Drive New Business with Texting Strategies for Franchises

Man texting while holding to-go coffee cup

Texting is the fastest and most convenient way for franchises to connect with their customers. The same holds true for franchisors who wish to connect with their franchisees. More than 2,500 franchise organizations already use Zipwhip’s Texting for Business. Learn more.

We know a lot about the franchise ecosystem, and we’ve put together some easy-to-implement texting strategies for franchises and franchisors to help you get started. These strategies will help to drive new business, streamline daily workflow, improve customer satisfaction and increase engagement.

Expand your franchise business with these texting strategies

Texting plays an important role in the success of your franchise’s communication strategy. When it comes to connecting with customers, phone calls and emails have lost their effectiveness. In our 2021 State of Texting report, 58% of consumers said texting is the fastest way for a business to reach them. Your customers want to hear from you. Drive new business and expand your franchise by marketing your goods and services to consumers using texting.

Franchise organizations can benefit from using SMS in these areas of their business:

  • driving new business
  • customer service
  • internal communication
  • marketing and promotion
  • generating online reviews

Common use cases where texting strategies for franchises play a role include scheduling appointments, signing up new members and reducing appointment no-shows by sending reminder texts. Running marketing promotions and answering frequently asked questions through keyword-triggered Auto Replies are others. Let’s look at each of these use cases in more detail, starting with driving new business.

1. Driving new business
From lead generation to sales to customer service (keeping new customers happy is important, too), texting is the fastest and most convenient communication tool available. SMS marketing helps spread the word with your subscriber list so they know what your business offers and will be the first to hear about any specials you’re running. Generating leads with SMS gets easier because consumers searching for your services who visit your website would rather text you than email or call. If they text after hours or when your staff is busy, auto-reply texts can let those leads know you received their message and will follow up as soon as possible.

2. Customer service
Franchises use SMS for customer service and support by responding to questions, reminding customers about appointments, and alerting them about changes to class schedules or other services. Texting offers customers faster response times, which they prefer. Our State of Texting survey found that a majority of customers prefer to communicate by text for customer service and support issues as well as scheduling, sales/inquiries and marketing/promotions.

With SMS, employees can respond to inquiries and resolve issues faster than by phone or email. With features such as Auto Reply and Keywords, support teams can set up pre-written responses to instantly answer FAQs. Texting ensures customers always get a response, even when you’re closed.

Customer service survey chart

3. Internal communication
New franchisees have a good amount of support to get up and running but adding texting as a way to check in quickly with their franchisor may be beneficial for urgent questions. Enabling two-way business communication between franchisees and franchisors ensures the successful and coordinated launch of a new location.

Texting also helps franchise employees stay connected. Texts make it easy to communicate with staff members quickly and notify them about schedule changes or to find out who’s available for additional shifts. Does your franchise employ essential workers? Scheduling for essential employees during the pandemic is more important than ever. Don’t let important notifications or announcements sit unread in employees’ email inboxes. And with SMS tools like Scheduled Messages and Group Messages, it’s easier than ever to reach your entire staff at one time. Learn more about how texting assists with internal communications.

4. Marketing and promotion
Some franchisors may need to encourage newer franchisees to market themselves. Customers want to connect with the franchises they visit often. Texting lets a franchisee start the conversation. Rest assured, a texting strategy for franchises doesn’t have to be complicated. You can launch SMS marketing campaigns, promote sales, run contests and more.

Using text marketing to increase business to your franchise location, whether it’s an insurance agency or fitness studio, can be both fun and easy. Customers expect texts to be concise, informative and helpful, so make sure your message hits all those marks. You can even use emojis, just be sure to use them sparingly and ensure the images you choose make sense to your audience. Find out how business texting can boost your marketing and promotional efforts.

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5. Generating online reviews
You may wonder how generating online reviews is considered a franchise texting strategy. While the customer reviews aren’t sent by text, a franchise organization or an individual franchise location can easily request customer reviews by sending a text and including a link to a review site.

Read our tips on how to get more Google reviews.

Hearing about other customers’ experiences has a powerful effect on the decision-making process. The easiest way is to create a Template that can be sent to customers so they can share their positive experiences. By including a link to the review website in your text, the customer doesn’t have to leave the texting app on their phone which makes them more likely to follow through with your request.

The more reviews a franchise has the greater the impact. Consumers give more weight to businesses that have more reviews, so this franchise texting strategy is worth the time and effort. Think about the last time you shopped on Amazon and compared products. You probably gave greater consideration to the products that had more customer reviews. It’s human nature to put more trust in a brand that has customer feedback.

BONUS CONTENT: Listen to Tim Johnson, Head of Franchise Development at Zipwhip, talk about how franchises use texting for growth and brand consistency.

Tim Johnson quote

The powerhouse features that help franchises succeed

Business texting software and API solutions offer a lot of tools to help franchise owners engage with prospects and existing customers. But the three features below are powerhouses for franchise models. They should be in your business tool kit when implementing a text strategy for your franchise.

Group messaging – Speed up and simplify your franchise location’s daily workflow by messaging large groups of franchise customers as well as internal franchisees. Create groups of contacts and select the groups you want to target to use this mass texting feature.

Campaign keywords Franchises that use Keywords to market free trials or classes have found success by making it easy for customers and potential customers to get information or sign up for promotional offerings. Keywords are also successful in getting a high ROI from Zipwhip. Our reporting tools show how often a Keyword is used so the franchise owner can directly see the benefit of implementing Keyword campaigns.

Customized templates Templates save time, but they also ensure at a corporate level that franchisees are sticking to the messaging and brand voice the franchisor has worked hard to cultivate. Templates can include Dynamic Fields, so recipients receive a personalized message specific to their situation. They can also be edited if any details need to be changed or more information needs to be added.

Here are a few template examples for a fitness center franchise.

Text template examples

How franchises can use texting during COVID-19

Closing your doors temporarily or intermittently doesn’t have to mean closing your business. Business texting is especially useful when communicating with franchise customers and employees about changes to policies and procedures in response to the coronavirus. Whether it’s sharing details about social distancing requirements or informing customers that in-person classes have been cancelled or moved online, texting is the fastest and most direct way to reach customers.

Having a plan to deal with unexpected events, like a global pandemic, is one of the benefits of having a texting strategy whether you’re a franchisee or franchisor. Information can be shared across franchises as well as your individual location. With SMS, you can be confident that the messages will be seen and read.

For more, learn how franchisees can use texting to run their business in the safest way possible.

Why choose Zipwhip business texting for your franchise?

Our enterprise-grade SMS platform has flexible features and was built with franchises in mind. Maintain consistent brand messaging by leveraging personalized SMS templates across multiple locations and deliver detailed tracking and reporting to optimize marketing campaigns and customer engagement.

Zipwhip text enables your existing landline, VoIP or toll-free business phone number so you can offer the option to “text or call.” One branded phone number gives your customers the convenient option to call or text the same number, just like they do with friends and family.

Use Zipwhip to increase revenue and improve customer satisfaction by quickly connecting prospects with offers and trials and generating new leads with SMS Keywords. Our platform makes it easy to automate responses to common questions, such as hours of operation. You can even request customer reviews through text. Visit our texting for franchises resource page for more information.

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