Though franchises have the advantage of being part of a larger organization and brand, many still operate like small businesses. That means maintaining good communications with their team to make sure various shifts and responsibilities are covered, and being available and accessible to customers for inquiries about appointments, services, pricing and events.
The modern and cost-effective way to meet both those objectives is a cloud-based unified communications solution that lets all franchise team members call or text from a single number, wherever they are, simply by logging into an app.
What does a cloud business phone app do for franchises? Here are five use cases representing various services and industries:
Use Case #1: Dispatch Technicians Who are Out in the Field
Perhaps your franchise offers a service delivered to customers’ homes, such as home cleaning, plumbing, appliance repair, health care or mobile pet care. A cloud business phone app can let you dispatch workers on the go, from wherever you (and they) are. Simply log into the app and text or call the technician with the necessary information.
You can also ask the technician to text the customer when he or she is on the way, so the customer knows when to expect arrival.
If an employee calls in sick, you can send out an internal group text asking for a sub. The sick employee can also pursue a replacement directly, taking you out of the middle.
Finally, both dispatch teams and technicians can exchange invoices, images and other files with each other via internal group chats with SMS/MMS, or jump on a quick group call if needed.
Use Case #2: Text with Clients to Clarify an Order, Make Appointments or Share Ideas
Customers want to text with their favorite businesses. According to a recent survey, nine in 10 consumers said they’d prefer to have the option of texting or calling, rather than voice communications alone. And why not? Texting is quick and convenient, and flexible enough to let the other person respond when he or she is able.
Franchises may want to text with a client to:
Set up, confirm or reschedule an appointment
Discuss details of a job
Share ideas or samples
Give updates like timing for arrival, delivery, etc.
Some solutions offer appointment reminders alone, but most franchises need more flexibility to correspond with their clients whenever the need arises. A cloud business phone app with Business Texting capabilities does the trick.
Use Case #3: Text Invoices After the Job is Complete
A cloud business phone app that includes Business Texting features lets you send invoices to clients they will notice immediately. And it’s easy for them to pay via mobile if you embed a link that takes them to payment options. You can even attach photos or videos of the completed job with the invoice, so the client sees firsthand the work you completed. (Bonus: The customer can download and share those photos if he or she wants to post a recommendation on ratings platforms like Yelp or Google.)
Use Case #4: Use SMS Broadcasts for Communications and Marketing
Sometimes, franchises want to send out a large number of texts at once. For instance, perhaps you’re a music store having a big sale, a talent showcase or an open mic night. You can get the word out to your entire customer or student base with only one text.
Or you’re a tutoring center for children and you need to alert parents that you’re closing early due to inclement weather. A text is the fastest, most effective way to grab their attention.
Another example: You’re a retail store getting ready to have your biggest sale of the year. How can you get above the noise level with your marketing message and also track engagement? Send everyone on your list a special coupon they can use to get an additional discount. You can track redemption rates to determine whether your marketing strategy is working.
With SMS broadcasts, the possibilities for communications and marketing are endless.
Use Case #5: Share a Number with your Teammates to Serve Clients Better
Franchise owners and employees often have to tag-team on customer-related matters, whether to cover for someone on his or her day off or to pass off a project to the person most able to help. Business phone apps make this seamless by letting everyone review previous messages to and from a client on the app. Whoever is communicating with the client can review these communications to get up to date on the project or issue at hand.
How to Get Started
Cloud business phone apps with Business Texting are easy to implement. You can:
Sign up for a plan and start using the app with the phone number that is provided to you by the provider. Or,
Port your current business phone number over to the app provider, upload your contact lists and start using the app immediately.
If you want to start using Business Texting but can’t give up your landline at the moment, no problem. Look for a provider that can layer texting on top of your existing landline voice service to allow you to text from that number through the app without converting completely to cloud voice.
Cloudli addresses all these use cases and more with its TalkNText business phone product. Plans start as low as $30 per month for two users, after a free trial. Get started today!