Mystery Shopping Shows Improved Initial Contact Attempt Rates, But Plenty of Lost Opportunity for Franchise Sales Teams
August 17, 2022 – In July 2022, an improved 60% of inquirers to franchises reported that they were contacted by “all of the franchises they inquired to,” just below the average rate of 61.3% seen over the last twelve months.
Those who reported being contacted by “none of” the franchises at seven days after inquiry stood at 17.8%, way above an all-time low of 2.8% in March 2022, according to results from the FranchiseInsights.com monthly Mystery Shopping survey. While that was not the worst recorded (27.3% of inquiries went unanswered in June 2020, as the pandemic surged and many businesses were forced to shut down), it does mean that almost a fifth of lead generation budgets were wasted by some franchise sales teams, assuming that the survey respondents are representative of the total population of prospects.
What could be driving this lost opportunity?
Underscoring the importance of increasing contact efforts is the data that almost half of prospective buyers submitted an inquiry to only a single business concept and almost two thirds made inquiries to only one or two concepts as per June 2022 data we provided last week. So franchise sales teams with prompt follow-up can increase their chances of exclusive contact.
Over the last two years, contact attempt rates dropped as low as 45.5% in June 2020, the same month as above when 27.3% of those surveyed reported that none of the franchises that they requested information from followed up within seven days. That downtrend reversed as fall of 2020 approached, and contact attempt rates were highest at 75.4% in August 2021.
How could this opportunity gap persist? Why aren’t all prospects followed up with? Rather than blaming it on insufficient effort or inadequate responsiveness of franchise sales teams, here are a few hypotheses:
- Inquiries received outside normal business hours or on weekends are more than two thirds of all inquiries, making the lag time a likely factor. Sending prompt or automated email and/or text follow-up as a precursor to a voice call is always a best practice, based on consistent respondent feedback from these surveys.
- Apple’s “silence unknown callers” feature introduced in 2019 likely disrupts many initial voice conversations before the caller is in the phone’s contacts. This again underscores the importance of emailing or texting before calling. In fact, according to Apple, calls will not be silenced from “people that are saved in your contacts list, recent calls list, and from Siri Suggestions to let you know who’s calling based on phone numbers included in your emails or text messages.” Example wording to include in your initial contact email: “Caller ID will not indicate that it’s me calling from [name of franchise], so we suggest adding our number [your number in format XXX-XXX-XXXX] to your phone contacts”.
- The Mystery Shopping survey is directed to prospects no sooner than seven days after franchise inquiries are made, so any initial contact efforts made after a week are not counted.
But the number of persons inquiring who are never contacted by any of the franchises that requested information is puzzling, given the scarcity of prospects, and the increasing costs and scarcity of franchise lead generation due to privacy changes at Apple and their impact on Facebook and Instagram.
The Mystery Shopping survey is conducted monthly by FranchiseInsights.com from a sample of franchise prospects that have submitted inquiries on the FranchiseVentures lead generation platform. The latest data is from July 14-25, 2022.
FranchiseVentures is the leading demand– and lead-generation platform for potential franchisees to thousands of growing franchise systems in the United States and Canada. Its franchise lead generation brands include Franchise.com, Franchise Solutions, Franchise Gator, Franchise Opportunities, Franchise For Sale, SmallBusinessStartup.com and BusinessBroker.net, and together they provide the largest aggregation of prospective franchise buyers in the U.S.
Interested in more insights from our proprietary data set? Subscribe to our email newsletter below, or follow us on LinkedIn.
Published on Tuesday, August 16th, 2022.