What are the "Best" Chains in Your Area? And What Makes Them That Way?
No matter where you live, there's a "go-to" brand for virtually every service. Cleaners, eateries, repairmen – if there's a need for it, there's someone who does it best. Some folks might have a different brand than others (or opinions on who's actually best), but once loyalties have been made, customers swear by their choices.
And it's loyalty that pays. Not only in reputation, but business referrals, word of mouth, and the ability to expand one's reach. Even if you're not (yet) in the franchise business, you understand the value of this type of relationship. You likely even provide ongoing advertisement to your own favorite brands – whether or not you're aware it's taking place. It's simply a natural occurrence. When you're satisfied with a service, you want to tell others how happy you are, and how they can benefit from those same professionals. You pass along "your guy," and recommend a type of service or specialized package. Then you talk it up. Repeatedly.
This creates a sense of loyalty. One that, just like any other type of relationship, is strengthened greatly over time.
So what is it about these brands? Why are they so infectious? And how can you learn to create those same business tactics for yourself?
Hashing Out Business Traits that Work
Let's start by outlining what brands with loyal customers have in common. If it helps, make a list of your go-to brands. Who do you call when your car breaks down? If you bust a window? When you need to shop for the home? Find entertainment for out-of-town guests? Or any other need you might have on a regular or infrequent basis.
Now, ask yourself why you shop with them. It's likely that they're friendly, efficient, knowledgeable, accommodating, etc. They probably know you by name, and remember aspects about your business, such as how often you stop in and for what services. This type of trait might sound small, but by knowing customers on a personal level creates a sense of intimacy that isn't always valued by business owners, or by their employees. Those who manage to master this step are far more likely to bring in sales from those who've shopped and returned. Who've made a conscious decision to choose, and re-choose a company for their qualities.
They also might be conveniently located or offer some type of additional incentive. All of these perks make sense, however. Growing a business isn't about gimmicks or trickery. (Though some may follow those devices up front.) It's about putting forth a good product and replicating good business steps.
If these perks didn't exist, you'd find another vendor.
Steps that Drive Away Business
It's also said that negatives hurt business far more than positives help. In this light it can be detrimental to a company to receive negative feedback, or to mistreat a customer. For every complaint a customer hears about, it takes twice as many good ones to change their mind, and the harsher the feedback, the more positivity it needs to be reversed.
When pairing the two – positive sales vs. detrimental feedback – it's a no-brainer as to which one is more valuable, yet far harder to achieve. However, it's also a solid starting point from which to launch your own franchise ventures as a goal for reaching customers, and with tactics that get them to stay.