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Should franchise employees be restricted from using social media?

Are franchise employees spending too much time on social networks in South Africa?

As a franchisor or franchisee, have you ever considered the impact of unfettered access to social networks in the context of your retail outlets?

Have you ever personally experienced a retail encounter where a store assistant appears not to notice your presence as they gaze intently at a computer screen? Whether they’re behind a counter or in an office at the back of a shop, this has happened to almost all of us at some point. What are they doing? Do you really think they are hard at work analyzing sales trends for the last quarter?

Franchise employees could be distracted by social networks

There’s a high probability that distracted customer ambassadors are actually engaged in using one of the many social networks available to them. It’s also possible that customer assistants could be otherwise engaged on the internet; downloading music or videos, uploading photographs and so on.

Have you considered the brand damage that is caused by employees spending too much time on social? Imagine the negative perception a customer walks away with after becoming aware that a store assistant is viewing inappropriate web content at work.

Franchises are built on the foundation of a strong brand image, which can be destroyed by distracted employees

Successful franchise operations are built on great marketing and consistent customer experiences across multiple outlets. Building a successful brand takes time and costs a huge amount of money. Why risk your brand image being damaged by poor customer service that could have been easily avoided?

How do you prevent access to social networks and other inappropriate, productivity-killing technology that could result in bad customer experiences? Modern technology solutions to stop this malady are extremely simple and cost-effective.

Use a centrally managed IT solution to block social platforms that could result in poor customer service

Cloud hosted ‘office protection’ solutions effectively enable managers to implement technology on every relevant franchise device. Cloud office protection solutions can be configured to enable strict web filtering. This bars unauthorized employees from various levels of internet access.

Point of sale devices can be completely blocked from accessing all productivity and customer service killing websites, including access to social media sites, at all times. Back office devices can be configured to allow access to specific sites at certain times of the day. For example, you may wish to grant access to social media sites for short periods to certain employees, but to completely block inappropriate sites such as porn sites. Effective cloud protection solutions will generate management reports that will even alert managers to incidents where employees have attempted to access disallowed content.

Cloud hosted solutions are easily and remotely deployed across multiple outlets spanning vast geographical regions. In addition, once deployed, the solution is easily managed via a web console accessible on any device anywhere in the world. This means that franchise support agents can be really efficient and effective and avoid wasting time on travel and allied costs.

The spin-off of implementing a social media blocking solution is that you can manage devices and reduce downtime

An important spin-off of deploying an effective cloud hosted solution of this nature is that managed devices are much less likely to experience downtime. Less device downtime further enhances customer experience.

Can you afford to not deploy a franchise-wide solution that prevents access to social media sites?

  • Marguerite

    Good points; however, don’t you think that social media should be integrated instead of banned? Employees can help build the franchise brand by tweeting/posting about new things specific to the retail location. I think an integrated solution that takes advantage of the benefits of social media is more realistic and sustainable than censorship.

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