Published December 1, 2023

The Grinches In Your Franchise System

Mystery shop your validation process to make sure it’s not killing your deals

The shopping season is well underway, and whether you’re a Black Friday warrior or more of a last-minute, better-under-pressure shopper, the buying experience can fuel your holiday excitement or suck all the joy out of the process.

The same goes for franchise candidates in the validation process. They’re excited about your brand, they’re optimistic about the business, and more importantly, you believe they’re the right fit and have what it takes to be successful in your system. The next step is validation – and the part where a few grinches can kill a great deal.

If you currently survey your franchisees (and analyze the results) you probably already have a pretty good idea of how your franchisees are feeling – and what they would say to a candidate. If you don’t survey (or don’t get your full results) you’re taking a serious gamble.

Candidates are bound to hear some negative feedback when talking to franchisees, and that’s to be expected. But, if the concerns they come back with are a surprise, or the message you’re sending doesn’t match the message they’re getting from franchisees, all the time and effort you invested in that candidate could be for naught.

Mystery shopping the candidate experience—from development through validation, and even customer satisfaction—can give you valuable intel (or peace of mind) on exactly what your franchisees tell candidates when they pick up the phone. It gives you real-time feedback on what individual franchisees are saying and how they’re saying it so you know exactly what candidates are experiencing throughout your sales and development process.

Armed with that information you can:

1. Set appropriate expectations. Tell candidates about the areas where franchisees may not be satisfied, and share how you’re addressing those areas. This shows candidates that you listen to your franchisees and take their concerns seriously. And that goes a long way toward establishing a relationship built on trust.

2. Look for themes. Are you hearing the same concerns from multiple franchisees? If so, it’s time to dive deeper and look for underlying issues that need attention.

3. Talk to individual franchisees. If there’s someone in your system who is unhappy, call that person and ask how you can work together to improve the situation.

Don’t let disgruntled franchisees suck the joy out of your candidates. We’re ready to shop your system and get you the information you need to make your franchise buying experience something to celebrate. Learn more about our candidate experience solutions or contact us for more information.

About the Author: Ali Forman

As the Marketing Director, Ali’s role is to educate franchise companies about and inspire them to participate in FBR’s research in order to grow and improve their brands. Ali's previous experience includes senior marketing communications roles in the employee benefits, data privacy, and publishing sectors. She lives in Maine with her husband and two sons.
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