How can franchises differentiate themselves and strengthen their offer?
Mobile technology offers a direct link between you and your customers, coupled with unparalleled immediacy. A new breed of ‘gappt-powered’ apps allows franchises to leverage this like never before, by having an overall ‘mother app’ through which customers can access stand-alone apps for individual branches, all branded uniformly, yet with their own publishing and communication channels and CMS.
Think an app is just a gimmick or a luxury? Think again. All apps built on gappt’s cloud-based platform are powerful, dynamic and effective marketing tools with a fast, proven return on investment. They enable businesses to put key information, that can be actioned immediately, right into their customers’ hands.
You don’t need to imagine what this could do for a business – simply look at how our award-winning clients are reaping the rewards. Taylor Taylor London is getting more people through the door by letting customers request bookings through the app wherever they are without the complexities of online booking systems.
It is also attracting new customers through its app’s social media recommendation feature, and all-important feedback through the testimonials feature.
“Our brand should be as accessible as possible and gappt helps us do that and it works a treat” Cameron Amos, Taylor Taylor London
How this benefits franchise owners
The branch or branches you are managing could have their own app, acting as a convenient communication and information hub for your customers to get in touch and access information about you, Ultimately, it’s about making life easier: does someone cancel an appointment at the last minute? Publish it as being available on the app and others can snap it up. Want to make it easy for customers to find you? A GPS locator is built in as standard. Want to ask for feedback? Publish a quick survey for customers to fill out. Want to up-sell treatments? Add photos and videos to your treatment pages.
And as texting overtook phoning two years ago, quick messaging provides customers with the most convenient way to get in touch. Real-time notifications keep you informed as and when interactions occur, without the need for IT integration (although this can be offered) or the installation of hardware. Simply open an account – the app will already be fully branded.
How this benefits franchisors
Now you can offer control on an individual branch level while at the same time safe-guarding your brand. Through the franchise ‘mother app’, customers can select their preferred branch, accessing the local branch app without leaving the mother app. Other features could include info on national marketing campaigns, nation-wide promotions, the latest news, competitions, social media recommendation and customer feedback options.
The beauty of this solution is that it allows for information and communication to be tailored on both national and local levels at the same time.
Perhaps one branch offers treatments another doesn’t, perhaps there is a local competition or special offer that doesn’t apply to the franchise as a whole – franchise owners have the freedom to manage their franchise independently while the overall look and feel of the brand remains consistent and recognisable – ideal for the franchise model. Local branches can join the eco-system and have their own app up and running in a matter of minutes, being able to customise the app’s content and structure 24/7 (if required, the franchisor can choose to have certain elements of the app ‘locked down’ so individual franchise owners cannot change these).
Cloud control for your eco-system – at your own pace
gappt-powered apps are built on a cloud-based platform which continually evolves, offering new and improved functionality on a regular basis and the advantage of multiple touch-points. Imagine your app having a dedicated space on people’s mobiles, as well as being accessible on the web, on Facebook and from the App Store. Imagine the interactions and business that exposure could generate. While the branch apps function as stand-alone apps, they are always connected to the mother app, allowing users to seamlessly navigate from one app to another. As they are fully customisable 24/7, the apps can evolve with your business at your own pace, perhaps starting by offering a number of key features before extending the functionality.
Franchise training tool
The platform is so flexible that franchisors can even opt to use it specifically for training purposes; a non-customer facing app that acts as an additional distribution channel to get ‘the package out there’. A franchise management app could include marketing and management guides, support contact options and guidelines on how to join as a franchise owner.
In a mobile world where customer behaviour has changed drastically, it is critical, not only to stay relevant, but to take advantage of these new behaviours. An active app eco-system that allows for information to be instantly updated, propagated and actioned is the perfect tool for effective franchise marketing.
Are you a franchise owner or franchisor and want to know more or see a live demo?
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