Streamlining the franchisee recruitment process with a modern, scalable SaaS platform.

Digital Product Development, UX Design, Strategic Design, SaaS, AWS Native

Lean UX Saas Platform

The Franchise sector is founded on the principle of establishing and growing successful franchise partnerships. Franchisors seek to establish and grow profitable networks, but the negative consequences of granting a franchise to the wrong person can be significant.

Franchise Lab was established with a mission of offering the global franchise sector a flexible, easy to use and scientifically validated assessment platform that helps franchisors find the right franchisee candidates, fast.

Franchise Lab selected Digital Experience Labs as its product development and technology partner, leaning on our ability to offer our clients an adaptable approach to digital product design and development that is sophisticated, yet refreshingly pragmatic.

Goals

For a growing franchise, selecting the right candidate for a new franchise opportunity can be difficult, subjective and time consuming. Making the wrong choice can be both costly and damaging to the brand as well as the people on both sides of the relationship.

Unlike traditional psychological assessment tools that are generic, the new platform was to be designed for the unique needs of the franchise sector. Using customised assessment tools, the platform enables franchisors to evaluate candidates consistently and efficiently during the franchise recruitment process, reducing both legal and commercial risk.

Offering franchisors and their prospective franchisees intuitive experiences was equally important. Applying for a franchise can be a long, complex and stressful journey for all parties. Fast, efficient, and engaging processes are also important to ensure brands are represented well and opportunities are not lost because of poor process. Franchise Lab sought to offer the industry a platform that could help reduce total assessment time by over 60%, decrease customer (franchisee) effort score by over 50% and help increase net promoter scores by over 30%.

The new platform needed to be:

Unique – servicing the specific needs of the franchising sector;

Customisable - branding and assessment criteria for each Franchise;

Provide a great User Experience - easy to use for Franchisees and Franchisors;

Dynamic and rules driven – question sets, workflows and assessment outcomes;

Compliant – ensuring data capture and assessment tools were secure and auditable

Open standard – enabling users to integrate the platform with any modern CRM;

Extensible – with a future roadmap full of big, disruptive enhancements to cater to.

Approach

Our starting point was to understand the capabilities of Franchise Lab and the opportunity in front of us. Once we understood their need we were able to select the right tools and methods and mould our approach to suit them.

We opted for a lean approach that was grounded in development of a solid understanding of the problem space, then applying a bold and innovative lens to design. Followed by an agile delivery process, which is both focused and swift, enabling us to prototype, test and build in rapid iterations.

Approach to delivery
Source: @jonnyschneider

Discovery

We start every project by fully immersing ourselves into the world of the client and their customers to gain a deeper understanding of the challenges they face and the goals they're aiming to achieve. Working quickly, collaboratively and visually is our simple formula for success.

Design Thinking Methodologies

We are conscious that people rarely engage well with long requirements documents and specifications, so our speciality is in finding the right problems to solve, visualising striking concepts and testing them, quickly.

Our initial research and discovery process enabled us to build awareness of the franchise recruitment sector across many types of business models, understanding drivers, fears and goals.

Diving deeper, we then developed a holistic picture of how and when franchisors use profiling assessments to gauge suitability of a candidate and how this impacts the overall success of a franchise. We mapped out what works well and garnered a deep understanding of the challenges and mental models surrounding the franchisee application process.

Agent Journey Map
1 of 10 Journey Mapping Workshops to understand the Franchisee recruitment journey

Solution Design

A fresh perspective on the franchise recruitment experience allowed us to start imagining a solution that broke through old paradigms and put people at the centre of all things. Designing a solution that would provide flexibility for a franchisor to retain their distinct processes and workflows, and even configure their own question sets and weightings, whilst also providing the structure and automation needed to offer the efficiency and compliance to drive sustainable growth, scaled to suit the size and maturity of the organisation.

Lean UX - Think Make Check

Guided by the principles of Lean UX and Lean Startup, we apply a myriad of methods to the design process, never a single framework or model. We don’t work in boxes.

Our pragmatism leads us to look for ways to surface and test concepts quickly and meaningfully, leading to rapid and informed design decisions that are not only founded on UX, but grounded by the key commercial drivers of the business.

Early UX Concept Validation
Early UX Concept Validation

From the initial research we had identified two clear sets of user groups, the franchisors and the candidates who have registered interest in partnering with them. It was important that we created a seamless branded experience for new franchise candidates. The application process is long, complex and quite personal. Providing the information needed by franchisors would require considerable time and multiple iterations as the candidate gathered the information required. Meanwhile, the candidate is also going through their own mental assessment of the franchisor, deciding whether it’s the right investment for them.

With this in mind, we modelled new ways to request and capture information, ensuring that the solution  allowed for seamless switching between devices with a highly-responsive layout. This gave users continuous feedback on their progress and a sense of control, increasing application speed and the quality of submissions.

Additionally, we found ways to leverage engagement analytics to drive insights for the franchisor, giving visibility not only to candidate progress and outstanding tasks, but the candidate’s level of engagement and the strength of their application as it evolves.

Branded Email Template
Branded Email Template
Secure Sign in
Secure Sign in
Assessment Navigation
Assessment Navigation
Assessment questions
Assessment questions

Solution Delivery

Waterfall, agile, hybrid we are never limited to a single framework, instead setting our course based on the outcome the Client seeks. In the case of Franchise Lab, we opted for a waterfall program and a lean-Agile delivery, meaning we design and build within commercial confines and allow for the all-important solution architecture up-front, yet work with the agility needed to iterate on product concepts with all ships heading in the same direction.

With deep capabilities and as partners of AWS, Microsoft and other process automation technologies, our team assessed a range of technology options and ultimately landed on a custom-developed, cloud-native solution that leverages the best that AWS has to offer and a modern, responsive React front-end. Architected and coordinated by our local team, and co-developed with our scalable offshore development resources.

Project Sprint Plan

The Result

From initial handshake to launch of a market leading Franchisee Assessment Tool in just 8 short months, with a number of “showcases” along the way so everyone was on-board throughout the journey.

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