The TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® brand is passionately dedicated to the satisfaction of its customers. Many companies can make this claim, but somehow in the day-to-day running of the business, this focus becomes trumped by financial and employee concerns. As a franchisor, an additional layer exists between the brand and the customer at the level of our franchisee partners and their team members. But we continue to achieve a 96 percent or higher customer referral rating and 59 consecutive months of revenue growth. So, we assert to know a little something about the art of satisfaction! Here are three tips we can offer.
Tip #1: Walk the walk. Stop with the talk.
If you are just talking about customer satisfaction when there is a problem or when your results are positive, and you justify dismissing the subject, then assume your customers are not being satisfied to the level required. Also, just talking versus taking action serves no purpose. Customer satisfaction must be a part of any and every business discussion you have, from the numbers to your team.
At TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®, we have a basic rule for any change, project, or investment we undertake. We start by asking “What does this do for the customer?” Our franchisees are not our customers. They are our partners. So we listen to their experience in the field with move customers to shape what we do at Home Office. Sometimes change can be tough, and customer expectations are constantly evolving which drives further change. However, when we have all agreed to focus on the customer, this brand has accomplished amazing growth while maintaining high levels of customer satisfaction – not an easy feat.
Tip #2: Treat everyone like Grandma.
The Grandma Rule® is a fundamental Core Value for this company. Grandma Eb was part of the foundation-building of this business nearly three decades ago. The family ran the business from her farm in the beginning. She was equal parts feisty and loving, somebody you would treat with dignity and respect.
The Grandma Rule® is a simple rule, clear enough to teach and follow. From our CEO to franchisees to our movers, we learn it and practice it with fervor. This does not mean mistakes are not made, but we look to apply that same principle of dignity and respect when resolving both internal and external challenges. When you start to trade profit for Grandma, that’s when you will find your company in an unsustainable situation.
Tip #3: Together we create a culture of happy.
We have more than 300 locations as of June, now servicing customers across the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Ireland. There are over 200 franchisees acting as leaders of these locations on a day-to-day basis. At the peak of our season, there more than 7,500 employees servicing our customers. As partners, we need to make sure we understand each other, and this means having honest conversations about whether we are satisfied in the relationship.
As a brand, we have chosen to independently survey our franchisees through the Franchise Business Review. This year we ranked in the Top 50 for the ninth year in a row. Ninety-nine percent of our franchisees would recommend us as a business opportunity to others. They have a tough job of managing the teams who interact on the frontline with the customers. This is so important to the brand! In addition, we have created a culture where if you exceed customer expectations, you can go from a mover to a franchisee. Being the best you can be with the customer can move you forward to new opportunities.
Yes, there are some days where our team members in the system are not satisfied or struggle with change. In these moments, we work hard to have the tough conversations, and we remind ourselves at the corporate and franchise level we are not the most important people. Our customers are the most important people, and that is the point where true alignment is realized. The conversation then pivots and common ground is then leveraged. If we do more than right by them, then we will all be happier, healthier, and more satisfied from a success standpoint.
By focusing on the satisfaction of your customers first, you are building satisfaction for all team members of the company and the brand. Happy people produce more happy people, and no brand can really thrive without happy customers. It’s basic math not hard to calculate by adhering to the basic tenets.
For information on starting your own TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® franchise location and to access performance information which is available to prospective owners click here.