HOW FRANCHISORS CAN BUILD A BUSINESS ON EMPATHY: Increase your brand's growth by incorporating empathetic people in your business.

Author:Kurucz, Zoltan
 
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Core values and a clear mission help guide every franchise system in its growth. Empathy, the ability to understand and share the feelings of another, may be one of the most important foundations and core values a business can be built on. It allows a franchisor to help get in the minds of its franchisees and customers, ultimately allowing the franchise to blossom.

There are many benefits to running a business while focusing on empathy. One is strong employee retention numbers. Employees like to work at a place where they feel valued and where they know their managers and colleagues care about and understand their feelings. Higher caliber franchise prospects can also be expected when this factor is brought into the franchise sales cycle.

Whether you're just getting started in building your franchise or you're an industry veteran with decades of experience, here are tips on how you can incorporate empathy into every level of your franchise:

  1. Hire with empathy in mind.

    When hiring, it is best to have set character traits that you are looking for. If you want to run an empathetic business, you must hire empathetic people. When interviewing a potential employee, ask direct questions about how they have handled situations with colleagues, managers and customers in the past. When doing reference checks, inquire about the empathy levels of the prospect. When you begin to grow, have a hiring manual in place with the best questions to ask so every department and every manager can successfuly hire with empathy in mind. That person might not have all of the technical skills for the position, but remember that those can be taught. You cannot teach people to show interest in others or respect the people around them--those traits have to be engrained in them already.

    Pull your current employees into the hiring process as a way to empower them. This demonstrates empathy by showing you respect that those current employees will be spending day-in and day-out with your new hires. Have them meet with new hires and provide feedback.

  2. Give your customers all the information up front.

    This is important for restoration franchises, or any franchise that deals with customers in a time of panic. However, every customer--from a retail franchise to a QSR--feels best about an interaction when they are provided every ounce of information. Customers never want to be left in the dark.

    Some things United Water Restoration Group has done to ensure we are always thinking...

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