Mystery Shopping Blues: Annual Report Card Reveals Much Room For Improvement


Each year, as part of the Leadership & Development Conference, Franchise Update offers franchisor attendees the opportunity to have their sales operation mystery shopped. Our mystery shoppers pose as qualified prospects, phoning in to the franchise sales department, and submitting applications online. The results are presented at the conference in September, and made available in the Annual Franchise Development Report. Here’s what we found.

Telephone mystery shopping
So, when qualified prospects call your sales department, they’re immediately connected to a live sales rep, right? In your dreams. In the real world, calling in to the 116 franchisors who asked us to mystery shop them, our callers reached a live person just 16 percent of the time. That’s down from last year’s semi-dismal 23 percent. More than 8 of every 10 calls resulted in messages left on voicemail or with a receptionist.

Okay, so when did those messages get returned? In a few hours, right? Or at least that same day. No? Next day then, before the prospect called another brand. Nope, not that either. Almost half (48 percent) never called back the qualified telephone prospect. “That’s amazing, especially today,” said Olson. “Applause to the 52 percent who did respond,” he said. These were qualified call-ins, he added, posing as interested buyers with the required funds and in the right geographic area. Read full article.

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