COMPLAINT HANDLING SYSTEMS
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.
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
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.
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
- Honest –
even a candid admission that a problem can’t be solved can satisfy
- Most of all
– consistently applied.
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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