The main question our Franchise Development team has been fielding is about how we are supporting our Kitchen Tune-Up franchise owners during this time of uncertainty. Our Home Office has turned up the daily support dial even higher and we are working continuously on creative solutions to help offset any impact of COVID-19.
Many of our locations are operating business as usual as part of the construction industry because the type of kitchen remodeling we do is considered essential in their state. Our suppliers are also all considered essential, so they are continuing to receive and fulfill orders of the products our franchises need to complete projects.
Those who are working are increasing communication with customers and discussing newly outlined safety precautions daily. Our franchise owners are openly sharing their ideas with the Home Office so we can build shareable resources rapidly for franchises to discuss with their clients and team members. We know a lot of the safety measures will be enforced for the foreseeable future, so we are helping source PPE and sanitizing materials so everyone can build kits for their team.
A focus of our Home Office team has been building out and training our franchise owners on a new do-it-yourself program called DIY Plus. The concept is that our franchise owners can market and sell some of our services to customers, all virtually and through direct delivery, keeping the entire process contactless. We are offering DIY garage cabinets, cabinet organizers, closet systems, cabinet painting and cabinet redooring through the program. The “Plus” means that every project starts with a virtual consultation so the Kitchen Tune-Up experts can help guide and design the project for the customer. The first session is followed by virtual measuring and installation sessions, as needed, and all ordering is done by Kitchen Tune-Up and shipped directly to the customers home. DIY Plus gives homeowners the satisfaction of completing their home improvement project with the guidance of the professionals.
The Home Office’s standard weekly coaching calls have been led by Kitchen Tune-Up’s president, Heidi Morrissey, for the past month and she plans on continuing to host the video calls for the foreseeable future. The calls are now averaging around 60 franchise owners who are tuning-in to feel the positivity coming from Heidi and the Home Office team, and as well as the camaraderie of the group as everyone shares their good news, wins for the week, ideas, and brings questions for discussion.
Our KTU Connect Program, which launched in January as a way for the Home Office team to connect with each owner on a more frequent basis, has seen a ramp up in connections from quarterly or monthly to weekly (and sometimes daily). The Connectors at the Home Office make sure their connections are up to speed on new system offerings and ensuring all franchise owners are aware of changes within the Kitchen Tune-Up franchise family and options for small businesses across the country.
Our franchise owners and their kitchen consultants are having virtual appointments with their customers to start or continue conversations and even sell Tune-Ups, cabinet painting, redooring, and refacing projects. Heidi recorded several practice virtual sales calls for the franchise owners to watch, and also interviewed a franchise owner and saleswomen who were closing deals virtually almost every day. This helped franchise owners learn best practices and hone their own skills. Early on, several franchise owners said that they plan on adding virtual appointments into their regular sales process in the future, helping preserve time and resources before visiting a potential customers home.
What we are all learning is that now is the time to refine processes and focus on how to build streamlined processes moving forward. Early on, our team embraced the phrase No Tunie Left Behind, meaning we are all coming through this together and stronger.
Our family-like culture is something we work hard to maintain in our franchise system, and our franchise owners, who we’ve nicknamed “Tunies” tell us everyday how much they appreciate hearing from us “Homies” (as they named us years ago), and seeing everything that is being created for them to implement. You buy into a franchise for the support and at times like these it shows just how much support the Home Office has to offer.