Regional offices and franchisees alike must understand the great significance of properly maintaining accounts. After all, without satisfied customers, growing your business becomes nearly impossible. But what can you do to see that you’re giving yourself the best chance for success? Jani-King’s operations department has the answer.
“Success starts with training,” claims Scott Borland, Director of Operations at Jani-King International. “We always express that putting the effort in up-front with proper training and then taking time to review different scenarios will save vast amounts of time in the future. Proper training of regional operations managers and assistants also equates to lower personnel turnover while saving the region and franchisees revenue lost when an account cancels due to inadequate or incorrect service. Additionally, proper training of franchisees ensures policies and procedures are understood, lending to the franchisees success as a business owner with Jani-King.”
To Borland’s point, Jani-King’s operations department at the corporate headquarters recently implemented a two week training program for new operations managers, ensuring they get classroom and hands-on training. The team has also initiated weekly discussions and monthly group calls that give each operations manager a forum to pose questions or concerns. Those questions are then answered by other operations managers or the corporate team on how they overcame any similar challenge.
“In our corporate owned regions, we are fortunate to have several long standing operations managers in the field,” said Borland. “John Ferrari in our Las Vegas regional office, Ed Earle in Washington, DC (Operations Department of the Year for 2014), Farley Philogene in New York, Mike Downey in St. Louis and the list goes on and on. The combined experience of our regional operations teams is of tremendous value to our franchisees because all regions in the Jani-King system can learn from their successes over the years.”
According to Borland, a strong, local operations team is an enormous asset to a region. The ability to develop and maintain relationships with both customers and franchise owners has a tremendous impact on the long-term success of everyone involved. “Franchisees receive support, advice and training from their regional operations teams. Customers receive quick follow-up and follow through from our team as well as periodic inspections, ensuring that our brand standards are being met and their facility is being cleaned per the scope of work in our agreement.”
Operations personnel are well known for “putting out fires,” a responsive approach to issues that arise. But even though fires may continue to pop-up, operations and customer service teams work hand in hand to ensure they’re reaching out to the customers in an effort to catch any small issues before they grow. Jani-King operations teams also conduct periodic inspections in order to correct any cleaning deficiencies before the customer has a chance to see it. Operations personnel in corporate regions also have the ability to follow-up with accounts that are up for renewal; this allows them to ensure the customer is pleased with the services and obtain an automatic renewal of the agreement in lieu of an anniversary cancellation. Unit franchisees are encouraged to utilize their methods of customer communication (i.e., log books, inspections, past performance sheets and contact evaluation forms) to strengthen their relationship with the customer and to be proactive in maintaining the cleanliness of the account.
“Jani-King’s operations program is effective,” says Borland. “We expect each corporate regional director and their operations manager to execute our program to the letter. This means following all policies and procedures, making the most of every Franchisee Day, providing proper training, utilizing their operations boards, communicating daily with customer service representatives and following Jani-King’s unique 7-Step process to prevent cancellations. When those are all done properly, we see drops in cancellations, increases in revenue and less time spent putting out fires.”
In the commercial cleaning industry, it’s rare that somebody tells you how great you emptied the trash that day. So Jani-King’s operations department prides itself in the rewards of maintaining great service and relationships with everyone involved. “I get daily emails explaining that an operations manager was out all night helping a franchisee retain an account,” says Borland. “ I know operations personnel who will drive for hours just to see that one account gets the attention it needs. We assist with national accounts, hospitals, hotels and stadiums all for the greater good of account retention and business growth for our franchisees.”
“Operations is an extremely vital branch to the Jani-King system, as it’s easier and more cost effective to keep an existing account than it is to sign a new one,” says Borland. “Our ultimate goal as support personnel is to help maintain existing accounts, properly assist in the start-up of new accounts, ensure all customers are satisfied and see that every Jani-King franchisee has the greatest opportunity to be successful.”