Is Your Tech Stack Helping or Hurting the CX?

so for those in the audience who don't know who Casey is which I don't know how that's possible but things happen Casey is a seasoned marketer with over 15 years of experience having worked in Global Marketing roles for Brands like Solo Cup maybe you've heard the song by you know Red Solo Cup um Virgin Mobile and Great Clips Casey brings a wealth of expertise in both business to business and business to consumer marketing strategies Casey take it away I'll be your man in the chair and hit the button for you wonderful thank you so much Matthew for the introduction and hello everybody uh looking forward to this it's going to be a great one where we're bringing marketing and Technology together an ever increasing uh partnership between the two departments so let's kick off with our uh two esteemed guests the first one is Eric Johnston from Empower Brands Eric if you want to give a quick uh overview background of yourself yeah thanks Casey so I'm the franchise Technology Solutions manager here at power Brands um we are a franchise or with 10 different brands eight of those are home services Concepts the other two are B2B my team is responsible for basically um helping those new investors with everything from the time they licens their territory to the time they divest their business so anything that's technology related my team's here to support them along the way wonderful thanks so much Eric and then Matthew go to the next slide here uh the next one I love this one this guy's a rockstar a little literally a rockstar it looks like uh John Keane from service minder thanks for joining us John if you want to give a overview of your background and then uh what kind of guitar you play there uh that happens to be a Paul Reed Smith swamp as special 25th edition but uh uh I'm not I'm only a rockstar if you qualify being able to cover my B tab so luckily I spend more of my time on the on the software side um yes service minder is a platform for managing operating Home Services Brands um and so that's kind of the the whole you know from the lead coming in until the royalties get paid in the in the back end right we kind of facilitate that whole process allow Brands to manage and uh instrument and report on all of that data as well as enforcing consistency and then a big part of what we do obviously is is help uh our franchisees and the brands also uh support you know their client experience needs um for their clients so that's kind we do we've been at it since uh 2012 so we almost got it figured out wonderful thank you so much uh so let's take a look at the agenda here again you know this ever increasing partnership between the marketing CMO role uh and the CTO role uh continues to grow and grow um in brands that are able to leverage that partnership are the brands that are succeeding and are going to succeed in the future so we have a great agenda here uh around managing and and building out that customer experience uh that Journey for your customer uh and how Tech stack uh can impact or more importantly how it can hurt that experience so here are the five topics that we'll dive into uh I won't read over them here we'll dive into them uh in depth here so let's kick it off and we'll kick it off with Eric since I introduced you first Eric uh this first topic is talking about um how we can identify whether or not our Brand's customer exper customer experience is succeeding or if there are enhancements that we need to be making so you know what do you look at uh in in your organization around whether or not that customer experience is a positive experience for your your customers and Prospects um or more importantly how do you know that there needs to be changes or enhancements so all go back to the last session I Know Dan had brought up um the importance of working with your franchisees making sure that there's a revolving door communication back and forth A lot of times those guys are going to raise the red flags when something's wrong or they're going to tell you when something's going really well so just stay in communication with the franchises when you're making those decisions um from a day-to-day we track some kpis for all the brands here um the big ones for us are speed to lead so how quickly are we getting to our new leads lead to appointment ratios so of those leads who are we qualifying and actually booking appointments with appointment to sale so once we get on site how are we doing to close sales and then we start looking at things like customer retention lifetime value um client turn rates so if they're cancelling service with us why are they going to another provider why and then for some of our more like Project based bands brands that are not so service-based we dig more into the customer journey and the sales funnel just to kind of determine um what's going well where things might be bo down in the process and where the opportunities to improve are Eric with you know you have a portfolio of Brands um and I'm assuming that you know your franchisee base is is pretty pretty wide from new startup maybe smaller from a revenue perspective to you know the opposite where they're mature um larger Revenue larger teams how do you manage you know when you're either inter producing a new technology or a new platform or you know you're looking at upgrades how do you manage sort of uh accommodating that breadth of experience we'll call it uh from your Brands and your franchisees a across to single brand but then across you know your portfolio Brands how do you what's that process look like so in addition to having you know within the same brand we've got folks who have been in business for 30 years we've also got brands that have been around for 35 years and some brands that have been around for six months so the conversation's a little bit different depending on the audience you're talking with but for those wellestablished Brands we try and get folks from all walks of that kind of tenure so we've got our experienced guys that are doing really well they're helping the middle guys kind of figure out how to get over that hump and then everybody's geared towards the new guys how do we get the brand new franchisees ramped up so that they're contributing to the brand the same way that our other locations are so I think our our experience guys um for the most part they've got it figed out they've