Ensuring multi-location businesses perform at their best

Dr. Cheryl Flink, chief strategy officer, Market Force Information

Multi-location businesses such as restaurants, retail stores and banks are challenged with delivering on their brand promise across hundreds or even thousands of locations. Dr Cheryl Flink, chief strategy officer at Market Force Information, outlines a three-step process for ensuring each and every location excels.

The ultimate goal for the brand, as well as every location, is to delight customers so consumers return and refer and the business grows revenue and profits.

The first step is deciding what to measure. Dr Flink advises brands to measure operational excellence with tools like mystery shopping or audits, as well as measuring what customers think of their experiences through customer satisfaction surveys.

After gathering the data, the second step is figuring out what insights the data gives you. Here you need analytics to look at what matters most to customers and where operational performance can be improved, and then tie the results to financial measurements like same-store comparable sales. Predictive analytics can tell an operator or franchisee what ROI to expect by changing operations to help prioritise improvements.

Finally, Dr Flink points out that many brands stumble because they don’t act on the data. Requiring that every location creates an action plan and is held responsible for meeting its goals is the only way the brand itself will see positive change.

• Multi-location brands need to measure both operational excellence and

customer satisfaction to understand how their locations perform. Multiple lenses are important to understanding whether every location represents the brand’s standards and delights customers.

• Collecting the data is not enough. Brands need to invest in predictive analytics to understand what matters most to financial growth.

• Brands need to ACT on the data. Too many brands simply collect data and don’t take action—and that is simply a waste of time and money.

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