Total US digital ad revenue reached an all-time high of $88 billion last year, eclipsing television. As competition continues to heat up on digital ad platforms, franchise marketers are allocating more spend than ever to drive leads. In our Secret to Franchise Marketing ROI: Inbound Calls eBook, we covered how franchise marketers and multi-location brands can generate more inbound sales calls.
But in order to maximize ROI, franchise operations need to be fully equipped and prepared to handle these incoming calls. Below are 5 common ways franchise sales and operations teams are using AI-powered conversation analytics to correct inefficiencies and increase their conversion rates. These best practices can also be applied to the sales and operations teams of multi-location brands.
1. Measure How Many Quality Leads Each Franchise Location Receives
By measuring the volume of quality sales leads at the franchisee level, you can determine the appropriate staffing at each location, so you have enough sales coverage to field them. It’s crucial to quickly respond to customers, since over half of US adults will abandon a purchase if they don’t receive quick answers to their questions.
In the sample AI-based report below, the size of each circle on the map corresponds to the number of calls that location received. The darkness of the circle corresponds to the lead score. So, in this example, the Chicago and Colorado locations are receiving the most calls. However, Chicago is receiving more high-quality leads than Colorado.
[Sample Report: view how locations handle inbound calls]
2. Understand True Location Performance by Measuring Sales Conversion Rates
In order to compare your franchisee performance across locations, you can use AI-powered conversation analytics to understand how many inbound calls are actually qualified sales leads. Since customer support calls and unqualified callers don’t offer an opportunity for revenue generation for most businesses, they should not be counted in your metrics. Instead, you should calculate your sales conversion rate based on the number of qualified leads that come in to your franchisee locations.
To illustrate, let’s say your Chicago and Cleveland locations are calculating their conversion rates based on the following number of inbound calls received:
—Chicago: received 200 calls (qualified + unqualified) last month and closed 10 deals
—Cleveland: received 100 calls (qualified + unqualified) last month and closed 25 deals
You’d probably assume your Chicago sales agents are performing poorly. They’re closing deals on 5% of inbound calls while, on the other hand, the Cleveland location is closing deals on 25% of inbound calls.
However, these are not your locations’ true conversion rates — not all these inbound calls are qualified sales leads. By having AI analyze conversations at each location, score the calls, and incorporate that data in your report, you can instead view how many qualified leads are truly coming in:
—Chicago: received 20 qualified calls last month and closed 10 deals
—Cleveland: received 75 qualified calls last month and closed 25 deals
Now, after using AI to adjust for the number of unqualified leads or support calls, you can understand your locations’ real conversion rates. Chicago converts 50% of qualified callers, while Cleveland converts 33%. Chicago is the true top performer.
The report below uses AI to understand how many calls to each franchise location are qualified leads, and it calculates conversion rates based on that number. In this example, the Cleveland location has the highest sales conversion rate.
[Sample Report: view sales conversion rates by location, based on qualified calls]
3. Understand When the Best Sales Leads Are Coming in to Better Manage Location Staffing
75% of callers believe it takes too long to reach a live agent. To optimize the caller experience and convert customers, you should ensure you have enough agents fielding calls at your locations — especially when your best leads are coming in.
Franchisors are using AI to score their best calls and determine when their highest-quality sales calls come in — by hour and day of the week. They use this data to better staff their locations, ensuring customers with the highest revenue potential receive quick and efficient service.
The sample report below shows the percentage of calls coming in during each hour of the work week. In addition, its heat map tracks the quality of the calls — the darker the blue, the higher the lead score.
[Sample Report: view what days/times the best opportunities come in over the phone]
4. Get Ahead of Operational Issues by Tracking How Many Calls Go Unanswered or to Voicemail
A recent DT University study found that 1 in 5 calls from paid search goes to voicemail. Driving calls with your digital ads is only half the battle — your marketing ROI also depends on having agents in place who are prepared close sales. By understanding how many calls are going unanswered or to voicemail in each city — and at what times — you can better staff your locations so that agents are able to sell to leads while they’re hot. This way, your marketing team won’t waste media spend driving unanswered calls.
The sample AI report below is a heatmap of the times the franchise is missing calls. The darker the red, the more calls are missed during that time slot.
[Sample Report: view a heatmap of when calls go unanswered during the week]
5. Receive Customer-Level Intelligence on Callers
Franchise sales managers are using AI to ensure they are notified of every high-quality phone lead that didn’t initially convert. To gain more intelligence on why the callers didn’t convert, they can drill into the transcripts and recordings to see if the agent followed the right script and leveraged the right offers. Then, they can personally reach out to the lead and turn the sale around. This approach helps ensure franchisors don’t lose revenue from mishandled calls.
Hot unconverted leads and current customer experience issues can be delivered directly to franchisors’ inboxes via automated emails, like the one below.
[Sample Email Alert: get hot phone leads and CX issues sent directly to your inbox]
In addition to identifying high-quality phone leads that didn’t convert, franchise marketers are using AI to detect customer experience issues. To understand the customer’s issue, customer success managers can dig into the transcripts and recordings. They can then reach out to the dissatisfied customer, ensure their issue is corrected, and provide a discount or special offer. Not only does this lower franchisors’ churn rates, but it also prevents damage to their brand reputation. Disgruntled customers will often air their issues on social media and reviews sites, which is problematic since 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
Looking for more tips to optimize your franchise marketing? Check out our eBook, The Secret to Franchise Marketing ROI: Inbound Calls.