helped us figure it out and they have a really good eye towards what does a new franchisee need to succeed in this model so we really rely on them perfect John um what's your feedback what's your uh viewpoint on ensuring that you know technology is running smoothly it's bringing efficiencies it's helping grow the business um and then you know what are some early indicators that you may need to Pivot or um evolve a little yeah one of the big things we talk about from a client experience perspective is you know every brand at at a at a base but also just even within every industry the client experience uh that the consumers are expecting is completely different especially if you're be to B versus B Toc but even within the B Toc space you know if you you're kind of on the retail side right that client experience is going to look very different than if you're coming to somebody's home to perform some kind of service right if you need to go inside and so you know we tend to obviously we focus on the the Home Services side and so what we try to focus on is what does that consumer expect right and to a certain extent it's almost like you want to tell them what you're going to tell them tell them what you told them tell them and then repeat you you can almost not communicate too much to the consumer so they know what to expect and so then if you kind of Follow that model then where does your text Act help you or hurt you right does it enable all those communication touch points that you want to do are there new touch points that you want to add or enable and does your technology solution allow you to do that um some of the red flags to to look for early on is obviously adoption right are people using the tool are they turning it on are they letting it do its thing but then secondly you know how much manual process does it take to get things done like what's the recipe for a franchisee or someone who works for the franchisee to turn that part of the crank right if it involves them manually placing on phone calls or going over to a texting solution or you know kind of manually copying and pasting data from one thing to another then those are all things to to look at in terms of you know eliminating that friction eliminating that manual process because anytime you introduce that that's where the adoption goes down and people will just not do it because they don't have time so automation is definitely a big part of of enhancing and then manual effort is definitely something that can can could be a you mentioned something there I think is interesting and you talked about kind of the customers expectations so I I'll throw this back to to you John and then also i' like Eric's feedback on this how do you balance the customer feedback and the customer expectations versus franchisee feedback and expectations on how they may think or feel they want the process or experience to be how do you balance those two things yeah that's a good question I mean part of it goes back to you know it's it's a franchise so to a certain extent the client experience you know will oftentimes be kind of I I want to say dictated or mandated right but is at least designed by the brand to to be consistent right because if you walk into you know franchisee a and go through their client experience versus franchisee B you know as a consumer You're Expecting those to be consistent right so if they're vastly different then in that case I think maybe the brand wins and the franchise doesn't win as much right um but in terms of uh balancing what the client's looking for I mean you really have to look at I mean I was say to to to franchisees like what if you're the consumer of your service what would you want right would you want to know they're coming tomorrow and would you like a time frame would you like to know that they're on the way you know would you like you know um you know a place to leave some feedback or whatever right if you if you as a consumer expect that for your other vendors then your customers probably want the same thing from you Eric any any feedback anything from you your end on that um yeah I think it kind of leads into the next discussion Point here on the agenda but know who your clients are so I mean we have our idea of who the clients are at the franchise or level our franchisees are close to their clients and they know what it's like in their Market but invest in some market research figure out what your you know your client personas are out there who's actually buying from you guys and um yeah take everybody's input correctly and then talk about that together make sure that they're all alined yeah that's that that is a very interesting I remember um when I was at Great Clipson we were launching our online check-in app uh I had the marketing folks and me sitting on the marketing side of it was a kind of a difficult position to be in where uh franchises and our marketing team was like oh we can do this we can do this we can do this right and I had to go back to them and say remember what our original intent with this was uh if we start adding functionality off the you know the get-go right we're not going to achieve what the goal of this is let's build it let's launch it and then enhance it uh from there but initially it's not a marketing tool for us uh today so John we we'll go back to you um what is that magic formula I think if if you know if we have the magic formula I think we'd all be wealthy and retired on a on a beach somewhere but we would't be having this call yeah what you know what are some of those elements of of building from success and ensuring that you know you have whether it's in building up the road map and and the go to market strategy or you know the enhancement um updating functionality of of a tech stack yeah I think you know Eric cont on this a couple times and that is you know it's kind of know your customer right whether the customer is the franchisee or the customer is the the clients of of the franchise you know you have to start with kind of what is what is the expectations at both of those levels and then once you have that then you want to go and evaluate you know how well are you able to execute on those expectations right so if it's a communication strategy or reporting strategy or an analytic solution or whatever you know do you have a are you capturing the data you need to be able to do that and then B do you have