It takes a second to wreck it: Customer service tips for franchisers

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Our business was built on a cornerstone of customer service. That’s why Tint World®, which opened our first store in 1982, is now the largest independent automotive customization franchise in the business. We have serviced multiple generations of cars for multiple generations of families – because we consider them family ourselves.

Here are a few keys to customer success to ensure your clients return again and again:

  • When greeting a customer, or bidding one farewell, or even when answering the phone, keep a smile on your face. Nothing generates goodwill like a good grin.
  • Treat every customer with dignity and respect, regardless of their appearance. Even the most bedraggled-looking folks could have a wad of cash they want to drop at your store.
  • Banish the words “I don’t know” from your vocabulary. Replace them with “I’ll find out for you.”
  • The customer standing in front of you merits your attention, not one calling on the telephone.
  • Don’t badmouth customers in front of others.
  • Speak clearly, avoid slang and be mindful of your tone.
  • In this technology-driven world, a personal touch counts for a lot. Consider a written note instead of an email thanking a good customer. But no matter how you do it, always offer thanks. Early and often.
  • Make sure your entire team participates in the customer-service sector of your company.
  • First impressions count — a lot. That includes the first impression of your franchise. Keep your grounds maintained, your entrances clean and inviting, and deliver a hearty “hello!” as soon as a client walks in the door.
  • Be considerate of your customer’s time. Attend to their needs on a timely basis, and make sure you deliver their product on time.
  • Look at how other companies handle customer relations, and offer continuing education and training in customer-service best practices.

Above all, remember the adage “It takes time to build. It takes a second to wreck it.

Here’s more on the Tint World® approach to customer service.

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Like father, like son: Cary, N.C. Tint World® franchise is a family affair

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Randy Silver built his career around franchises. After operating five automotive franchises for 15 years, he acquired a Tint World® franchise in Cary, N.C. eight years ago. He so strongly believes in the future of his franchise that he made his son a co-owner during a very public moment at a Tint World® franchisee convention in Las Vegas in November.

In this interview, he talks about the support franchisees receive from Tint World®; its most popular products; and the importance of working hard and plowing ahead in the face of challenge and adversity.

Question: How would you characterize your success so far as a Tint World® franchisee?

Answer: Being part of Tint World® has given me a lot of opportunity. The front office, the corporate office, they’re great. They’re responsive, very quickly. They’re always there to help you out, they always have answers. They give you guidance.

Q: I understand you made your son a co-owner of the shop during the annual Tint World® franchisee convention in Las Vegas.

A: Correct. Last November I made him a 50-percent owner, he’s worked hard for eight years, he’s all about the business, and I’m just trying to get him more involved.

Q: More involved – what does that entail?

A: Right now, he heads up my tint department (and assists with) Clear Bra paint-protection film. He does a lot of vinyl wraps. I want to get him more involved in the business aspect of it. Up front at the counter, interacting with customers more, the back end, bills and all of that. I want him to know how to run a business.

Q: What are some of the challenges he may face?

A: The biggest challenge in any franchise business is dealing with customers. That is no joke. Selling is what I’m good at, and that’s probably the second-hardest thing. You’re asking people to put their hands in their pockets and come out with money and that’s not always an easy thing.

Q: But you obviously have enough faith in the business model and the future to make your son a partner. What do you think the future holds?

A: The future is wide open. It’s growing; we’re already approaching a million-dollar location. It’s at his fingertips. He can do whatever he wants. He can achieve it. With my guidance, and the guidance from the corporate office – those guys are so knowledgeable – the industry is wide open. It’s a half-billion dollar industry.

Q: What is your No. 1 product right now?

A: The No. 1 product in Tint World® is tint.

Q: What’s No. 2?

A: I would say mobile electronics.

Q: You say you’re almost a million-dollar shop now. What has led you to that milestone?

A: Hard work. Dedication. A lot of focus. Many, many hours. I get here at six in the morning every single day. I put a lot of time in here. Just a lot of dedication.

Q: Any new products you’re offering in 2017?

