Recruiting the right franchisee is where the winning formula begins, says PACK & SEND chief executive Mike Ryan
When it comes to logistics, franchises have access to most of the same carriers with the same routes via air, roads, sea and trains. Any technological innovation which makes a difference to the industry will quickly be adopted by leading logistic specialists. Despite many exciting technological advancements such as drone delivery, a recent CGS survey found that 50 per cent of consumers believed that chatbots and virtual assistants make it harder to get issues resolved - highlighting the continued need for expert staff to achieve excellent customer service in both B2B and consumer businesses.
From his experience in the sector PACK & SEND chief executive, Mike Ryan, believes the skills of the people in your company are what truly differentiate your franchise. Here he shares his tips on how your people can make your franchise stand out for all the right reasons.
Recruiting the right franchisee is where the winning formula begins. When evaluating a prospective franchisee, you must make sure that they fit into the culture you have built. To do this you must look at the person behind the paper. Yes, it is important to have highly skilled applicants, but if they do not match your brand’s vision, the value of their skill is lost. Utilising your stars of today to help spot the stars of tomorrow is also a powerful way of selecting the right franchisees. Look at the traits of your high-performing franchisees and use their qualities to build a framework for success. By building this bespoke framework you can then evaluate your applicants specifically to the needs of your franchise.
Empathy makes a difference
I think it’s so important to always have someone available to talk to on the other end of the phone in a customer-service focused industry such as logistics. This human element is as vital to our franchise as it is in any service industry. A high level of emotional intelligence helps to navigate the complex packing and shipping projects that our clients need solutions for. Imagine the delicate nature of organising probate shipments, items of personal importance or helping families and their well-loved possessions move to a new location. It’s also very important to be able to cater specifically for the high-value items that we handle at PACK & SEND - one-of-a-kind statues, art, china and chandeliers - we’ve sent it all! We promise that we can deliver anything anywhere and the people in our network are a huge part of fulfilling this promise.
Having local service centres that are run by local franchisees is also a powerful example of how people make a difference in logistics businesses. As a package can travel globally, it’s so important to have a local contact that customers can communicate with to check on the status of their important delivery. The consistency of having the same handlers throughout the process ensures a customer’s needs are understood throughout. If an item is sent from Reading, people want a local point of contact throughout to make sure the delivery is handled correctly. At PACK & SEND, customers have an expert member of staff to manage the tracking of a shipment, so the customer doesn’t have to. And if the unthinkable happens, we can also detect and fix problems should they arise.
Experience delivers success
Despite the technological advancements that have occurred in logistics - the IT infrastructure obviously allows us to share information quickly and efficiently - it’s the experience of expert handlers that makes a business stand out. The knowledge base you build by retaining highly trained staff cannot be replaced by a computer. Having years of experience in your network, which you can draw upon every day, makes a palpable difference. When it comes to complex logistics, you need a real person to identify potential issues and ensure everything runs smoothly. This knowledge is passed on when training new recruits, and a winning team culture increases the retention of your loyal staff. For us this allows us to understand and navigate the nuanced rules and regulations of logistics. By using our expertise and knowledge we process your deliveries on time and avoid delays.
The customer’s point of view
London-based artist Stephanie Ho says that it’s the people who put her mind at ease when shipping items through PACK & SEND: “Great communication, flexibility and reliability from a shipping company are key to my work. The staff in my local PACK & SEND service centre in Harrow are friendly and professional - always quick to respond which is crucial for me to secure a sale. The team will try their best to accommodate my needs so I can meet my clients’ specific requirements. Their knowledge of international shipping regulations such as customs and duties also help to put my mind at ease.