Successful entrepreneurs make taking care of customers their number one priority. Happy customers become regular customers, and they tell others about their positive experience. Unhappy customers don’t come back, and spread the word far and wide with their negative reviews.
In a franchised brand, the franchisee occupies a layer between the franchisor / brand owner and the customer. It’s the franchisee that interacts directly with the customer.
So the franchisor wonders: how do we force franchisees to take care of customers?
Actually, that’s the wrong question. If the franchisor has to “force” franchisees to do anything, then the franchisor has already failed. The franchisor needs to reconsider its relationship with franchisees.
Some franchisors view franchisees as mere revenue streams (or worse, as opponents that must be carefully watched and forced to toe the line). Better franchisors see their franchisees as “partners”, with both sides working together to better the brand.
However, even those better franchisors are missing a fundamental key to success in franchising: franchisees are also your customers, so treat them like customers. After all, the franchisee is buying something from the franchisor — the brand, the system, and ongoing support — and expects to get value from the franchisor in return. More importantly, the logic about taking care of customers applies to franchisees just like it does to guests who come in the door. Happy franchisees build more units and tell prospective new franchisees how happy they are with the brand. Unhappy franchisees will not grow, and they will disparage the franchise system to any prospective franchisee who contacts them about buying a franchise.