How Office Pride Commercial Cleaning Services Uses Podcasts for Franchisee Training
Wouldn’t it be nice if your training sessions were available whenever you had the time to listen —maybe while you’re working on mundane tasks and need a diversion? Welcome to the age of podcasts.
Office Pride Commercial Cleaning Services has begun a weekly podcast for franchisee training. Office Pride Founder and President/CEO Todd Hopkins serves as the host, interviewing seasoned franchisees, business leaders, marketing experts, and authors about topics that business owners need to know—everything from hiring to billing to customer service.
“I really like the genuine, real conversations that we have,” Hopkins says. “They offer a convenient way for franchisees to listen and learn. Our franchisees love hearing from their peers about best practices.
“Of course, we can always put together training in a classroom format, but those are not as accessible and frankly, they aren’t any more effective. Plus, during podcast conversations, sometimes I remember things from 27 years of experience that I may forget to include in a workshop,” he adds.
Hopkins, who founded the company in 1992, enjoys listening to podcasts and started his own after guesting on other podcasts. He found his conversational style was perfectly suited to podcasting. Late in 2018, he launched an internal Office Pride podcast. He also built a studio at the company headquarters and invested in high-quality sound equipment.
Hopkins intends for the podcasts to help franchisees be more successful, so topics are based on their feedback.
“We recorded a series on hiring and keeping good quality workers,” he says. “Our theme for 2019 is to ‘Achieve Customer Amazement,’ so we are doing a series on that. Recently, we aired a podcast on the importance of answering the phones instead of letting them to go to voicemail, because many potential customers will just hang up if they get voicemail.”
Tips to Keep in Mind
For franchises interested in starting their own training podcasts, Hopkins offers this advice:
- Ask for your franchisees’ input. Ask them about topics they would like addressed and also ask them to be your guests. Don’t be too scripted; encourage your guests to share what they want. That will ensure you get helpful information and authentic engagement.
- Pick the right host. Your host needs to be energetic and know the business. They have to be comfortable leading the conversation.
- Keep it interesting. Hopkins tries to have multiple guests on every episode to ensure interaction. “It’s an unscripted conversation between people who understand a topic that you want to know more about,” he says. “And they’re allowing you join in.”
- Keep an eye on the clock. You don’t want listeners to avoid downloading your podcast because they know it’s going to be too long. “Twenty to 25 minutes seems to be the sweet spot. We cut them off at that point,” Hopkins says.
Hopkins is excited by the possibilities podcasts present. “Of course, we were excited about video, when that was trending. But podcasts are more accessible and just as effective. We know that in the first four months of our weekly podcasts, more people downloaded our podcasts than all of the videos we made over the years. Even though the podcasts are longer, they are easier to fit into your schedule.”
Amy Jackson is the Learning and Development facilitator at Office Pride Commercial Cleaning Services. Her background is in education, research and curriculum development. Contact her at AmyJackson@officepride.com. Office Pride Commercial Cleaning Services, based in Palm Harbor, FL, is a full-service commercial cleaning company whose business was built on a strong set of core values that ensures business is conducted with integrity and that every customer receives the highest level of commercial cleaning and janitorial services.