How to be a franchise that delivers: keeping your customers happy in the age of convenience


How to be a franchise that delivers: keeping your customers happy in the age of convenience

In today’s digital, ‘always on’ world, everyone is looking for instant gratification, convenience and a seamless experience. Gone are the days when people were happy to wait weeks for a product to arrive, or even have time to visit the post office during work hours.

So, what are some tips to ensure that your business can keep up, and continue to delight its customers? In my experience, there are three key ingredients in making this happen for a franchise.

1. Work collaboratively as one team

Working together as a team is integral to the success of any business, but especially important for a franchise network. The best franchises are driven by regular communication, respect and trust between the franchisor and franchisees.

These days it’s too easy to rely predominantly on internet communications. While email support packs and regular newsletters and updates are important, never underestimate the power of actual face time. Getting your franchisees and staff all in one room is incredibly beneficial – not only for them but for the franchisor, too!  

Regular catch-ups with franchisees help ensure that the network is working collaboratively, which is essential when developing the tools, technology and systems that will support your business. Consulting with your franchisees and staff gives you the feedback you need to ensure that you are investing in and implementing the right changes.

Recently at Fastway, we’ve focused on increasing face time with our franchisees, and it’s been wonderful to hear the positive feedback about how we’ve been listening and taking their experience and recommendations on board. This year the focus of our annual convention was ‘one vision’, highlighting just how important collaboration is for our company. We also hold in-house liaison visits – this year, rather than meeting with different groups over several days, we had one event for everyone. Hosting all of our regional franchisees in the one room allows us to keep on the same page and move forward more effectively as a team.

One of the main reasons that people choose to join a franchise is to benefit from the support of a network. This involves not only tools and support from the support office but also networking with other franchisees. When you are organising conferences or events, make sure you organise plenty of opportunities for your franchisees to network with each other!

2. Embrace change and make it work for your business

With more than 1 billion users worldwide and over 2.5 million apps available across the Google and Apple digital marketplaces, smart phones have become much more than just a device in our pockets. For many, their smartphone is like an extension of their hand – a constant connection to the world and a means to getting what they want instantly. This has had a profound impact on customer service across all industries.

In my experience, the key to dealing with this sort of disruption is always to take a step back, asking yourself not just how this affects your business, but also how this can benefit your business.

The rise of the sharing economy, for example, can seem threatening for many businesses, but you need to ask yourself the question: ‘how can we make this work for our business and our franchisees’ businesses?’

For example, at Fastway we decided to develop our own crowd-sourced delivery technology to help scale up and meet the growing delivery demand spurred by Australia’s booming e-commerce market. Blu Couriers taps into the sharing economy to help our regional and courier franchisees manage surges in delivery volumes; it’s also a fantastic solution for people in the community looking for a flexible way to earn some extra cash.

3. Listen to your customers

It’s no secret: listening to your customers is essential for running a successful business. The key is to ensure that when you listen to your customers you are actually doing something with the feedback. Whether it’s through surveys, reviews or market research, you need to take that information and use it to implement changes that will help the franchise and franchisees improve relationships with customers every day.

At Fastway, we know that 85% of customers want parcels delivered to their homes while 30% aren’t home during the day for deliveries. This is a challenge not just for our customers but also for the franchisee trying to complete the delivery. We know that our customers are busy and many simply can’t get to the post office in business hours. Our solution is Parcel Connect. Parcel Connect taps into the diverse business hours of local stores and petrol stations to provide a close and convenient drop-off and collection point for parcels. Customers can drop off and pick up their parcels at a time that suits them using one of several Parcel Connect locations across Australia. We have had excellent feedback from our customers and from our courier franchisees, too!

As with any services and technology, customer feedback is crucial – not only throughout the development and launch but also post-launch. So don’t forget to check in with your customers for feedback, and make sure you use that valuable information to help you and your franchisees – not just to deliver great service, but to exceed customer expectations.

Peter Lipinski brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to his role as CEO of Fastway Couriers, with over 20 years’ experience in senior positions across transport, leisure, manufacturing and management consulting. His extensive industry experience and strong focus on customer service have been integral to Fastway’s successful innovation in parcel delivery.