News travels fast these days. The Internet of Things (IoT) means that each person is virtually connected to everyone they know at almost any given point in time. If you provide someone with unsatisfactory service, a simple tweet, comment or other social media update means that hundreds, even thousands of people know about it at the click of a button.

Keeping your ear to the ground about how customers perceive your franchise’s service levels is crucial, but it can be a challenge, thanks to the many instant communication channels available today.

Customer satisfaction is something that franchisers only have a few chances to get right before it starts to negatively impact their business. In terms of scale, this can seem overwhelming when your franchise consists of a large number of outlets. This means that you need to find new ways of ensuring that franchisees duplicate the winning formula which keeps customers coming back.

Boost customer satisfaction ratings in your franchise

The importance of being plugged in

Actionable feedback from customers can be difficult to gather in a large franchise environment. Fortunately, the days of leaving customer survey cards at checkout points are over thanks to a new digital way of doing things. Today, franchises are able to interact with patrons via the myriad of social media channels and instantly respond to complaints, suggestions or positive feedback. The task of gauging customer sentiment is also made simpler with monitoring tools that notify franchisers each time their business is mentioned online.

This live monitoring and analysis makes it easy for you to measure your successes and failures in terms of customer satisfaction, and to engage your customers. Social media puts patrons in touch with senior management, which is sometimes difficult to near impossible to do in large-scale franchises. Remember that setting up a Facebook or Twitter account isn’t where it ends. You need to actively engage with people and remain “plugged in” to your customers’ sentiments via these channels if you want to leverage them to your advantage.

Point of Sale and customer relationship management

Your Point of Sale system also offers opportunities to improve customer satisfaction by enabling the capture of customer information by staff. Much more than just a cash register, today’s PoS systems allow for the setting up of loyalty programmes that reward returning customers, track the popularity of menu items and offer valuable marketing opportunities to the franchise. In an operational context, your Point of Sale solution also addresses many of the daily obstacles to providing excellent service to patrons.

By leveraging the information and functionality of today’s versatile Point of Sale products you’ll improve overall customer satisfaction.

There is always room for improvement

Customer satisfaction is a subjective issue which makes it difficult to measure accurately. Franchise owners should proactively seek to boost their game at every opportunity. Engaging with your market and stimulating the conversation about your service levels should be a continuous effort. In addition, cultivating a culture of open communications with regular field visits opens communication channels and creates opportunities for improvement.

The key to longevity in the hospitality industry is the consistent provision of customer service that is of the highest quality. Achieving this means staying in touch with how your business is perceived and encouraging an open line of communications with customers. Viewing your business through the eyes of your patrons gives you the insight you need to turn your franchise into the household name you aspire it to be. The fickle nature of the hospitality industry means business owners who don’t involve themselves in the conversation are the ones who lose out in the long run.

Download our The definitive 21st-century restaurant playbook for more insightful tips and tricks to boost your restaurant’s efficiency in 2020.

Author : Rudi Badenhorst