A: We’re doing vinyl wraps, a lot of Clear Bra paint-protection film; we do residential and commercial tint; rims and tires. We’re doing the new ceramic coatings on cars. We’re branching out, as they come out with new products we try to get them involved in the business, one way or another.

Q: How is working for the Tint World® franchise different or similar to working for other franchises?

A: Well, automotive service is a need; you know a lot of people that want to give you $1,000 for a radiator? (Tint World®) is a want. People come in here and throw you thousands of dollars because they want something, so you’re dealing with a happier clientele. It’s more of a pleasure to work in a business like this.

Q: Why should people come to Tint World® instead of your competitors?

A: We use the highest technology; all of our film is laser-cut by a plotter perfect for every window on your car. You’re in and out in one hour; we’re the only tint shop in the entire United States that’s nationwide; we’ve got shops between New York and San Diego that honor the life-time warranty, reasons such as that.

Q: What is the No. 1 product you have that every auto owner should have?

A: Tint. Skin cancer is popping up every day. (Sunlight) shines right through the window and it burns your skin. The tint we carry is Skin Cancer Foundation-approved. It keeps out 99 percent of UV and UB rays; it keeps out 80 percent of the heat. Tint protects your interior from fading and cracking. All of the above.

Q: How did you motivate yourself through difficult times to get to the point you are today?

A: Just a lot of hard work and determination. You open up a business, you go through your lumps, and you gotta stay at it. Nothing is given to you on a silver spoon. You’ve gotta work. You’re going to make mistakes, and it’s OK to make mistakes. But you want to not make the same mistake two, three or five times. You want to learn from your mistakes, and grow.

Visit Randy and his son at their Cary/Raleigh-area Tint World® franchise. They’ll set you up with the latest and greatest in vehicle maintenance, customization and upgrades. You’ll get expert installation and friendly service – hallmarks of Tint World® franchises everywhere.

 

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Six tips to becoming a franchise business owner

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So you want to be a franchisee? Here are six basic tips to getting started:

  1. Follow your passions: If you dislike food service, avoid restaurant franchises. If your joys revolve around cars, an automotive franchise will be your best bet.

Aziz Hashim, a successful franchisee of at least three dozen restaurants across the country, worked at a fast-food restaurant to help him pay for college. When he graduated and entered his field of mechanical engineering, he realized his heart was in the restaurant world, he said in an interview with Entrepreneur.

“I realized within a few short weeks of being employed as an electrical engineer that it wasn’t for me. I much preferred the restaurant environment. Within 90 days of getting that job, I tendered my resignation and decided I was going to try to find my way in the restaurant business.”

  1. Ensure your franchisor is on an upward trajectory. One way to do that is to determine whether they are highly regarded, and included, for instance, in Entrepreneur and Forbes lists of fastest-growing franchises.

 

  1. Make sure your franchise is in a market that offers both demand and growth.

 

  1. Make sure your franchise will be supported by the franchisor in ways that leverage the collective power franchises offer, such as group ad buys and marketing.

As WineStyles Tasting Station CEO Bryan McGinness told Business News Daily:

 “… a potential franchisee should be very clear on what the franchisor expects of him or her, and vice versa. ‘Make sure it’s a good fit for both parties,’ McGinness said. ‘It’s easy to sign franchisees and take their royalty money. What happens after is what matters. Make this a long-term partnership and a win-win [situation].’ “

  1. Low overhead is a key to profit; make sure your investment is sustainable and doesn’t cost too much up front.

 

  1. Do research and exercise due diligence to ensure franchise fees are reasonable and attainable.

At Tint World®, we offer a variety of franchise programs for entrepreneurs interested in taking control of their life and owning their own business. Whether you’re interested in automotive styling or just want to invest in a niche market where profit can be made, we have the system for you.

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Tint World® Franchise Blog: Marketing tips for franchise owners

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As a franchise owner, you know that finding new ways to market your products and services can be time-consuming. Finding new ways to expand your existing customer base is crucial to growing your business.

