In a franchise environment, though, there are some unique challenges when it comes to communication. Retail locations may be scattered across regions, time zones, and countries. The organization may have a number of different brands. The technologies in place were acquired to solve a single need and these disparate solutions are not integrated together. Finally, corporations are not able to effectively track and ensure that communications are being consumed and actioned; which creates compliance risks for things like recalls. All of these challenges can make it complicated to ensure that everyone gets the information necessary to succeed.
Here are some ways organizations can improve communication with their retailers.
Treat Communication Seriously
Franchise systems are composed of a large number of moving parts, from the various departments in the corporation itself, to the potentially hundreds of stores spread out all over the world with their own managers and teams. It’s critical that you institute efficient communication channels from top management all the way down, but also from the bottom to the top. The latter is often more challenging, in large part because it is not considered as important, which is a mistake.
Creating multidirectional communication channels is essential for any organization that wants their retailers to thrive.
If you don’t take communication seriously, there is no way to achieve consistency or to ensure that each store delivers on the brand promise. This will eventually hurt the brand as a whole, leading to a loss of customer faith and, eventually, a decline in revenues across the board.
If you communicate consistently with your retailers, it will make everyone feel informed, empowered, and, most importantly, engaged with the future of the organization. This engaged team will be armed with all the information that is relevant for them to succeed. This will lead to increased productivity, happier customers, and a significant boost to profitability.
Some corporations will use email as a communication channel. However, emails aren’t the most effective approach.
Firstly, broadcasting personalized information is difficult to achieve at scale and to track who has read it. Additionally, there is a lack of a well-kept archive which makes it difficult for retailers to refer back.
There’s also the issue of a lack of integration with an operations solution. This means that there’s no way to track the tasks that need to be completed, which leads to further communication breakdowns and compliance risk.