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At Two Men Operation, Employees 'Live by the Data'


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Convincing employees to be as passionate as the owner about their brand is a challenge, panelists at a recent Faegre Baker Daniels franchise summit in Minneapolis said. Tim Lightner, who owns two Two Men and a Truck franchises in Wisconsin, swears by two tactics.

“I drank the Kool-Aid a long, long time ago,” Lightner said, about believing in his brand. He tries to convey the message every day to employees, which is tougher now that they number above 100: “We don’t think of ourselves as a moving company. We think of ourselves as a customer service company.

“We do two main things,” Lightner added, ticking off the first. “We live by the data.” Every day customers are asked for feedback, and every single person in the operation has bonuses and incentives tied to the metrics. Those metrics have been boiled down to two questions: Would you refer us to another, and what’s your overall satisfaction?

Second, “we try to take what we did last year and make it better,” he said, which he calls an imperative. “Things are changing. When you think about the smartphone, nobody had that five years ago, and now customers demand faster response.”

Lightner knows all kinds of bad things can happen in his line of work. “The moving industry is really ripe for things going wrong,” he said. “We drop stuff—I remember way back, the big-screen TV rolling down the stairs, and they’re really not meant to do that.”

But he tries to turn those moments around, and trains his staff to do so, as well. “I look at those as opportunities to take care of it and make a customer for life,” he said.

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Laura MichaelsLaura Michaels is editor of Franchise Times. She can be reached at 612.767.3210, or send story ideas to lmichaels@franchisetimes.com.
 
Beth EwenBeth Ewen is senior editor of Franchise Times. She can be reached at 612.767.3212, or send story ideas to bewen@franchisetimes.com.
 
Nicholas UptonNicholas Upton is restaurants editor at Franchise Times. He can be reached at 612.767.3226, or send story ideas to nupton@franchisetimes.com.
 
Mary Jo LarsonMary Jo Larson is the publisher of Franchise Times Magazine and the Restaurant Finance Monitor.  You can find her on Twitter at
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