Does increasing satisfaction cost money?

I just recently had a conversation with a very senior franchise executive.  He made an interesting point, he said that I have 85% franchisee satisfaction, is there a real ROI in improving that number.  He went on to say that to a certain extent they’re always going to be a level of dissatisfaction and should you really fight it.  Of course the answer is simple, improving your satisfaction level is not just a feel-good it is rooted in real economic return.  Let’s examine.

What is the cost of the dissatisfied franchisee or for those of you who are not in franchising a member or a customer?  It is not a simple as a mathematical statistic.  Dissatisfaction takes time and energy away from management and staff to handle the disgruntled, or as I like to say they suck the life out of your organization.  The disgruntled are very contagious and left unchecked can grow and become a significant problem.  And let us not forget the disgruntled and very negatively affect your brand, perhaps the most valuable asset a franchise can have.

Handling disgruntled franchisees cost time and money.   If the dissatisfaction grows within the organization the cost of repair can substantial.  Of course damage to the brand can be reputable.   There is a real economic cost to dissatisfaction.

Does it really cost money to improve satisfaction?  I would argue it doesn’t.  Improving satisfaction is rarely about economics.  It’s about a sense of caring, being heard and knowing that the organization is doing it best to help make you successful.  The easiest way to improve satisfaction is through improving engagement.  Engagement be defined as how your company interacts with its franchisees, members or customers.  Improving engagement isn’t necessarily about having more engagement but how you engage.  Meaning it’s about being better at engagement .  Being better doesn’t cost more, it’s not about money its about how.

Another aspect of improving satisfaction via improving engagement is that you not only improve the satisfaction of those that are dissatisfied but you increase the satisfaction of all.  The adage a rising tide raises all boats is true in the case of improving engagement.

So what is the ROI of improving satisfaction, actively focusing on in trying to raise your satisfaction level from 85% to 95%?  Well if you believe as I believe in improving satisfaction isn’t about money but it’s about how you do things the ROI is thus unlimited because you’re receiving benefits without real cost.

I know some of you are thinking, improving satisfaction by improving engagement may not have a hard cost, but has soft cost i.e. it takes more time.  I’m not sure I agree, but whatever it takes in extra time would be more than compensated and the savings in time and dealing with disgruntled  franchisees.

Do you see improving satisfaction as costing money?  Do you see in your organization the cost of having dissatisfied franchisees, members or customers?

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