How to Get Your Priorities on Track 

Overseeing a network of franchises can feel like herding cats at times. Each franchise owner or manager has their own concept about how to run the franchise, while the corporate office has its preferred way. Sometimes the methods align; sometimes they don’t. 

But if you want your franchise network managers to be successful, there needs to be a clear list of priorities that everyone can get behind. The challenge, though, is deciding what those priorities should be and then balancing them appropriately so you can stay on track.  

Here’s a closer look at how you can prioritize effectively so all your children’s services program franchises can thrive. 

Choosing the Right Priorities in Your Children’s Services Program 

Before you can balance priorities, you need to settle on what they are. Easier said than done, right? With only 22% of employees in the U.S. agreeing their leaders have a clear direction for the organizations they work for, there’s plenty of doubt to overcome. 

The reason why prioritizing is challenging is that every business is a complex ecosystem of ideas, processes, and relationships. At the local franchise level, that ecosystem gets even more complex when you take into account varying customer needs that are location- or region-specific. Then there’s the fact that franchise managers already have a lot on their plates. It’s not always easy for them to know what to focus on to reach that next level of success.

Here at Listen360, we’ve spent years partnering with franchise networks like yours in the children’s services industry. Based on our experience, we recommend the following business priorities as a place to start:  

  • Build a strong brand 
  • Deliver exceptional customer service across all franchises 
  • Use technology to build efficiencies into your business 
  • Stay on top of research and changes within your industry 
  • Create and execute a strategic marketing plan both at the corporate and local level 
  • Ensure compliance with local and regional government regulations 

Once you’ve determined the priorities that make the most sense for your children’s services franchise, and the order in which you’d like to prioritize them, the next step is to figure out how to balance them. 

6 Tips for Balancing Your Children’s Program Priorities 

Setting priorities doesn’t mean they’ll automatically be followed. It takes time and commitment to see them through, and along the way, you may need to make some adjustments. 

Use the following tips as a guide to help corporate and franchise managers balance priorities, so you can achieve optimal results over time and ensure the end customer will benefit. 

  1. Apply resources based on priority

This may seem obvious, but it’s helpful to reinforce this idea upfront: Portion out your resources based on your hierarchy of priorities. Even the largest corporate business with tons of resources at its disposal still needs to apply those resources strategically. So in this case, the highest priority gets the bulk of the effort and resources, followed by the second-highest priority, and so on down the list. 

  1. Weigh new ideas against your priorities

New ideas are fantastic. But over half (54%) of executives struggle to align their innovation strategy with their business strategy. If the new idea or initiative takes away critical resources or requires you to put more resources into a lower-priority goal, you may need to reconsider. To stick to your priorities, think about holding off on the idea for a while, dropping it altogether, or finding a simpler, less resource-heavy way to achieve it.  

  1. Stay flexible and agile

That being said, things can change quickly in business. It’s not out of the realm of possibility that one of your lower priorities could suddenly become a top priority based on any number of factors in your business, the industry, or the market. One of the best skills you can cultivate in your business is the ability to identify when a pivot is needed and flex appropriately to accommodate it. 

  1. Hire a skilled team 

Following your priorities effectively means you might need to hire new employees with specific skills. You may need to expand your marketing team, or create a new technology team from the ground up. With your team in place, make sure you’re transparent about what you’re prioritizing and why, and then ask for their input. As one expert recently explained: “Engagement rises when employees take an active role in defining their goals and see the connection and link between their goals and the larger company’s purpose.” 

  1. Categorize urgent vs. important activities

Sometimes the most urgent items aren’t actually the most important — and you can find yourself easily distracted from top priorities when you drop everything to deal with the urgent stuff. Have a system in place for being able to decide what’s an immediate but temporary fire (urgent) and what’s critical now and over the long term (important) so you don’t needlessly waste time and attention. 

  1. Regularly check in with franchise customers

The end customer provides a great temperature check on whether your priorities are having an impact on the customer experience. One way to check in with franchise customers is through Listen360’s Net Promoter Score (NPS) surveys and other customer feedback methods that measure customer loyalty. With a simple NPS survey, you can ask one question to find out how franchise customers feel about your overall brand and/or service, which can further inform your business strategy and priorities. 

Get Started with Listen360  

Getting clear about what to prioritize helps all your franchises turn into top performers. To ensure your business priorities positively impact the customer experience, consider Listen360’s customer engagement platform.  

Backed by an experienced team, Listen360 can help you survey and collect important customer data and make smart business decisions that keep customers coming back.  

