Scott Greenberg, franchisee expert, author, and speaker talks with Jenifer Kern, CMO at Qu and host of the Restaurants Reinvented podcast about his new book, The Wealthy Franchisee: Game-Changing Steps to Becoming a Thriving Franchisee Superstar.
Scott provides insights into the challenges franchisees face and what those mean for marketers. His perspective will help you get inside the mind and psyche of franchisees – what motivates them, how they view marketing, and what they expect from their franchisors and corporate marketing teams.
He’s also passionate about customer experience and customer service as a critical marketing tool — and it shows. Scott examines the emotional aspect of the customer experience and the joint responsibility of marketers & franchisee’s to communicate effectively, persuade, and work together to improve the experience while maximizing ROI
What He Does: Franchise operations and marketing; franchise leadership development and coaching; public speaking.
Quotable: “I would say spend a lot of time, not just putting together great marketing campaigns, but explaining the data to franchisees so that we will be more patient and we’ll continue to make the investment.”
🌶️ A franchisor’s marketing must be grounded in transparency, effective communication, data-driven marketing strategies, and critical in-store customer service-based marketing programs.
“What corporate marketing teams need to understand is that you’re not just marketing to customers, you’re also marketing to franchisees. You’re basically marketing the marketing you want them to do. So, the communication just has to be there.”
🌶️ Persuasion is fundamental to business success.
“We want to be able to appeal to people’s heads/minds, which is the logos and ethos, and appeal to their heart (pathos). This is true of marketing, but it’s also true with the customer experience. So, I’m really big on that as a marketing tool as well.”
🌶️ A franchisee should expect that the scope of what a franchisor will do is limited to the franchising agreement.
“The franchisor is going to do a certain amount of marketing, but they’re not going to do everything, and they’re going to help you solve problems, but ultimately it’s on you, the franchisee, to succeed.”
Crunch the numbers & share marketing data with franchisees.
Getting a handle on data and communicating the data to other levels of the organization is difficult. “I think a lot of franchisors who are really good at marketing are not as good about communicating the calculus behind that to franchisees. We franchisees need the expertise of the marketing professionals to continuously crunch those numbers and give us that data, if they want us to continue to make the investment to market our businesses.”
Driving together towards better customer experiences
“I think the customer experience is just as important as getting the customers to show up in the first place. I would love to see more franchise systems combine the marketing with more of the customer service experience to have those things go together. Whether it’s the marketing people, or they’re communicating with operations, it’s whatever you can do to pull those things together, to make sure both are excellent. The idea is to get repeat customers. Marketing and branding bring the customers in the first place, the customer experience is what brings the customers back.”
Aristotle’s Rhetorical Triangle – how does it apply to restaurant marketing?
“Aristotle mentioned three things that we need to be in order to be as persuasive as possible: logos (logic), ethos (ethics/credibility), and pathos (emotions), tapping into the way people feel, such as: using words in the menu like ‘delicious’ and ‘scrumptious,’ which are meant to stir up our emotions.” Pathos is the most important and most overlooked.
Being Excellent in the “People Business”
“Every business says they’re in the people business. But no one knows what that actually means. And I think it’s this. I don’t care what you sell and especially if you’re a restaurant, I don’t care what is on your menu. You’re in the people business. And what that means is this, you exist to make people feel better. Your products and services are there to elevate people’s emotional state.”
What people really want, whether they realize it or not, is to feel better than they felt before [purchasing your food]. So our mission must be to elevate the emotional state of the customer …that doesn’t happen when your clerk looks at the next customer in line and says “next” …
Digital can be used to get more people excited
Scott discusses how digital transformation can really tap into the overall emotional state a customer associates with a brand. “You have to go beyond the function of digital and use digital in a way that still elevates people’s emotional state. That is what the customer experience should be about — making people feel better than they felt before they contacted us. The brand that makes people feel the best is the brand that wins.”
Customer service is a part of a franchise restaurant’s product too
“Employee reviews from Indeed show a direct correlation between employee satisfaction and the customer experience. Franchisees may be surviving but may be leaving money on the table. It just requires a little bit more attention to coaching your employees. If you make that investment in the beginning, it’s going to save you time and make so much more money in the back end. You’ve got to put time into it, and it will prove to be your best form of marketing.’
What is really happening in the customer service encounter?
“People think I’m going out for food, but beneath that, what I really want, whether I realize it or not, is I want to feel better than I felt before. So at every step of the way, we need to make sure that every experience we have makes people feel better. And you can just get by, I guess, facilitating transactions, but if you’re willing to go that emotional place, that human place, the place of pathos is your best form of marketing. That is what improves the customer experience, gets customers talking and gets customers coming back.”
The customer experience is suffering in the pandemic.
“Many franchisees are in survival mode. They wake up in the morning and think, “How can I maintain just enough sales so I can make payroll?” When you’re trying to survive, customer service is an easy corner to cut. Connecting with the customers and creating a beautiful experience for them is something that’s easily forgotten. And today there’s less interaction with customers. That means that whatever interaction is there, we want to make it great.
“As awesome as Zoom is, it turns out we were meant to interact in three dimensions, not two.”
“So much of marketing is done by customers who are just getting back in line. The lines themselves are a great form of marketing, because it’s showing the social proof that these places (businesses) are awesome.”