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How to Assess Franchise Business Intelligence Software

Mar 31, 2022

How to Assess Franchise Business Intelligence Software

With a growing amount of feedback and behavioral data at their disposal, brands are investing more resources in customer experience management than ever. Unfortunately, even some of the world’s most tech-forward companies continue to struggle with siloed systems operating independently at the franchise level rather than informing action strategies across the enterprise. This is where software aimed at specifically analyzing business intelligence (BI) comes in to expose new trends from your data.

Actively working with franchisees to get buy-in on working with data trends has serious benefits. After all, data is helping to inform improvements for more and more brands while advancing technology is making data collection a more effective and invisible process. However, to promote active engagement from franchisees and expand results, you need both the right business intelligence software and a franchise-focused strategy for making use of information to drive success at the franchise level.

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3 key elements of a business intelligence program that delivers results

To help unify these cross-functional efforts, SMG provides a modern business intelligence software solution that marries multiple data sources and puts them into one easy-to-use platform. No matter the challenges you’re facing today, this blog breaks down 3 essentials to look for when deciding which of the available BI tools is right for you and your teams.

1. Flexible integrations for streamlined analysis

At minimum, a business intelligence solution should provide a unified view of all the customer data you’re collecting, so you can analyze, dissect, report, and socialize as needed without having to run dozens of queries. Whether it’s customer satisfaction metrics and other KPIs, transactional details passed through your POS system, or customer information housed in your CRM platform, it’s important to have all the data you need in one dashboard when tasked with running cross-channel analyses.

In addition to using real-time APIs to integrate multiple types of data sources, SMG’s business intelligence software puts the power of all the data collected across your brand at the disposal of those using it to drive strategies across the enterprise. Within the dashboard, users can:

  • Develop customer segmentation analyses based on demographics, touchpoints, + behaviors
  • Identify dropout points in the customer journey to reduce churn + highlight revenue-at-risk
  • Recognize new market trends in real time for more precise strategy-mapping

2. Easy-to-read visualizations for more holistic views

Great data doesn’t matter if no one knows how to act on it. Too often, when teams are tasked with tracking and acting upon large amounts of data across feedback sources, the tools used can be cumbersome, unintuitive, and clunky to navigate—which often means they don’t get used nearly often enough to justify the investment.

SMG’s solution customizes each BI tool instance according to each brand’s unique research goals, data integration requirements, and strategic objectives—featuring a wide variety of visualizations that bring the data to life in ways that empower teams rather than overwhelming them. Best of all, the initial development + ongoing maintenance of the platform is vendor-led—meaning your teams can spend less time worrying about back-end systems and devote more time where it adds the most value.

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3. Clearly defined paths to better business outcomes

As XM investments ramp up, so too does the scrutiny when it comes time to demonstrate ROI. It’s no longer enough to point to what the tools help you track—it’s about applying that knowledge and showing you can use it to predict and impact what happens next. By layering in operational, financial, or transactional datasets, brands easily connect the dots on how their datasets align with financial results.

Whether it’s identifying points of friction in the customer journey and making the necessary operational adjustments to reduce churn or using the cross-channel insights to inform future revenue projections with more accuracy, a modern BI tool that warrants investment needs to produce tangible results.

3 takeaways for applying BI insights with franchisees

With the right program, you can also benefit from engaging with franchisees and getting them invested in driving improved results through data sharing. Insights found through BI analysis can help communicate trends and insights for application at the franchise level and improve the location-level relationship with data by helping locations see where they excel or struggle.

Developing a strategy that addresses the specific need of franchisees and promotes buy-in is essential to creating a program that helps drive all locations forward without seeming punitive. Here are 3 best practices to expand the influence of your BI program to help improve customer satisfaction and be sure you can apply data-driven insights at every level.

1. Have an internal expert and champion

Actions speak louder than intentions, and a program is more likely to be taken seriously if it has resources attached to it. Effective sharing of BI information can have a significant impact on ROI, but only if there’s meaningful engagement. Taking a step like designating an internal franchisee liaison for your business intelligence software not only shows you’re committed to the effort, but also helps improve data application across franchisees by providing a human resource that can address questions and provide focused assistance.

2. Show a connection to financial outcomes

At the end of the day, your franchisees want to be financially successful. Research shows effective implementation of BI insights can have a significant impact on driving outcomes and growing more profits. BI deserves its own callout, and while having a program that produces benefits is great, if the results aren’t shared, it’s less likely that franchisees will be engaged.

Adopt and express the mentality that BI software is an engagement tool to drive decision-making and find actionable insights for improvement, not supervision of performance or performance ranking. Be sure to share insights and data with franchisees and communicate the business benefits and the positive impact of the program, even going so far as to make franchisee satisfaction one of your organization-wide key performance indicators.

3. Customize reporting tools

Igniting a passion for the customer experience is crucial, but it’s only half the battle. Engagement also depends on providing franchisees with what they see as worthwhile information to help managers and team members. For the sake of respecting everyone’s time, develop and share reports and real-time reporting dashboards that apply specifically at the franchise or franchise group level—usually to match the broader CX program—that are also simple, intuitive, and custom-designed so stakeholders get the information they need to act quickly and effectively.

Having a system to share and talk about BI insights can also allow for benchmarking individual locations against performance across an organization, providing an ongoing framework for continuous improvement and the opportunity to look for opportunities to share effective strategies between franchisees.

Get the most from your XM investments

Business intelligence software enable brands bring together all of their datasets and put them in one centralized hub—allowing CX professionals, business analysts, corporate stakeholders, and franchisees to see the information they need side-by-side.

To see how SMG’s business intelligence tool can help streamline your approach to cross-channel experience management, reach out to your SMG team or download our Business Intelligence one-pager.