the technology to execute it for example if if your process is going to use text messaging to notify customers do you have the ability to text or not you know and so as you kind of run through those make sure you have the things then that's probably step two and then the third piece of that is then to or part of the formula is again to kind of measure right so measure engagement measure utilization you know measure what consumers or the clients do with those interactions do they respond you know are those within you for there um first and go back all right perfect um Eric you know when you're when you're looking at you know whether or not your TCH stxs you know bring in uh the efficiency and the the growth and the the value that you're looking to achieve um how do you define you know what that success is and then again how do you ensure with you know the breadth of of of the brands and the breadth of the stakeholders that you remain true to that original intent so you do set yourself up for Success yeah I think when you're picking the tools that you guys are going to implement across the franchise system is make sure it's something that you can keep consistent you don't need people going off into left field and you know selling a Whopper when we're slinging Big Macs right so that piece of it important to us um knowing that you're tracking the data and that you're able to have that data output on the other side so you guys can monitor the success of things things is important to us as well um but just knowing where you're at today with your your current client experience and the C customer Journey so at least once every other year with each brand we like to kind of map that out whether it's in a big room with all the franchises together on poster boards or if it's in a smaller group like a advisory Council it's kind of walk through the customer journey and all the automations and all the manual intervention that we have out there once we kind of understand where we're at today with something we can start attributing some emotions that we you know we'll put those on the client but when you get to this point maybe they're starting to feel a little nervous about making a decision what can we do to inject a new tool or a new process into that client Journey when they start to have the negative emotions how can that kind of help us Define what the enhancements need to be to the tech stack when you um do you have uh Eric do you guys have a technology board or an innovation committee or anything like that with with your franchisees of you know again pushing it back on them right because you know from the franchisor standpoint right we can talk about anything that we want to talk about but it's a lot more impactful when it's coming from a franchisee to a franchisee so do you guys have uh a technology committee or an innovation committee or anything that you guys lean on um or is that always driven from the franchise perspective so we do um and we kind of it's less of a committee a standing committee and more of a task force where we have our advisor councils who are you know the seven or eight franchises that have been voted in by their peers and by the brand Team um we kind of let the issues bubble up and get filtered out through that group and then once the brand Team the fac is aligned on what the priorities are then we'll kick off a specific task for us to go and solve that issue so just for us it's been more productive to kind of hyperfocus on those meetings set a deadline set a goal and work through it that way as opposed to just have this open-ended task force that meets every other month and talks about whatever's kind of hot button perfect let's go to the next slide Matthew here so the uh million-dollar question what does success look like right um you know I think you know everybody would agree that we can measure whatever we want to measure the the amount of data that we can collect uh is is pretty vast uh but how do we how do we know that we're measuring the right thing and then how do we communicate that success so Eric we'll we'll turn it back to you and then go over to John um and again it's it's a broad question but you know how how are you looking at success and how are you defining success right now um success is we're making a lot of money right right we got people buying into the brand people are selling their businesses for a good return on their investment over there tenure of the business um but really I mean looking back to see the success of the tools is are they being adopted right so what's the utilization of those tools are we over complicating things or maybe we just missed the mark on what we were trying to solve and how we were solving it um yeah and then just the the regular kpis that we're tracking making sure everybody knows what the data points going into a profile are and how that's going to be used on the back end so we can monitor success of new initiatives figure out what the Baseline is and what kind of growth we're expecting to see or kind of metrics we want to see on the other end how do you balance um that success with the customer experience so you let's say there's an existing technology in place that again is driving you know the desired results at least from the franchiser viewpoint but you have feedback from the franchises of you know hey we need to add this we need to Pivot here we need to bring in this how do you kind of balance those two potential counterpoints so a lot of times we'll take you know an idea from the franchise system or even from somebody here at the franchise or side and you know create a pilot group a smaller focus group that you can Implement out there and see if you're getting traction on that side of things before you decide to you know upend somebody's season with this new initiative when they're in the middle of summer and their busy season so we always try and roll out new initiatives um for the brand when things are slowing down a lot of our you know Home Services businesses are very seasonal so between November and February is like our time to actually Implement train get some feedback get stuff rolled back out and then once we get into March um kind of people stop engaging with the newer initiatives that are out there in the system and they just want to run their business and get through the day and then next fall we'll talk about it again perfect John um you