FCXC 2024: The Highlight Reel

Collage of photos of Bright Pink team at the FCXC Convention

The Franchise Customer Experience Conference (FCXC) is my favorite franchise conference, mainly because I get to see most of my favorite people in franchising. The learning sessions did not disappoint either – were packed with insights, aha moments, and some seriously smart case studies and real life examples. Here’s a glimpse into what I have learned and how you can apply these nuggets of wisdom to elevate your franchise brand – or your non-franchise business, nonetheless. I have learned that the insights I gather in franchising almost always apply to agencies like mine and other awesome businesses.

1. The Unbreakable Customer Promise 🔒

First up, a question that resonated with everyone: What’s a customer promise you can’t afford to break? It’s not just about meeting expectations; it’s about exceeding them every single time. From quick response times to personalized service, breaking your promise is not an option.

2. Data: The Game Changer 🎯

How are you using data to make a difference in your business? This isn’t just about collecting data; it’s about marketing, IT, and operations coming together to act on it. Michael Walsh, CEO of Tomorrow, posed a challenge: What unique data do you have that can be turned into a competitive advantage? The message was clear — data is only as powerful as the actions it inspires.

3. The Critical Role of Websites 🌐

In the consideration phase of a customer journey, your website is paramount. It’s often the first touchpoint where potential customers decide if you’re worth their time. Ensure it’s not just visually appealing but also packed with useful information that guides them seamlessly to the next phase.

4. Brand Awareness and Remarketing 🔁

Educating consumers about your brand is crucial, especially when they don’t realize they need your product or service. Remarketing should be laser-focused on the next step in the customer journey. For instance, if your website addresses a pain point, your remarketing campaign should emphasize solving that pain point. This drives further consideration and engagement.

5. The Answer Audit ☎️

Here’s a startling stat: businesses answer only 70% of their calls. Speed-to-answer is crucial! According to Thumbtack, response rates drop dramatically after just 30 minutes. Conduct an Answer Audit by calling franchisees multiple times over a few days to ensure they’re responsive. This is a simple yet effective way to boost both lead count and customer satisfaction.

6. The Power of Dashboards 📊

Your dashboard should be a beacon of clarity, showing three key performance indicators (KPIs) for marketing, operations, and finance. Use a red-yellow-green rating system to keep it simple and actionable. Owning your dashboard is critical — don’t just rely on vendor solutions. Build a custom dashboard tailored to your specific needs, mining your own data for insights. A leaderboard can inject a healthy dose of competition among franchisees, motivating them to excel.

7. Embrace AI and Uncertainty 🤖

AI isn’t just a buzzword; it’s a tool for processing data and making recommendations. However, data alone isn’t enough — we need more action-oriented people. Hire the smartest, laziest people— they’ll find the most efficient ways to leverage data and AI. Ask your youngest team members for insights!

8. The Power of CX 🌟

Customer experience (CX) is the sum of all touchpoints, requiring a clear mission, vision, and values. It starts with franchise development and ends at the local level. Simplify processes, provide clear guardrails, and let champions within your network drive the vision home.

9. Culture and Communication 🗣️

Culture starts on discovery day. Clear communication is key — being clear is kind, being unclear is unkind. Clearly define how things should be done to ensure everyone is on the same page. It’s about winning the customer, not the argument. And “customers” come in several shapes: they can be your staff, your franchisees, or the local-level consumers.

The Final Word 🏁

You’re only as good as your last interaction. Remember, the first and last interactions are the most important. Cultivate a strong culture starting from your home office team to franchisees and, ultimately, the consumer.

I don’t know about you, but I’m ready to take these insights and turn them into actions that will make a real difference! 🚀

Madalina Iordache, CFE

By Madalina Iordache, CFE

Madalina Iordache, CFE is the President & CEO of Bright Pink Agency, a purpose-driven, award-winning franchise web design agency. A franchise marketing expert with more than 10 years of experience, Madalina is an engaged member of the International Franchise Association, an Advisory Board member and a guest lecturer on franchise marketing for the Titus Center for Franchising at the Palm Beach Atlantic University, and a known leader in the South Florida business community.