Research by the Asia-Pacific Centre for Franchising Excellence shows fostering gratitude in the franchise relationship can lead to greater satisfaction rates among franchisees.
The centre surveyed 439 franchisees and the research, which is still to be published, found franchisees rate gratitude up there with trust and commitment as being important factors in franchising relationships .
Scott Weaven, deputy director of the Asia-Pacific Centre for Franchising Excellence, told SmartCompany gratitude had been looked at in consumer settings before but not in a business to business setting and not in regards to franchising.
“We found franchisors that engage in extra contractual activities actually engendered a lot of gratitude from franchisees and it made the system more functional,” he says.
“It is not just satisfying franchisees, it is about going above and beyond the normal role-based behaviours.”
Weaven recommends practical ways to do this as routinely surveying franchisees, seeking franchisee input on new initiatives in the business and holding meetings with franchisees above and beyond those stipulated in the franchise contract.
He also suggests creating online suggestion boxes to post innovative ideas, suggestions, requests and comments and offering business coaching to franchisees.
“When franchisees express that gratefulness and gratitude for the tools and support, it does elevate the mood in the whole operation,” Weaven says.
Weaven says a feeling of gratitude also relates to the profitability of a franchise.
“We have found gratitude has a positive impact on commitment, trust and satisfaction,” he says.
“Once you have a system that is functioning well and people are happy you are obviously going to have more commitment to the brand and people more likely to do the right thing.”