Franchising Healthcare

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Choosing a doctor who knows how to manage a business or a businessman who knows a bit about healthcare ?

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Franchising Healthcare

  1. 1. Healthcare Franchising To be or not to be? Namrata Rana The Customer Experience Company
  2. 2. Healthcare Franchising Dilemma When Hamlet asks "To be, or not to be: that is the question: Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer, the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, or to take arms against a sea of troubles" he could have been referring to the Franchising dilemma that todays health and wellness providers are grappling with. To Franchise and grow quickly vs own and grow in a measured way. There is no right answer without a strong context. Franchising is basically a form of ownership. In a franchisee driven business the brand is owned by the company and outlets are owned and managed by independent franchisees. So no matter which outlet you visit the product, pricing and service experience is always similar and consistent. This works because the franchisor and franchisee agree to the fundamental premise that each franchisee will always follow established brand and operational guidelines. This way of working allows the Franchisor to focus on ensuring compliance while the franchisee builds the local business. While this framework works well in several types of retail businesses, in health and wellness it posts several challenges. ?
  3. 3. Choosing a doctor who knows how to manage a business or a businessman who knows a bit about healthcare ? Finding the right partner
  4. 4. Finding the right partner Most successful franchising business owners will tell you that agreements and compliance aside, the trick to franchising is to find partners that agree with your brand philosophy and your style of working. For example: When you go looking for franchisees for a clinic you can either choose a doctor who knows how to manage a business or a businessman who knows a bit about healthcare and can find the appropriate assistance. In India, both options have associated problems. Independent medical practitioners have typically not been exposed to Franchising in our country and find the demands and restrictions of running a franchise too cumbersome. On the other hand if you happen to choose a businessman as a franchisee you may end up spending a large amount of time in educating him about the requirements from the medical side.
  5. 5. Great facilities, great doctors and efficient processes are not enough. Bridge the gaps in franchise experience through ongoing training. Take constant feedback from customers Training the team
  6. 6. Training the team The challenge therefore is training and education to bridge the gaps that arise on an ongoing basis. Several franchisee businesses have invested in great looking buildings and state of the art equipment while not focusing enough on the need to personalise communication for customers. Great ambience but lack of consistency and personalised attention defeat all the effort that may have gone into building the business. Complexity of business processes or lack thereof is not really an issue – if hotels can be franchised so can hospitals / path labs / spas and chemist shops. It is instead the rigor with which the franchisee finds the right people and trains them, that makes the difference!
  7. 7. Develop a distinct brand differentiate through your brand identity differentiate through service patient friendly ambience demonstrate care
  8. 8. Develop a distinct brand The challenge of branding is to go beyond the product features. Most healthcare providers today compete on price or the mode of delivery “ the doctor”. The loyalty of the customer then, stays with the doctor, and as the doctor moves so do they. The concept of “unique distinctiveness” prevalent in other businesses – need to be built in healthcare brands. Some aspects that can be looked at are: Distinctive positioning Unique communication Relationship programs that personalise communication
  9. 9. Differentiate through service Distinctiveness of the brand can also be delivered through service processes that support the medical processes. The customer admission process, waiting rooms, handling attendants and post operative care can all be branded to deliver uniqueness that your customers will appreciate and ask for. Patient friendly ambience Ambience always adds to how you are delivering the brand. Easy to read signages, soothing music and a relaxed atmosphere all add to an environment that speaks wellness without having to say a word. When extended to franchisee outlets make sure that maintenance standards and costs are always factored in.
  10. 10. Demonstrate Care Expansion always leads to the influx of people into the system, it is important that each one of them understand your brand values and actually live the brand through action and words. Most healthcare businesses make their back-end processes so intense that at times they forget that the first priority is customer handling. A clearly laid out customer handling procedure, standard phrases and behavior guidelines will genuinely help in delivering your brand.
  11. 11. Successful Healthcare franchising needs powerful branding together with the right partners and the right training
  12. 12. Futurescape, Delhi Level 4, Rectangle 1, Commercial Complex D4 Saket, Behind Sheraton, Delhi New Delhi – 110017, INDIA Futurescape, Mumbai Level 2, Raheja Centre Point 294 CST Road Near Mumbai University Off Bandra–Kurla Complex, Santacruz (E) Mumbai – 400098, INDIA Telephone: +91 9910201783 +91 (11) 6654 4196 Email: innovate@futurescape.in Web: www.futurescape.in Twitter: @futurescape

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