What Tech Trends Are You Seeing in Franchise Development at Smoothie King?
We asked Shawn Caric, Smoothie King’s VP of Franchise Development, “What tech trends are you seeing in franchise development, and how are you responding?” This is what he had to say.
Technology is helping push franchise development forward, and the landscape is ever-changing. Finding new ways to drive franchisees into the business is essential as we look to connect with the next generation of entrepreneurs. At Smoothie King, we are enthusiastic about staying on top of today’s technological trends and using them appropriately to drive operators into our system.
At the forefront of the technology conversation is artificial intelligence (AI). AI allows development teams to automate screening information and gather predictive data analytics, which can contribute to identifying qualified leads. However, it can be a slippery slope. You don’t want to become too reliant on technology and it’s important to balance AI with experienced leadership to present your brand as an innovative and lucrative business opportunity. Relationships and personalization are still everything in this business, so we’ll never lose sight of that. Smoothie King is actively working to incorporate this next-level technology into our operations without compromising on authenticity.
In addition to AI, it’s becoming more challenging to connect with candidates. Today’s younger generation is relying more on text messaging as their main form of communication, while ignoring incoming phone calls and voicemail messages. As a result, we’re finding new ways to achieve effective communication to build relationships with future Smoothie King operators. We’re currently utilizing text messaging and will be adding automated SMS text functionality into our processes, a feature of most CRM systems.
We also know that we must find ways to use social media effectively for franchise development. While traditionally seen as consumer-focused, it’s become a powerful tool for connecting with prospective franchisees. In addition to its reach, social media allows us to foster relationships and tailor our messaging through targeted advertising and engaging content.
This has made it easier for us—and other franchisors—to share key reasons to invest with a broader, but still targeted audience. Finally, social media gets people talking and allows franchise influencers to spread the word about business opportunities with those who listen to them. As franchisors, we can always talk about how great our brands are, but it’s even better when others share those messages. We use social platforms to enhance our recruiting strategies and strengthen our brand reputation.
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