For more information, contact us today and we’ll be happy to chat.

Use Feedback to Retain Customers  

If you want to grow your children’s services programs, you need to acquire new customers. But you also need to impress them enough to keep them coming back. The way to do this? Give customers an amazing experience — every time.  

The challenge is, how do you really know if the experience you’re delivering is amazing? Your franchisees work hard to maintain good relationships with customers and ensure quality offerings. But if you’re not sure what customers are really thinking and whether your brand is meeting their expectations, then it’s harder to hit that next level of success — both at the corporate and franchise level. Instead, customers may come and go but never stick around. And you may never know why. 

Customer feedback is one of the best ways to engage with customers and figure out how to boost their experience with your brand. Here’s a closer look at how important it is to gather customer feedback through Net Promoter Score® (NPS) surveys, the role feedback plays in business and franchise growth, and how technology is central to effectively using customer feedback.  

The Importance of Customer Feedback in Children’s Services Franchises 

Children’s services franchises have an important job to do: please parents and delight kids. But they’re also doing this in a competitive ecosystem in which parents and kids have a lot of options to choose from. One center may be conveniently located, another may be the most affordable, and a third may have that super-cool playground. So what makes them choose your business — or not? 

Whether your business provides daycare, early childhood education and learning, or physical development and play, you need to know if your programs and offerings are on target. Are kids getting what they need? Are parents happy with the results? Do the families see value in returning? 

Asking for and analyzing customer feedback with NPS surveys is a critical step in understanding the overall customer experience — what’s working well, what isn’t, and which aspects of the business could benefit from updates and improvements. At the end of the day, 83% of companies that think customer happiness is important are able to grow their revenue. That means it’s worth it to make a concerted effort to gather and take action on customer feedback. 

How Customer Feedback Leads to Business and Franchise Growth 

If you want to prioritize business growth, customer feedback is an important tool for doing so. As McKinsey states, “A strategy that enhances customer care and deepens engagement, effectively shifting customer care from a cost center to a profit center, is essential.” 

Here’s how customer feedback helps you engage with customers and build the kind of lasting, loyal relationships with them that can enable business growth. 

Surface areas of improvement 

It’s wonderful to receive positive feedback, but negative feedback is sometimes more rewarding because it shows you exactly where you need to improve. When customers are honest with you about what they don’t like, think of it as valuable information pointing the way to necessary changes that can make your business more profitable.  

Know what to prioritize 

Running a franchise means giving attention and resources to a multitude of tasks and challenges every day. Customer feedback focuses the franchise’s attention and resources on the things that truly matter to customers. When the franchise prioritizes the customer, they’re effectively giving customers more of what they want — leading customers to spend more in return.  

Increase customer retention 

Acquiring new customers is important, but so is retaining them. When you gather customer feedback, you’re giving yourself the knowledge you need to keep existing customers happy and increase customer retention. You can enlist a variety of ways — such as communication campaigns and loyalty programs — to show them how much you value their patronage. 

Improve referral rate 

Loyal customers have the added bonus of talking to their friends. When they’re happy, they refer others in their network to your business, which means you can bring in new customers just by caring for the ones you already have. 

Spur innovation and new offerings 

Listening to your customers and understanding their experiences opens up doors to innovation. You’re able to see how your customers might benefit from a whole new offering that your competitors don’t have or that meets an emerging need. Even better? When you develop a new offering, your existing customers are 50% more likely to try it. 

The Role of Technology in Customer Feedback 

Technology is key to boosting customer happiness effectively because of its ability to efficiently capture, centralize, process, and analyze information without adding administrative burden. Adopting a customer engagement platform like Listen360 enables you to: 

  • Continuously gather and actively listen to customer feedback 24/7 
  • Capture feedback through NPS surveys and other methods  
  • Reach customers through a variety of channels, including email, the web portal, phone calls, and interactive voice response (IVR)  
  • Get real-time alerts when feedback comes in so you can quickly respond 
  • Use monitoring and historical information to follow up, ensuring customer issues are addressed and resolved 
  • Calculate NPS by brand or location and track other metrics and key performance data to understand business impact 

With technology-enabled customer feedback, you’re able to uncover high-impact opportunities for your business, delight your customers, and cultivate customer loyalty and retention over time — in ways that are much easier than relying on manual feedback methods at the franchise or corporate level. 

Get Started with Listen360 

Building customer relationships, gathering feedback, and retaining the customers you acquire takes effort and focus. To start off on the right foot, consider Listen360’s customer engagement platform. Backed by an experienced team, Listen360 can help you survey and collect important customer data and make smart business decisions that keep customers coming back.  

