Franchises are not exempt from changes in the world. As industries, careers and technology changes, franchises must also adapt. As smartphones and tablets become the norm, franchise owners are facing challenges as they attempt to keep up with their customers. Franchisees that allow their business to fall behind the times can risk losing both new and current customers. On the other hand, franchisees that change as technology does are able to stay ahead of the curve continually bringing in new customers and creating loyal returning customers as well.
But how is technology directly affecting franchises? Well the simple answer is that technology is changing customers, which is making franchises change the way they do business. For example, when a customer wants to find a business the first place they are likely to check is the Internet. They expect a fully responsive and comprehensive website along with location information as well as times of operation. Customers are looking for the information they need to make an educated decision, if a franchise website doesn’t provide it, that company is at a major disadvantage.
Technology has influenced franchises to become more accessible to their customers
However, if the franchise website does include all the necessary information, it can become an educational resource for new and current customers. Today’s customers are more educated than ever before. In fact, when a customer reaches out to a company through calling or emailing, they have already made 60% of their purchase decision. They have read about the product or service, they have compared competing companies and they have likely compared pricing. Technology has made customers much more educated, forcing franchises to put more time and effort into their digital efforts.
Direct emailing and instant chat features for example are being used by franchises to stay connected with customers and provide excellent customer service. All of these are important efforts by franchises because as technology progresses, customers seem to have less and less patience. In a world where information is readily available through Google, customers don’t want to wait. Franchises that make them wait for information; a response to an inquiry or any other type of interaction can easily lose the sale to another company that’s ready and waiting to serve.
A perfect example of this is the load time of a website. If a customer clicks on a link to a website through a search engine or even types the domain name into their search bar, they have high expectations. They typically expect the website to appear instantaneously. While this doesn’t always happen, they will only wait a few seconds before they move on to a different website. Technology overall affects many facets of a franchise. Keeping up with technology can help your franchise location stay relevant and stay successful. If you are looking into investing in a franchise, it’s crucial to know how technology will affect your industry. Knowing this and including technology into your franchise plans allows you to use it to your advantage and reap the benefits.
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