Why It’s Important to Build Partnerships with Your Customers
Franchising blends the best of both worlds. It partners local entrepreneurs with a national chain that provides a recognizable brand identity, back office and technology support, marketing services and more!
As with any business venture, though, success for a franchise location also depends on support from the local community. The stronger that support, the greater the chances of thriving. This requires building partnerships with other businesses in the community. These relationships are critical to building repeat business and generating referrals.
Establishing strong business relationships with other companies has several advantages — helping build brand awareness in the community as well as helping the individual location grow. Partnerships like these strengthen the awareness of the local franchise location. They build awareness of what the local franchisee is doing to help create jobs and promote other businesses in the area. All of these things help create a positive reflection of your brand. The partnerships also contribute to repeat and referral business for the franchise location.
It creates what we at PostNet call “client stickiness.” The franchisee is providing great service and solutions, so the client has no reason to go elsewhere. If they are getting great service and solutions, as part of a strong and trusted relationship, why would they go elsewhere? These strong relationships provide a huge competitive advantage over the long run.
Investing in Client Success
The owners of franchise locations need to be as invested in the success of their clients as they are their own. This means finding the right solutions for customers rather than just selling solutions. Writing in Forbes, Milo Shammas emphasizes the importance of investing in customer success to strengthen these vital relationships:
When you’re selling a product or service and you wish to stand out from the competition, I believe education is part of the game. In my experience, some leaders can become frustrated due to the amount of time that goes into educating clients or customers. But instead, try to see this as an opportunity. Your brand can benefit in many ways from this approach. For example, you have the chance to earn more dedicated customers and become synonymous with the learnings you provide. You can stay top of mind in conversations, well beyond your products.
Finding the Right Support
Developing this partnership is made easier with support from the right franchise brand that can offer proper technology, training, and support systems. Offering services that can aid local businesses is a positive for any company, but franchisees can have the advantage through better technology, marketing and training support from their franchisor.
By networking through local events, a franchise owner can quickly be viewed as a trusted member of the community while also offering fast services along with convenient ordering. As the franchisee strengthens their business partnerships, they have the opportunity to upsell their services. For example, a regular client could be using the franchise location for pack-and-ship or a virtual mailbox but going somewhere else for basic printing services. As the relationship strengthens, the owner of that franchise location can discuss how they are better positioned to meet the client’s print needs as well.
Finding the Right Partners
One key point to note before entering into a partnership with any company is the importance of having shared values and goals. In order for the franchise location to provide great service and solutions, there has to be clear goals and expectations on both sides.
This lays the foundation to being able to resolve issues when they occur, and it’s the basis for a long-term mutually beneficial relationship. Regardless of what your product or service is overall, success still comes down to maintaining strong relationships.
Bill McPherson is the vice president of franchise development for PostNet, a global leader in high-quality printing and shipping solutions, and AlphaGraphics, a leading franchisor of printing and marketing solutions. With over 29 years of franchise leadership, he has led franchise development and real estate for B2B, B2C, retail, and in-home senior care concepts.
For more information on PostNet, please visit: https://www.postnet.com/