Artificial intelligence, more commonly known as AI, is currently revolutionizing multiple industries, including franchising. Many franchises have begun incorporating AI into their business operations, often with the goal of completing tasks quicker and with greater efficiency.
Here we explore some AI-powered tools increasingly being used in the franchising industry to positively impact customer relations, inventory management, business analytics, and more.
The ability to look into the future and determine which of your business’ products or services will trend is something that’s made possible with AI. Predicative analytics, when paired with AI, can forecast customer demand using statistical algorithms and historical consumer data and provide detailed demand patterns and insights into what a customer might buy next, among other key predictions. This tool can assist franchise businesses in predicting revenue, setting goals more effectively based on future trends, and optimizing inventory.
AI can help franchises automate their inventory ordering and replenishment through an AI-powered inventory management system that is often integrated into a point-of-sale system in each franchise location. By using predictive analytics, along with historical sales data and current inventory levels, franchisees can have just the right amount of inventory ordered at the right time, making predictive analytics something that can not only look into the future but also assist in the present. As a result, this can reduce out-of-stock items or overstocking, which can create a more efficient supply chain process. With the global AI in the supply chain market projected to reach $41.23 billion by 2030, this rapidly growing technology is in high demand among various industries.
According to recent research, 56% of business owners either currently use or plan to use AI in customer service. Meanwhile, 64% of business owners expect AI to improve customer relationships. AI can help build and strengthen customer relationships—a necessity in running an effective franchise business.
AI-powered chatbots, for example, can help improve customer service, and according to recent data, 73% of businesses use or plan on using one. These chatbots have greatly improved in recent months and can produce automated responses to customer inquiries, make for quicker response times, and eliminate the need to repeatedly respond to frequently asked questions.
Compared to a traditional chatbot that generates answers based on the input data or script (i.e., store hours, address, etc.), AI-powered chatbots can provide much more detailed responses as it “learns” from the questions it receives. It can also use natural language processing to understand and process human language. AI chatbots can appear on a franchise’s website or can be integrated with social media platforms to answer questions and provide automated customer support.
Surveys can be a great tool for franchisees to get customer feedback on a product or service. Using AI in survey creation and data collection can help streamline the process, saving time and making the survey results more valuable. With generative AI, a subset of AI that generates new content based on existing examples, franchises can add new questions to an existing survey or produce further questions. There are software tools that automate the survey design process, making traditional-looking surveys that are often long and time-consuming a thing of the past. Using AI, surveys can include graphics or various response options to improve the customer experience.
Automated SMS and Email Marketing
Many franchises have begun using SMS and email marketing campaigns to help their franchisees to reach customers. However, as with any form of marketing, consistency in messaging, tone, and branding is essential for franchises to maintain across all their locations. With a variety of AI-powered tools available, franchisees can send out personalized messages or offers to customers via SMS or email marketing that aligns with the franchise brand. Automated messages make up almost 30% of all email marketing orders. Meanwhile, in 2022, 55% of business owners used text message marketing, and 74% of business owners who incorporated texting into their marketing campaigns had strong conversion rates.
SMS and email marketing can create a personalized experience for customers, which can benefit franchisees, as 80% of consumers say they’re more likely to make a purchase when they have a personalized experience with a brand. With AI, franchises can promote greater consistency and ensure that customers have a similar quality experience with the brand, no matter which medium or platform they’re engaging with. In turn, this can create an optimal omnichannel approach to marketing, which is beneficial to the franchise system as a whole.
Franchising with Dogtopia
If you are interested in learning more about franchise opportunities with Dogtopia, check out our Why Dogtopia? page for details on the innovative business processes and technology we use to maintain our quality customer service and stand out among our competitors. You can also browse our detailed FAQ page to learn more about the pet industry, Dogtopia, and your investment.