know you're your your brand there uh right are are people showing up are they doing the job are they getting paid and you know is a communication working um on the surface it might sound pretty straightforward on what you know the the metrics of success would be um for service minder but you know how how do you you know Define and and communicate what success looks like on your end yeah I think what we try to communicate to franchise ORS and franchises as well is is one of the key things to measure is are the franchisees making more money as well right so so you need to not only deal with Topline Revenue right are there revenues growing that obviously has an indirect effect for the brand because that drives royalties for for most brands but um Step One is you know are the tools helping the franchises you know produce more revenue and then the second side of equation is is is it helping them you know uh operate more efficiently right are they are they making more money right um you know and a lot of times Fran es almost care more about that than the top line but the the the key metrics there have to derive you know is is the product cost effective or is the solution cost effective you know if it introduces a bunch of manual effort then that's expensive right so you have to kind of balance um does it help eliminate manual effort for something they did before or does it help them do something that they have to do more efficiently or does it help Drive Topline Revenue you know and if it does those things for the franchisees then as long as it meets the brands requirements as well then then you think you have a you you can call it a success uh you know with again you know the the difference between a you know New Beginning franchisee um or a franchise or a young franchisor John in your instance versus you know mature um franchisee franchisor model you know is there any you know difference or variation uh at least in the beginning in the onboarding that you see of yeah we want to drive Topline revenue for the organization let's not maybe focus on profitability today um you know we got to get there we got to walk before we run uh how do you manage those sort of expectations um and how do you you know define success for the the variance of you know the maturity of the brand itself yeah I think you know brands that are just getting started um or even franchises that are just getting started you know the there there's almost a limitless pallet of choices of things to go do and so I think for the early ones that are getting started you want to focus on the core things right you know get get new leads you know book appointments you know generate invoicing um so that you can kind of test out those core processes and once you know franchises especially new franchises can only learn so many things at once right they can't learn the entire brand top to bottom in the first six months so you know especially when you're onboarding new franchises there the the technology may have a lot more capabilities to do things that maybe you don't show them early on right so that they can focus on the core things right so whatever those those core business functions are like you know kind of the the basics of the factory right like leads come in money money comes in at the end right and then as they become more mature and more familiar with both the business proc processes and just the the franchise system in general then you can start adding on these new things and then the last piece then is as they get more mature in their space they're then able to do more peer group stuff right they're able to work with other franchises to find out what they're doing to help them and I think that's a a key Market Dynamic on the franchise side where you know don't underestimate the value of asking your peers how they're using the tool and how it's helping them um and obviously the brand is doing that as well but maybe with the different lens right so um those are all ways to kind of measure the overall success and speed up the the startup process right don't don't walk in on day one say okay great it's an automated business let's automate everything and then we'll go home on Monday at five right it's it's you know it's start small and add on as as your competencies grow absolutely wonderful Matthew let's go to the next question here we're getting close to the end here um best practices uh John you mentioned a little bit about that peer uh perer performance peer groups um you know how would you if you had to you know list you know top two or three you know best practices you know what does that look like from your end and then what value do you see in comparing your brand to another brand either within the space or within a different vertical yeah I think from from our perspective just because we're a platform that tries to automate things a big part of what we talk about is you know the the auto the benefits of autom right which just to eliminate manual processes right so your one of your best practices for evaluating your current technology stack is looking at you know all that manual effort and friction right so how many man hours a week do you burn you know downloading stuff in Excel uploading it somewhere else versus if the tool could do a thing and you had a checkbox for it or whatever right that just happens automatically how many steps in your process do you have to hand off to somebody else to go do so that's usually one of the first things we look at from a kind of a measurement perspective um because again if it's if it's manual then either a somebody's not going to show up one day or B they're going to forget the step or they're going to fall behind and so the process is going to break down because it requires you know people to do specific things you want to try to enable uh automation as much as possible um to to eliminate those those faults wonderful thank you uh Eric you know what would be you know if you had to pick out two or three kind of key points or recommendations to um other franchisees in the space uh to bring efficiency and successful technology into an organization what are some of those best practices that you would recommend to others I definitely have a peer group like John said um you know Empower Brands being the company that it is we've got those eight residential brands that are pretty well represented across the major markets we try and