A recurring theme throughout much of our franchise research findings is the importance of communication in a franchise relationship – and new franchise conflict research findings are no different.

Franchise conflict research conducted by the Centre, and funded through an Australian Research Council linkage grant with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, reveals interesting results relating to communication.

Findings show three quarters of franchisees trust their franchisor to be honest with them, however it’s a little concerning that there is still a quarter who don’t trust their franchisors, as trust is the foundation of any strong and prosperous relationship, whether in business or otherwise.

The research also revealed only half of franchisees surveyed feel information communicated by the franchisor is accurate.

Transparency in the franchise relationship

Although franchisees may trust their franchisor, they may question the accuracy of information presented to them, which highlights the need for franchisors to be more transparent.

Transparency was one of the messages reiterated throughout the public and the media when discussing how to prevent and solve a range of everyday franchise problems.

Timely communication in the franchise relationship

The franchise conflict research also revealed while half of franchisees do believe in the accuracy of information provided by their franchisor, only half of them feel communication is prompt and timely – highlighting another communication issue.

Decreasing franchise conflict

Communication was listed as the cause of major conflict between a franchisor and franchisee in 9 percent of cases.

By addressing communication issues as they arise, and putting proper structures and measures in place you may be able to avoid or at least decrease conflict in your franchise business.

Franchise communication strategies

More and more franchises are adopting sophisticated intranets to help meet their communication needs, such as Gloria Jean’s Coffees.

An intranet can provide an effective, fast and transparent communication channel for franchisors to communicate direct with franchisees, and for franchisees to communicate direct with the franchisor and each other.

I know some other franchises with a 24 or 48 hour email policy where a franchisee knows they will get a response from a franchisor in that timeframe.

For some franchisees, like Nader Seifer from La Porchetta, knowing they can trust their franchisor is much more important than always having a speedy reply.

Communication in your franchise

How communication works in your franchise really depends on the nature of the franchise business and the needs of the people involved.

Regardless though, communication requires your attention, to make sure whatever the communication policies and procedures in place, they actually work for all parties involved.

With communication being a recurring theme across our research, particularly in relation to franchise conflict, it really deserves your time.