Every retail franchisor has a mechanism for learning about and resolving customer complaints, but few have good systems for handling complaints from their own franchisees. Good marketing and operations departments have sophisticated systems for learning about customer complaints and retail franchisees are never far behind responding to the concerns of the few customers who have a bad experience. Let us help you become just as responsive to the complaints of your franchisees.

Listen and Respond
As a franchisor, you have to be just as vigilant and systematic about listening to the complaints of your franchisees. This will enable you to deal with problems while they are still small enough to be resolved peacefully.

Franchisors can open the lines of communication with an intranet “suggestion box” or a franchisee council. Mechanisms for regular communication with franchisees about their complaints on an individual and system wide basis make dealers feel empowered to discuss issues productively. Refusing to address their concerns just allows them to fester and later erupt into bigger problems.

Complaint Handling Tools
Whether the system is simply diligent use of electronic communication, or a regular column in a newsletter, franchisee disputes can be avoided by franchisors who work towards that goal consistently and regularly. The complaint handling systems that work best are:

  • Publicized regularly
  • Fair to the complaining franchisee
  • Responsive
  • Honest – even a candid admission that a problem can’t be solved can satisfy a franchisee
  • Most of all – consistently applied.

Get the Right System
Complaint handling systems only work if they are carefully designed and diligently implemented. Working with professionals that understand where franchisee disputes can end up if not defused early can save you the great financial and human resources that are consumed when small complaints become lawsuits.

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