Tint World® franchise owners are able to use our corporate support to drive new business success, but there are a number of ways you can market your location in your local market for higher sales. Some of the most effective methods include:

Knowing your radius
Ask your customers how far they came to your location. Your radius might be three miles, 15 miles or 30 miles, but most of your customers will be within a three- to 10-mile area. Focus on these customers to market your business and count on them to tell others about your franchise.

Joining your local Chamber of Commerce
While a Chamber of Commerce membership might seem like an old idea, you will be able to network and meet with other business owners in your area. Your membership will also include opportunities to add extra promotion to your specific location to make you top of mind, while also providing a link to your area.

Becoming a resource for your community
If you present yourself as a trusted local resource for questions that your neighbors have, it will drive awareness of the work that you are doing. If a potential customer comes to your location with a question, take the time to answer, introduce yourself, and learn more about what is happening and how you can help.

Giving back to your community
It can be hard to donate time or money to every community event, but aligning yourself with community events will make your franchise better-known. Sponsor a local youth team, give back to a local non-profit organization, donate products to a school fundraiser—all of these will build positive awareness of your franchise in your community.

Marketing your franchise location to the community you serve will drive brand awareness of your franchise location. As a Tint World® franchise owner, you have access to the marketing services that are available from Tint World® corporate. Let our marketing expertise work for you so you can grow the success of your location!

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Hitting the reset button for your franchise

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As a Tint World® franchise owner, you know that things don’t always happen the way that you want them to happen for your store. There might be problems with staff or other issues that you can control, but the idea of change can make you stressed out. Recently, our Tint World® franchise location in North Miami Beach was dealing with these types of issues and although it was out of their comfort zone, they have found great success by hitting the reset button.

The North Miami Beach location was dealing with employees who weren’t engaged, employees who had a “me-first” instead of “team-first” way of thinking and serious issues with how the store was performing. Co-owners Alberto and Gary Safarti decided that changes had to be made and so, they both “hit the reset button” to make changes for their Tint World® franchise location.

Alberto and Gary’s Story:

We at the North Miami Beach Tint World® location do not believe our recent success is luck. Our methodology has changed to increase our dedication in finding and training the optimum employees. It is not just a matter of money.

As an owner/operator, you have to find the way to instill in your employees the same dedication and excitement that you have for your business. You have to find a way to motivate them and encourage them to have the same enthusiasm you have. That attitude will create a positive customer/employee/operator relationship, where the positive attitude of your employees will motivate the customer to contract for additional services. But it all starts from the top down. You have to find a way to involve your employees in the operation of your shop, Listen to their comments, encourage them to contribute to the efficiency of your shop. By reacting positively to their input, you will find they will stay to 8 pm or to whatever hour necessary to get the work out.

We started from zero, and my brother and I absorbed many disappointments until we realized that without an enthusiastic workforce, it would be impossible to raise our shop to higher possibilities. We have one year and six months dedicating ourselves to finding the proper combination of the above factors, always respecting the employee. We know that salary is only 17% of an incentive to a worker’s job satisfaction, while more important factors are those such as job recognition, having the owner’s attention when his comments are made, and an attitude of mutual respect permeating the workplace environment. The customer feels that as well. It turns your business into not just another run of the mill shop

It is true that we have been lucky to some degree, but in business, you often make your own luck. In our case, it is more dedication and a changed workplace attitude, than any other factor.

The energy at the North Miami Beach location is incredible; everyone’s spirits are high, the entire staff jumps in to solve problems together without being asked to do so and all employees, including technicians, are selling and cross-selling together.

While making drastic changes may be out of the comfort zone of a franchise owner, hitting the reset button when everything else has been tried can make the difference between success and failure for your Tint World® franchise. Congratulations to the team at our North Miami Beach location for their willingness to go the extra mile for their Tint World® franchise!

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Engage the Five Senses in your franchise business

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As a Tint World® franchise owner, you know that there are a number of different ways to attract customers to visit your location. From signs to flyers and going out in the community to promote your Tint World® location, there are a variety of ways to help get people to visit your store to show off your products.

