Choosing a franchise business opportunity requires careful research into the franchise to make sure that it’s a good opportunity and a good fit for you. One thing you might not have considered checking for is how the franchise handles a disastrous circumstance .
We’re not talking here about hurricanes or winter storms – though it’s good to know that your franchisor is prepared for natural disasters. We’re talking about PR disasters. From social media blowups to more serious problems, bad press can affect any industry.
If a franchisor handles an industry disaster well, it shows that they’re ready and able to respond to problems – something you certainly want in a franchisor. For example, consider CruiseOne’s response to recent concerns over the safety of cruise ships.
Potential cruise customers have been scared away by recent news on cruise disasters—starting with Costa Concordia’s scuttling and ending with Carnival Triumph’s not so triumphant return to Alabama. A recent Harris Interactive poll found that 58% of those who have never taken a cruise before were less likely to take a cruise directly after the Triumph event than they were a year before. People who had previously taken a cruise were up to 13% less likely to plan another.
It’s natural for consumers to be wary after a disaster, but that natural wariness can lead to a business disaster, too. How did CruiseOne handle the threat?
CruiseOne, a home-based cruise travel agency franchise, answers potential customer’s recent worries about cruise travel with a specific section on their website just for reassuring customers that cruise ships have the strongest safety record in the travel industry.
Time will certainly help the industry spring back, but CruiseOne is doing the right thing by responding actively to concerns. In many cases, the cruise lines’ own websites take a low-key approach, assuring passengers in small type on a discreet page that all legal requirements are met. Trying not to bring up those worries or responding with a disclaimer won’t solve the problem or encourage people to book that cruise.
People who are considering a cruise go to the CruiseOne website to weigh out options and compare promotions and prices—it’s the perfect place for CruiseOne to reassure potential customers that cruising still is the safest form of travel. Their Safety at Sea page takes the bull by the horns with statistics and with details of the safety measures taken on cruise ships. Specific concerns – the PR disasters of the recent past – are discussed in detail. The result is a reassuring, friendly page that calms potential customers’ fears.
When looking at potential franchises, be sure to research into past industry disasters that took a toll on the success of franchisees. Find out what exactly the franchisor did to help the situation. If you find that the franchisor did everything in their power to help franchisees in lean times, you’ve found a smart franchisor who’s going to be there in the crunch.