For more information, contact us today and we’ll be happy to chat. 

Customer feedback helps children’s services franchises measure how happy customers are with their company’s products, services, and capabilities. It’s a reflection of how well a company is received by those who use its services.  

Taking the time to collect customer feedback, both good and bad, is important because it is a demonstration of how much your customers enjoy your services — and how likely they are to keep using them.  

5 Ways to Collect Customer Feedback   

If you manage a chain of children’s services or program franchises, you know how important it is to accurately assess the experience of your customers. Measuring successes and failures early and often will help you identify customer pain points and solve problems before they become overwhelming.  

Collecting customer feedback can have a number of benefits: 

  • Provide details on what makes your children’s program work. 
  • Get real feedback on what customers don’t like. 
  • Understand why customers return to use your services. 
  • Immediately identify what problems are a priority. 
  • Helps to plan for the future. 

 Let’s look at a few effective ways you can gather information from your customers. 

Customer Surveys 

Conducting customer surveys at regular intervals can help your children’s services franchise to gain the perspective of your customers and reveal patterns that will help you to determine business priorities.   

When developing a survey for your children’s services franchise, be sure to set clear objectives. What is it that you need to know to help solve an urgent problem? Create a set of core questions that will apply across all franchises, then get the individual franchises involved in creating questions that are more specific to their location. Keeping the questions short and simple increases the likelihood of receiving useful responses. 

Social Media Listening 

Incorporating a social media listening strategy will give your children’s services franchise valuable data to keep business booming. Why? Because it helps you monitor and analyze what your current and potential customers are saying about your business across social media channels.  

One way to implement social media listening is to list hashtags related to your franchise and see what people are saying about your business in real-time. You can also use keywords to participate in the conversation that is going on about your brand online. What you learn from these interactions can tell you a lot about how your customers use your children’s services program. 

Net Promoter Score Surveys 

A Net Promoter Score (NPS) survey measures customer loyalty among your child care program franchises and gives you an idea about which customers will be repeat customers, as well as brand ambassadors. In the NPS, customers are asked on a scale of one to 10, how likely they are to recommend a business. This is followed by an open-ended question that lets the customer explain in their own words why they answered the way they did.   

One of the benefits of an NPS survey score is that you can immediately see in what areas your franchise needs improvement. You can use this information to figure out what tactics you can repeat to create more customer advocates — the ones who use word of mouth to spread the good word about how valuable your children’s services are. 

Customer Reviews and Ratings 

Online sites like Google Reviews, Yelp, and Facebook have become essential research tools for consumers interested in children’s programs in their area. These review sites are an extension of word-of-mouth marketing that has such a strong influence on your potential customers.  

It’s natural for customers to want to know what other parents have to say about a children’s program or center before they enroll their children. Online reviews give your franchise much-needed credibility and social proof. Furthermore, these sites often give good feedback about where you can improve, which is just as important as positive feedback. 

Sales and Retention Metrics 

Sales metrics measure the growth or decline of your business and can include the number of sales made during busy seasons vs sales made during slow months. Knowing this data informs your children’s program teams to know what to expect throughout the year.  

It’s important for each children’s services provider to define what success looks like for them. While there may be some guidance from the parent franchise, allowing each franchise to have an opportunity to define success for themselves gives them more independence. Measuring data at regular intervals throughout the year allows each franchise to make strong decisions about its future. 

Ways to Keep Your Child Programs Services Franchise Customers Happy 

While each children’s services franchise is unique, there are some customer experience goals that are universal. Research shows that 42% of customers are willing to pay for a more friendly and welcoming experience. This leaves plenty of room for your franchise to think about where they can start to make a positive impression. 

Take a look at how your franchise can take the first step toward happier customers. 

1. Create customer experience goals 

Knowing your customer journey is important to creating a stellar customer experience. This includes goals related to repeat purchases or increases in subscriber or membership renewals. These are goals that can be numerically measured so that it is clear whether there is an improvement.  

2. Improve customer support 

Rather than striving only to meet industry standards, take the time to figure out what stellar customer service looks like for your particular children’s program. Teach your team to be solution-oriented so that the children and parents who utilize your services will rave to their friends and family about the gem of a program they’ve found.  

3. Get to know your customers as people 

When it comes to the care of children, people always appreciate a personal touch. This can include remembering first names, making friendly conversation with a smile, or sending out emails with real names rather than just signed by the “Customer Service Team.”  