Although you might know ways to get them into your store, do you know that you can help keep them in the store, encourage them to purchase from your location and turn them into long time customers by using the five senses to make them feel welcome? Learning how to engage the five senses of your customers can help drive more sales for your Tint World® franchise.

Sight
Take a look at your Tint World® location through the eyes of someone who may not have visited your store before. Is everything open so that they can see all of the products you have to offer and brightly lit to make everything visible? If your store is cluttered, dim and looks like a storm blew through, you may be turning your customers off before they can see all you have to offer.

Touch
For those that like to work on cars, touch is a big part of the experience when working with a company. Are your items laid out in a way that encourages customers to touch the products and hold them in your hand? If a number of your items are locked away or aren’t easily accessible, you may be missing an opportunity to connect with your customers.

Sound
What is the normal volume in your Tint World® location? Is it so loud that customers can’t hear themselves think or so quiet that they think they are in a library? Sound is a big part of the customer experience, so make sure that employee conversations are at a respectful level that any music that is being played is appropriate for your customers and make sure that the sound levels are set so that customers aren’t looking to get what they want and get out too quickly.

Smell
For some customers, the smell in a store can make them feel welcome or make them want to walk out before they come too far inside. With an automotive and marine based business like your Tint World® location, the smells from the shop area may seem like home for some of your customers, but other parts of your store may be too strong. Take a minute to see how your Tint World® location really smells and adjust accordingly.

Taste
Taste really isn’t an area of concern for most Tint World® locations, but if the smells of your store leaves a bad taste in the mouth of your customers, you may be losing the opportunity to make a great sale.

Being able to engage the five senses of your customers when they come into your Tint World® franchise location can help one-time customers become long-time customers, but be careful that the five senses that you engage with in regards to your customers don’t overpower their experience when they come to visit your Tint World® store.

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Build success with your Tint World Franchise!

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As a member of the Tint World® franchise family, you are committed to the success of your franchise and building success can be created by using the advantages at your disposal as a Tint World® franchise owner. Tint World® has been a leader in the window tinting and automotive styling industry for over 30 years and our success has been in large part due to the success of our Tint World® franchise locations. Build success with your Tint World franchise

Finding success isn’t built on doing things easily; as our Tint World® franchise owners will tell you, it takes hard work, dedication and a commitment to excellence to be successful, but the work is completely worth it. How do you find and build success for your Tint World® franchise? Some of the best ways to do so are:

Promote the brand

Tint World® is known as a leader in the window tinting and auto styling industry, with over 30 years of experience and expertise behind the Tint World® name. Use the Tint World® brand to promote your Tint World® franchise location—people who are interested in window tinting, auto styling and the rest of our products might know someone who could do window tinting for them, but if you can promote our history and our service, you will be able to convince them that the only location and name they need to know is Tint World®!

Marketing your location

As a member of the Tint World® franchise team, you have access to marketing materials that can help you promote your location and your offerings to your community. Marketing doesn’t just mean that you use these materials to promote your business, but that you share the story of your Tint World® franchise to everyone you meet. From local business gatherings to community outreach, market the products and services that you offer at your local Tint World® location to help drive business and build success!

Be committed

Owning a franchise can be hard work, but the rewards that are available as a Tint World® franchise are worth the effort! Tint World® franchise owners are committed to their own success and the long hours and hard work that comes with being a Tint World® franchise owner means that you have to be committed to your location. Stay sharp, stay focused and know that success will be yours as a part of the Tint World® franchise team will make your commitment to your franchise worth it!

When you own your own Tint World® franchise, you have a team to support you that is designed to help you build success as a part of the Tint World® franchise family. Following our guidelines to success with your Tint World® franchise location can help you grow your business for years and years to come!

