By Terri Benson posted August 31, 2022

If you use our ACE Franchisee Satisfaction Survey you'll know we measure and advise on a number of important areas that drive positive franchisee sentiment. One of these is trust. Our research team have reviewed comments from over 1,500 franchisees who did not believe their franchisor was trustworthy in its dealings. These were compiled for a research paper we delivered to the International Society of Franchising Conference in Canada. Here's what the data tells us are the five most frequently mentioned causes of mistrust by franchisees:

#1: Making self-serving or unfair decisions

Behaviours that were seen to advantage the franchisor at the expense of franchisees were the largest cause of mistrust. Examples cited were franchisors keeping the benefits of group buying power to themselves, and unfairly profiting from compulsory services charged to franchisees.

#2: Not being transparent

This included not being open with decision-making processes, hiding information and not admitting to mistakes. Poor communication regarding decisions that impact on franchisees' businesses was also frequently mentioned as a cause of mistrust.

#3: Not consulting or listening

A common general frustration by franchisees is they do not feel consulted or listened to enough on issues that impact on them. This also emerged as a major reason why some franchisees did not trust their franchisor, especially when they felt their valuable insights and knowledge were being ignored.

#4: Over-promising and under-delivering

Not surprisingly, a common source of mistrust came from franchisors who were seen to make promises or representations that were not delivered on. This is often related to talking up the benefits of major changes or initiatives to get agreement, and then dropping the ball on implementation.

#5: Being unresponsive or uncaring

Franchisor executives who were seen to not care, not follow through on their basic obligations, or fail to respond to the reasonable needs of franchisees, were more likely to generate mistrust of the franchisor overall - an important reminder that the actions of one person can impact on the reputation of the entire franchisor team.

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