What do a herd of swans and franchisee support have in common? Well, much of the work swans do is invisible to the casual observer.
As they glide seemingly effortlessly over a pond, they give no indication that below the water’s surface, a lot of frantic paddling is going on. It’s similar with franchisee support. Most of our franchisees remain blissfully unaware of much of the work our support team does on their behalf so we thought we provide some insights.

Money transfers

Following months of extensive negotiations, we have finalised a deal with Standard Bank. This means that from early 2020 onwards, participating stores will be able to process money transfers. After customers pay cash in at one of your POS units, the recipient receives an SMS with a PIN. They can then draw the cash from their nearest OBC Better Butchery store.

Because a significant portion of our population, primarily those living in remote areas of the country, remain unbanked or under-banked, this is a service your customers will greatly appreciate.

Club card

Attentive readers will recall that the previous edition of this newsletter carried an update on developments around the OBC Savings Club Card. Customer uptake has been phenomenal and we are currently busy sourcing and testing a range of other functions that can be linked into the use of the club card. Should you have missed this article, here is a brief refresher:

Summary of benefits

  • Club membership attracts stokvels and other communal savings schemes. In effect, your customers build up a piggy bank at your store. The resulting savings can only be used to purchase goods at an OBC store. Practicalities dictate that the main benefactor will be your store.

  • Club membership is not transferable but members can use savings to send gift vouchers to loved ones in the former homelands. This creates much goodwill among our target customer base.

  • You will gain access to valuable customer and transactional data. This is invaluable in the planning of local promotions, the setting of minimum/ maximum stock levels etc.

Signing up / servicing club members

When we introduced the Savings Club programme, we said that participation by franchisees is voluntary. This has not changed but we want to encourage those of you who continue to take a wait-and-see approach to reconsider their stance. Should you be concerned that joining the membership programme would lead to long queues at the POS stations, you can relax. Signing up new members is a quick and easy process, typically completed within a minute or two. From then onwards all your POS operators have to do is swipe the card before processing the payment; it’s as easy as that. See also “No learning curve” below.

Practically no learning curve

“But what about the learning curve for our POS operators?” you may ask. No problem here either. To assist operators to handle the process of signing up new members and assisting them thereafter, the selected vendor will be asked to develop a training guide for us. We expect this guide to explain in a step-by-step fashion how the process works.

Customer loyalty programme

Wearecurrentlyexaminingthebenefitsof introducing a customer loyalty program. Our expectation is that such a program will track our customers’ buying habits and patterns. The resulting data will assist us in encouraging more frequent store visits and fuller baskets.

Once we have identified a program that meets our expectations fully, we’ll test it in our corporate stores before we release it to our franchisees.