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Studying your franchise competition

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No matter what business you are in, you have competition. From phones to cars to electronics to even mattresses, there are very few, if any, businesses that don’t have competitors that are looking to gain an advantage over you and your business. Competition is a good thing, because it makes everyone work harder to deliver on their promise to their customers and their employees. One of the best things that you can do as a TintWorld® franchise owner is to study your franchise competition to see what they are doing and then finding ways to do things better than they are to grow your TintWorld® franchise.  Franchise Competition

Even though there are other tinting franchises out there, remember that there is no other franchise that is going to be the exact same as your TintWorld® franchise. They are in a different location, they may offer similar products, but they are not the same as your TintWorld® franchise products and most importantly, they don’t have the power and the name that you have as a TintWorld® franchise.

Being able to identify how your TintWorld® franchise products are different and better than your competition can help you learn the best ways to compete and win. Knowing what makes your individual TintWorld® franchise stand out from other franchises can not only help you sell your products and services, but will help you be able to tell your customers why you are the better choice for their business. These steps are the best way to study the difference between you and your competition:

How is the competition reaching people?

Investigate and learn what methods your competition is using to meet their audience and study how they are doing it. Put yourself in the public’s shoes: is what my competition saying sound real, interesting and something worth finding out more about? If so, think about why and then decide how you can do it better.

Are their products and services the same as mine?

While other franchises may have similar products and services that you offer, the chances are that the products and services they offer aren’t exactly the same. Study the differences and use those differences to your advantages to promote your TintWorld® franchise.

How are the prices?

If your competitors prices are higher than yours, learn why they are charging more and how successful they are? Some competitors may be saying that their products are better quality or more of a luxury, but if they aren’t, promote that information to your customers. If their prices are lower, learn why they are charging less; is the quality worse than yours or are they cutting corners to beat you on price? Either way, you can use that information to differentiate yourself from your franchise competition.

How is their website?

Take the time to check out your competition’s website, from the design of the site to the words that they have on their pages. If they offer a newsletter sign up, consider adding your email address to see what information they are sharing or if they are offering giveaways. Learning how your competition uses their website, as well as social media (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram) can give you insight into how they are trying to reach customers.

Studying your franchise competition is not just a one-time thing to do; being constantly aware of your existing competition, as well as new competitors that are coming into your market, can help you better understand how to reach potential customers with your TintWorld® franchise locations. Staying in touch with what your competitors are doing and learning what, if anything, they are saying about your, can help your TintWorld® franchise succeed and grow against others in your market.

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Diversify your auto detailing franchise to grow your business

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After a year that saw growth for the franchise industry, the anticipation of additional growth in 2017 for the franchise industry means that more individuals are looking into franchise systems. However, the addition of new franchises means that owners will need to diversify their franchise offerings to reach more customers.  A particular area of growth is the automotive industry and that includes an auto detailing franchise like Tint World® that can help franchisees find success. auto detailing franchise

For many franchise businesses, having one product or service to sell can help create the opportunity for growth. However, for those in the auto detailing franchise industry, having a diverse set of offerings can help grow potential customer bases while still delivering on a commitment to quality. At Tint World®, we help to diversify our offerings through different verticals, including:

  • Automotive Services: As the leader in automotive window tinting for more than 30 years, Tint World® is recognized as an industry leader in automotive window tinting. However, to help reach customers, Tint World® also offers a host of other automotive services, including Paint Protection Films, Mobile Electronics, Wheels and Rims, Performance Parts, Detailing and much more. Having a diversified suite of offerings can help grow your automotive franchising business with Tint World®!
  • Commercial and Residential Services: The same basis for our success in automotive window tinting also extends to Tint World® Commercial and Residential Services that include home and office window tinting, solar and storm window films and other tinting services designed to enhance homes and businesses. Being able to offer these services to business and home owners who are familiar with the quality of Tint World® automotive window tinting can offer growth potential.
  • Marine Services: Many customers treat their boats better than they treat their cars, so offering a variety of marine services can help enhance the prestige of your Tint World® franchise. From marine window tinting, to boat and yacht detailing, audio and video systems and even high color marine wraps, having the ability to offer marine services to your Tint World® clients can help keep those dollars in your Tint World® franchise location.