Get Started with Listen360 

If your children’s services franchise needs support with building positive customer relations, gathering customer feedback, and improving your customer retention rate, then it’s time to consider using technology to help you with your goals.  

A customer engagement platform like Listen360 can help your franchise to collect important data from all your customers to help you create a marketing strategy that encourages them to come back from year to year.  

In today’s changing marketplace, children’s services franchises need every advantage to stay ahead. You can get a better sense of how to help by collecting feedback regularly and using that information in your decision-making process.  Here are some ways children’s programs can gather customer feedback to grow the franchise. 

How to Collect Customer Feedback 

A consistent customer feedback system will help you stay in touch with your franchises and assess their evolving needs. 

Surveys  

Surveys let you proactively collect feedback from franchises on a regular or ad hoc basis. There are several types of surveys, like Net Promoter Score surveys, that give you more specific information about the kind of success you want to measure. With surveys, you can ask specific questions regarding a franchise’s success, struggles, or other areas of needed support. Email allows you to send surveys to numerous people and franchises at one time, saving time, money, and energy.  

Social Media Monitoring  

One of the most potent sources of feedback that child services franchisors may forget about is social media. While social media can be used by the franchisor to broadcast the benefits of investing in a well-known brand, it can also be used to monitor what franchisees are saying about their success online. Companies may need to have a full-time social media manager or use monitoring software to monitor the feeds of several franchisees.  

Reviews and Ratings  

Support your franchisees by setting up a system to collect reviews and ratings. Franchise business reviews, as part of a consistent marketing strategy, can influence online brand reputation, leading to long-term, sustainable market growth.  

There are a number of ways to help your franchisees collect customer reviews. One common way is sending an electronic form or survey via email or social media. Another is to remind franchise customers to utilize sites like Google Reviews, Yelp, or the Facebook business page to talk about their experience.  

Customer Support Interactions and Chat  

Software tools can collect customer feedback during interactions with customer support agents and chatbots. This process can be automated, monitored, and analyzed over any given length of time. The responses can let you know the common questions customers are asking, their challenges, and help you identify ways to improve the customer experience. 

How to Analyze Customer Feedback 

In order to analyze customer feedback, a franchise has to go through several steps to categorize the feedback they are getting from customers.   

  1. Put all your data from all feedback sources in one place. This makes it easier to know what you have to work with. 
  2. Categorize your data. Start to notice if there are any patterns in themes or topics that start to come to the surface. 
  3. Divide each comment into positive, negative, and neutral sub-categories. This makes it easier to see what your customers are saying.  
  4. Find the root cause of successes and failures. Is there an employee that the customers seem to love and mention by name? Is there a particular place in the customer journey where service falls short? 
  5. Make a plan to address the successes and failures. 

Best Practices for Analyzing Customer Feedback 

Companies can support their children’s services franchises by identifying patterns and trends across the industry as well as within individual franchise businesses. There are several different types of surveys that can be used to collect information. One popular method is the Net Promoter Score (NPS),  a customer success metric used to measure customer loyalty and brand health as evidenced by revenue growth. Common questions include:  

  • What franchisee tools helped you the most in getting your business started? 
  • How likely are you to recommend others to join this franchise? 
  • What do you need to be a more successful franchise? 

Open-ended questions are often used to allow the respondent an opportunity to express their experience without being coerced into an answer.  

The NPS survey is a cost-effective communication feedback tool that can be distributed every three to six months to give the corporate office metrics on the performance of each franchise. Software platforms such as Listen360 can give an overall score on how franchisors are doing in the area of customer services. Are they creating champions from their customers? Are their customers largely apathetic? Or are there a large number of complaints? All of this information can be used to create an action plan at both the corporate and franchisee levels. 

While your customer feedback may vary among your franchises, there are some best practices for analyzing it.  

  • Invest in ongoing, consistent marketing to get consistent, actionable customer feedback data. 
  • Be consistent in collecting data across franchises for an up-to-date picture of the customer experience.  
  • Involve cross-functional teams in all decision-making to ensure that all voices are heard. 
  • Use a customer-focused approach that involves tactics like social listening tools can make it easier to analyze customer feedback.  

Get Started with Listen360 

Customer feedback can tell you a lot about your child care program franchises — if you have time to gather the information and look at the data. If your franchise business needs assistance in gathering feedback and analyzing the results to better serve its franchisees, then it’s time to utilize a customer engagement platform like Listen360.   

The tools within Listen360 can help your children’s services franchise business gather feedback and make changes in real-time. Start using hard data to help your franchise businesses make smarter marketing decisions.