Mystery Shopping Shows Prospect Initial Contact Attempt Rates Lowest in a Year
May 11, 2022 – In April 2022, only 53.2% of inquirers to franchises reported that they were contacted by “all of the franchises they inquired to”, just above the 53.1% lowest rate seen in April 2021, but far below the average rate of 61.3% seen over the last twelve months. Fortunately, those who reported being contacted by “none of” the franchises dropped to 10.6%, up from an all-time low of 2.8% in March, according to results from the FranchiseInsights.com monthly Mystery Shopping survey.
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 we reported in 2021. So franchise sales teams with prompt follow-up can increase their chances of exclusive contact.
Over the last two years (chart below), contact attempt rates dropped as low as 45.5% in June 2020, when 27.3% of those surveyed reported that none of the concepts 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.”
- 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 of franchise lead generation.
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 April 21-28, 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.
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Published on Wednesday, May 11th, 2022.