Local Tint World® franchise locations also offer a number of other convenience services to diversify their portfolios and to help keep their Tint World® franchise business thriving. If you are ready to take advantage of the opportunities that come with owning your own Tint World® franchise, contact our franchise development team today for your franchise starter kit.

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Tint World® Franchise Blog Flat Glass Bids

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Have you ever bid a flat glass job or are you looking to start promoting flat glass Window Film Installations? Here are a couple of tips for our Tint World® franchise owners to get you started on your flat glass bids!

First and most important, you must know how to measure and calculate a flat glass job. The very first flat glass bid I went on, I was short 200 square feet in my calculation; it was embarrassing but I never did it again! Measure each window opening and round up to the nearest inch. Remember that a functional window, or window you can open or close, counts as two separate measurements, one for top and one for bottom. On a commercial flat glass bid, measure mullion to mullion and be sure to note the type of glass you are measuring as many manufacturers have guidelines for the installation of certain films. Flat Glass Bids

Time to calculate those measurements! The 200 square feet I missed was the result of me not fully understanding how to calculate correctly. The formula for calculating square footage is length x width and then divide by 144, then multiply the quantity. For example, you have a measurement for a business’ front door, the standard size for a door that size is 77” x 31”. However, things can get a little tricky from there because you can’t typically buy a roll of film that is 31” wide, and few (if any) manufacturers offer anything wider than a 72”. So what do you do? Round up your width to the nearest size roll you can purchase, but remember, at 31”, you can’t split a 60’’, so you round up to 36” so that your calculation is 77”x36”, even though your measurement is 77”x31”. The total calculated square footage is 19.25 square feet. Always round up to whole numbers so you can now can charge your customer based on your calculated measurement.

I know what you’re thinking; How can measuring and calculating be more important than selling? The simple answer is money. To make money on a job, you have to know exactly how much it’s going to cost you before you give the customer a price.

The last tip to adding flat glass is making sure that you find the right partners. When you are new to flat glass, it can be scary at first. Partner with your sales rep, distributor and your manufacturer. They want to sell you more film and see you successful, so they will bring any knowledge they have to the table. Often a customer will call the manufacturer or distributor to find a flat glass dealer in their area, and then the distributor or manufacturer will give you the referral.

Getting Flat Glass Bids

You’ve practiced measuring and calculating a flat glass bid and you’ve partnered with your manufacturer, distributor and sales rep. What are you going to do now? Let’s get you a flat glass job to bid!

There are many ways to get flat glass bids. Some of them are referrals from your manufacturer or distributor and sometimes, you have to hit the pavement to get started. You may even have to tint your friend’s house for free or for less than normal market value. You may call that buddy who has a buddy who was asking about tint for his house last summer when he got his car tinted at your shop and you may even have to advertise.

Getting flat glass bids when you’re first starting out is about promotion. You need people to see your work! You don’t always have to have a promotion, like 10% off the first 250 square feet, but you simply need to do the promoting.

When I first started in flat glass, we donated gift certificates to every group that we could. I had a friend who had a child in choir and they need things for their silent auction. I donated and still donate to my church festival by sponsoring a booth and getting my name on the booth, in the bulletin and on the church website.

If you are already running an automotive business, you have a great advantage! Customers are already in your shop and you can guarantee they are just as hot in their house as they are in their car. Here is where you get a captive audience! Start by adding a heat demonstration in your waiting area and add some banners saying you tint houses. Provide a pamphlet about how tinting your house or business is worth the investment. Last, have a door hangar promoting your flat glass business placed on the rear view mirror when you’re done tinting the car. The calls will start coming!

Get out there and start promoting your flat glass business and learn about how you can add this component to your Tint World® franchise business to help you grow!

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Tint World® Profit Centers:

  • Auto Care & Styling Services
  • Window Tinting
  • Protective Films
  • Vehicle Security Systems
  • Audio & Video Systems
  • Mobile Electronics
  • Detailing & Reconditioning
  • Custom Wheels & Tires
  • Vehicle Wraps & Graphics
  • Performance Parts & Accessories
  • Marine Styling Services
  • Home & Business Services

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