What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?
We survey our franchisees every two years through a third party’s company. One of the things they measure is franchise engagement, which tells us a lot about the health of our business. Our engagement score went up by 15% over the last two years, which is an enormous jump for this industry. The result is directly related to the communication we provided through the app.
Usership has increased by 12% in 2017, and we’ve had close to a 100% increase in frontline engagement (i.e., people working behind the counter).
The best thing is that Design Center helped build the analytic functionalities that are allowing us to gauge this usage and how it compares to sales, franchisee engagement, etc. We’ve seen a marked improvement in how our system runs. I attribute a lot of this to the app.
How did Design Center perform from a project management standpoint?
I don’t have a lot of visibility into the process because they handle this aspect internally. We do have deadlines and weekly calls. They have a lot of systems in place and haven’t miss any deadlines. They also have excellent communication. If we encounter a bug, they take care of it right away.
What did you find most impressive about them?
Their focus on design sets them apart. This addresses what a product looks and feels like, as well as how people will use it. Design Center also works tightly with the technology part in order to make the software work well. They have a great team.
When we kicked off the project five years ago, one of the main designers and key people within their firm went out to one of our shops and talked with us for 3–4 hours about the business. He looked at our flow, talked to people behind the counter, and looked at the issue from a customer’s perspective. This preliminary work helped them get a headstart on understanding our needs and has been the basis for how we develop the app going forward.
Are there any areas they could improve?
We’ve noticed that they’re growing, but it hasn’t impacted the work. I know that Design Center has gone through periods of being very busy, and I sometimes wonder if this affects other clients’ project management.