connect those owners up front right so an owner of arade who's been in business for 15 years is now getting a new wabby location that's opening down the street from them making sure that they're starting to build those relationships up front and not just with the other Empower brand sister companies but the folks that are in those dni networks as well just kind of working with the existing locations perfect and then last question here and Matthew and Dario we're going to run a little bit over but I I trust that you'll give me one or two more minutes here um two how do we uh how do we how do we know uh if what we're doing is is if we're maximizing what we need to be doing or if we need to be kind of digging a little deeper uh Eric we we'll we'll you know kick off with you for this one um and then again it'd be it'd be great if you had any you know hurdles that you you experience with your multiple Brands there but how do you know if if you're doing what you're supposed to be doing or if hey we need to get a little bit deeper and and a little bit more tighter on uh some of our uh actions yeah um so we get you know pretty bogged down in the minutia of whatever initiative or customer Journey or client experiences for the brand so it's nice for us every month we have a you know confirmation day Discovery day eay where I get to sit in a room and kind of talk through with a brand new set of eyes what the customer Journey looks like what the main data points are what kind of reporting we're looking at on the back end of things so it's nice to see the reaction of somebody across the table who's heard nothing about the brand and if they're able to follow along with me and ask some engaging questions mean that means like all right they're getting it's clicking we're on the right path here on the other side of things the red flags for us is engagement right so um if it's not resonating with our owners or their teams then we've either missed the mark on what we're trying to solve and how we're solving it maybe we've over complicated the solution or um we've just failed to get the proper input and buy in from our advisory councils and our franchises wonderful John uh you know on your end when you're implementing some of the your platform within some of these Brands uh is uh is simple bad is sometimes you know making it basic and simple okay um and then you know how do you know if if you if you are kind of overstepping sort of that Comfort efficiency standpoint when you know you're you're bringing on applications and functionality into into the platform yeah simple is good as long as you're you're able to do what you need to do right you kind of you kind of want the simplest thing that does what you want to do but also don't forget that there are things you may want to do later you want to make sure you're not kind of boxed in and don't have any room for growth so from a from a user experience from a process perspective you want it simple but from a you know kind of a tooling perspective you want kind of you know a rich Technology based to draw from so you can kind of solve problems you haven't thought about one things I would kind of highlight in terms of the overall process to implement technology you know is is we've said a lot of things here and it kind of a lot of it sounds pretty basic you just have a group you have a meeting you make a decision and then it just magically happens there's a lot of work that goes into rolling out you know big systems um you have to deal with data migrations um or if you're rolling out a new Communications strategy somebody has to go design all those messages all those Communications right so what are you going to send to Consumers what is it going to say you know never underestimate and don't under budget the amount of time it takes to kind of go through all of those steps in the client experience because somebody's GNA have to look at every single one of those to decide you know we wanted to say this or we wanted to say that is this on brand or is this offbrand um and those are all things that I think people kind of inherently when they get excited about moving forward kind of Overlook some of the effort that's required for some of those things so that's kind of my my red flag is if you think it's going to go super easy you know make sure you think through the whole steps and what all you have to do to make it roll out perfect um last question here before I turn it back over to Matthew to to do his um thing here since you know CMO peer talks a lot of marketers you know in the group and on the call here uh John and Eric if you had one piece of advice of a marketer working with technology uh to make sure that relationship is is impactful um what would that be John we'll start with you I would say focus on kind of the the data Journey right so you want it to kind of flow as seamlessly as possible from you know that first ad impression or that first Direct Mail postcard or from that first you know phone call or coupon interaction all the way through to the end result which is you know Revenue to the bottom line you want to be able to kind of trace and audit that all the way through to uh to verify that you can measure the levers and make the changes that you want to make perfect wonderful Eric yeah I would Echo that same make sure you know as a marketer you're working with your your Tech folk your vendors out there in the world they understand what the output is you're looking for so you can monitor these things making sure that the data is flowing through correctly so you have that on the back end wonderful uh well this has been great Matthew I'll turn it back over to you um I don't know if we have time or Andor questions uh coming in or if you want to say anything to wrap it up here no the main thing I want to say to you gentlemen is thank you um I hope that everybody in the audience enjoyed it uh if you guys did have any questions we do have the next session bumped right up to here so I just ask that you guys go ahead and scan um to get in contact with any of these fine gentlemen uh it was an like I have tons of notes and I'm going to be digesting for a while here um one one little um one thought on what John was saying with with always planning you know if you're if you're going to implement a system the devil's always into details with those things

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