Franchisees and authorized retailers heavily rely on franchisors to drive inbound leads. For franchisors that have a marketing model where the franchisee contributes to the advertising budget, it can be difficult to prove the quantity and quality of leads generated by their contributions. Over the past few years I’ve worked alongside franchisors, assisting them in identifying and resolving these issues and more. Below are the top 4 common call attribution problems I’ve seen and how they were resolved.

Problem 1: Call Attribution…for Everything

What is call attribution for everything? It’s the attribution of calls driven to any marketing source, to any visitor, and to any phone number or location listed on a website. Let’s segment and discuss these problems individually.

Attribution to Granular Source Data
When shopping for a call attribution provider, many franchisors feel limited in the level of granularity they would receive on the marketing sources driving visitors to call. In some cases, the information obtained is limited to the channel itself, a pre-specified source or domain, or perhaps campaign-level attribution. High-level attribution is great, but is not sufficient to make important optimization decisions that improve results, save money, and increase ROI.

Attribution to Website Activity
Another limitation franchisors encounter is user-level attribution, or the ability to track individual visitors’ web sessions. This shows franchise marketers the path a visitor took before they convert over the phone. Without this information, marketers cannot fully optimize how visitors can convert.

Attribution to Any Phone Number or Location
This problem goes hand-in-hand with the two above. Without the ability to change multiple numbers on the same page, separate pages, or within a map, attribution to granular source data and user-level data becomes almost non-existent. Franchisors are often limited to attributing this data to a branded 800 number that may appear at the top of the page.

Properly Identifying the Visitor
One way to overcome the problem above is to give visitors a unique ID when they enter the website. While this may seem like common practice amongst most martech providers, in the call attribution industry the method of identifying individuals can differ greatly.

Always look for a vendor that applies their own unique ID to the visitor instead of identifying the visitor based on the dynamically displayed phone number. You can capture more granular data about where the visitor came from and how they interacted with your website this way.

Franchise marketers can use this data to shorten the path to conversion, assess the channel paths visitors take, and attribute calls to the keyword and/or ad that drove the visitor to the site.

Dynamically Replace Phone Numbers Efficiently
There are two main ways that call attribution providers dynamically insert phone numbers onto a webpage: by removing a phone number and replacing it with JavaScript or using JavaScript to find and replace phone numbers without removing the hard-coded number from the page.

I highly recommend using the find and replace method. With the removal of hard-coded numbers, when Google crawls your site it doesn’t index the franchisees’ numbers it can have a negative impact on their local SEO rankings.

Using find and replace technology allows the call attribution provider to change any number on a website without requiring code changes where those numbers appear. This process does not affect SEO rankings and provides scalability for the replacement of many phone numbers within a franchise-model businesses.

Problem 2: Call Routing Limitations

Many franchisors are looking to enhance their branded ads and nationwide campaigns with newer advertising features such as call extensions or call-only ads. However, since these campaigns are often not geo-targeted, the routing of the calls generated by these ads becomes very difficult. The benefits of these ad enhancements are not great enough to employ a call center to qualify and answer customer questions. As a result, many franchisors decide not to add these enhancements which can lead to a less than optimal user experience.

So how does a franchisor route calls generated from these large-scale campaigns efficiently and cost effectively? With store location software.

Callers can dial a phone number associated with a nationwide campaign and franchisors can use geo-location technology or request a ZIP code to route them to the franchisee nearest to them. This remove some of the limitations and hesitations franchise marketers face when experimenting with new advertising technology like click-to-call in mobile ads.

Problem 3: Reporting Transparency

Franchise-model businesses have two main reporting requirements. First, franchisors need the ability to customize reporting based on locations (e.g., franchise groups, geographic locations, individual franchises), so they can compare and contrast who is receiving calls and from which campaigns. Second, they need to report on which marketing (e.g., campaign, ad group, keyword, ad copy) drives call conversions.

Additionally, franchisees want access to the calls that were driven to their locations and, when applicable, the recordings of those calls.

The solution for franchisors is to adopt a call attribution platform with reporting that allows users to create custom groupings and limit user access. With custom groupings, franchisors can analyze call conversions at the franchisee level, by region, and by marketing source. They can also grant limited access to these custom groupings so that franchisees can log in and view their call data and listen to call recordings.

Problem 4: Visibility Into Call Quality

Franchisors are not only looking to attribute call conversions back to the marketing activities that drove them, they also want to know what types of calls are being generated. If an ad is supposed to drive new sales but is instead generating service calls, then the ad may need to be altered or removed. The problem lies in how to identify the types of calls being generated.

Below are three methods franchisors can use to identify the types of phone calls franchisees receive:

  1. Keyword Spotting: Users can search through recordings and transcriptions of calls for specific words that may have been said. Marketers can determine whether or not a call was sales related, if they were interested in making an appointment, and more. It also allows other departments to gain insight into call quality. For example, sales and operations can analyze calls to determine if the caller’s experience was good or bad.
  2. Machine-Learning Categorization: Like keyword spotting, machine-learning categorization allows users to see calls segmented by what they value most. This can include good calls vs. bad calls, if calls are being answered, or what are people calling about. This process is automated and does not require the user to know ahead of time what customers might say over the phone.
  3. IVRs (Interactive Voice Response): This option will work for franchisors who have control over how franchisees take phone calls. Some franchisees may already have an IVR for customers to route themselves to the department they’re looking for, others may not. I would suggest using an IVR if you have the direct transfer phone number for each department at the franchise level. You can bypass the franchisee’s system and send callers directly to the department they select.