potential customers more easily. When they Google your store name and city, don’t you want your franchise to be at the top of search results? It will if you have a nice big digital footprint.
Start a Local Customer Email List
If you already collect emails as part of an online ordering system, you’re half way there. At store-level, encourage your sales staff and cashiers to also collect email addresses when wrapping up payment transactions. Why get emails? Because then you can market directly to your store’s core audience. After all, we don’t want them sniffing out the other franchise across town, do we? No.
Use this hyper-focused email list to offer specials, coupons and insider information to people in your neighborhood who frequent the store most often. If you give them stellar service, they will tell their friends that your location is the one to stop at, hands down. And we all know how amazing personal recommendations are for business growth and customer retention.
Talk to Your Individual Customers
Finally, reach out directly to your top buyers and have a conversation with them. Although your parent company probably sends out customer satisfaction surveys online, they aren’t digging deep enough into what your local customers want and need.
I challenge you to take a day and chat with customers in the aisles and at the registers as they wrap up their transactions. In idle conversation you might find out that they’d really like a drive-up window to pick up their orders, an allergen-friendly menu, an online ordering system or that they thought you should have been part of the town’s holiday parade.
People are happy to tell you what they want — if you’re there to listen.
Angela is a contributor to the Connectivity blog. She also writes about content marketing and working online at Web Writing Advice. Angela was ranked in the Yahoo! Top 1000 Writers from 2009-2013.