7 Ways Franchises Increase Profits with Text Messaging
If you want to increase your franchise’s profits, you have to first identify what’s standing in the way. What’s the problem?
The problem is communication. From lead generation to sales, service, and more, you have to communicate with customers. But robocalls scare everyone off, and emails get lost among the 100+ other emails people get every day.
Even if someone wants to answer your call or email, you’re often trying to reach them during normal business hours, when they might not be able to answer personal calls or emails.
Want to know something interesting? None of this applies to text messaging.
- 95% of texts are read within three minutes of being sent
- They have a 90-second average response time
- People text while they’re at work
- And 89% of people want to text with businesses like yours
So the rest of this guide’s going to show you how franchises like yours can increase profits with text messaging. We’ll cover marketing, sales, operations, and more. Ready?
1. Generate new leads without extra work.
This is a great tactic, because it works for both franchise owners and franchise development. Here’s how.
You (or your corporate office) spend a lot of time and resources driving traffic to your website. You (or they) might even spend a lot of time and resources optimizing landing pages and forms to increase engagement. But you’re missing a piece—texting.
There’s a large and growing group of prospects who would rather text you from your website than to call or fill out a form. There are a couple of powerful tools (Click-to-Text and SMS Chat) to help you do this.
Why add another option? Because it’s what customers want. That’s where they live (in their smartphones and text messages). When you meet customers where they are, good things happen—like an increase in leads.
Your franchise generates more leads because people searching for your services would rather text you than play phone tag with competitors. You can even create autoresponses for inbound texts, so those leads know you got their message and will be personally following up ASAP. And you can create triggers on your end to help your operational workflow.
More leads is always a good thing. If you own an individual location, that lead might be worth a few hundred bucks to you. If you’re selling franchises, it might be worth tens of thousands. How many more leads would you have to get to make texting worth it? For most, the answer is between one and five.
"Being a business owner, it is so very important that I have different ways to communicate with my clients. The Text Request number is on our website and I have closed numerous deals by texting only, fixed scheduling issues for current clients, and I've set up a lot of sales calls as well. Thumbs UP!" - Charlie, Merry Maids
2. Close more opportunities (and do it faster).
Leads are great, but they don’t mean much until they’re deep in your funnel—until they’ve scheduled a service or committed to some next step. So how does texting help your franchise take leads further down the funnel (and turn them into revenue)?
It’s all about the follow-up.
How many times do you have to call a lead before you get a response? Franchisees and franchise consultants tell us it normally takes five to eight calls to reach a prospect, and even then the answer rate is only 25%-30%.
But those same people text prospects one time, and get response rates between 50%-60%. Through text, franchises double response rates with far less effort. That’s the dream.
So how might you text them?
Let’s say they text you first. (Fun fact: Leads who text in are 600% more likely to close than those who fill out a form.) Now you have their cell phone number and the quickest way to reach them, so you just text back.
“John, this is Mike at Franchise. Saw your request, have a couple questions to confirm. Got 2 minutes for a call? Thanks.”
Messages like that get more people on the phone than directly calling ever will. And you can send that same message to anyone who fills out a form (whether you send it automatically or have “text them” as a follow-up task is up to you).
When you get on the phone, you can confirm details and schedule any next steps. But keep in mind: When someone texts you, they may want to continue the whole conversation through text (booking appointments and all).
"The typical franchise development close rate is about 0.5%, but our average close rate through text is 3% - six times higher! Selling six times the number of franchise locations makes a huge impact on us and our clients." - David, Brand Journalists
3. Coordinate with customers, technicians in the field.
A lot of franchise services involve showing up at someone's house or business. Customers are glad you can help, but they want to know who’s going to show up. Texting removes this fear and creates a better customer experience. How?
Text your customers a picture of the technician who’s going to see them.
“Lisa, Barry is on his way to fix your AC! Should be there in about 20 minutes. He loves dogs, so don’t feel like you have to hide yours. :) [photo]”
A simple message like this builds rapport, creates trust, and sets up a great customer experience before you’ve even met! It also sets the expectation for when you’ll be there, which is something every customer wants to know.
You can text for other scheduling and status updates, too, like if you’re caught behind a wreck, to confirm they’ll be home when you arrive, and more. All of this creates opportunities for you to earn more online reviews.
4. Earn more online reviews, improve search rankings, and increase sales.
Online reviews are perhaps the single most important sales and marketing tool available to your franchise. 85% of people check out online reviews before deciding who to work with, and they treat those reviews like personal recommendations from friends and family.
Reviews are also one of the top factors determining which companies rank high in search results on Google and other search engines. So the more reviews you have, the better.
They don’t even have to be all good reviews. Studies show people trust companies with a few negative reviews thrown in more than they trust those with only positive reviews.
So how does texting help you earn more online reviews?
Simple. After you work with a customer, text them asking for a review, and include a link to your review page on the platform of your choice (Google, Facebook, Yelp, Angie’s List, etc.).
“Christina, loved working with you! Thanks for trusting us with your project. Would you mind sharing your experience with us on Google? That feedback helps a lot. google.com/mybusiness Thank you!”
Companies who ask for reviews through text tend to earn 600% more online reviews than those who ask via email.
5. Receive pictures to start the conversation.
How does this sound? Text us a picture of your:
- Broken unit, and we’ll come fix it!
- Current space, and we’ll design your dream
- Junk, and we’ll come pick it up!
Pictures are great conversation starters, but more importantly, they’re great lead generators. They drive customers to you, because it’s a better experience than trying to explain a situation over the phone, having an employee drive out for an estimate, and then scheduling the real work.
With a picture, your franchise can get a jumpstart on the situation, saving everyone time and money.
"Using Text Request has been a great way for us to save time and costs. Before Text Request, a customer would contact us and we’d drive out to their home or business to see what the problem was and give an estimate. Now they just text us pictures." - Stephen, Mr. Handyman
6. Resell past customers with new promotions.
It costs anywhere from 5X-25X as much to sell a new customer as it does to resell an existing or past customer. That means your franchise can save money while increasing revenue by texting past customers about new promotions.
Let’s say you’re a handyman service. You can send past customers a text like:
“Hi [First Name], summer’s hot, but you shouldn’t be! We’re offering 30% off HVAC servicings now—June 1st. Want to get yours checked? Just let me know! - [Name at Business]”
Or let’s say you’re in retail, and you’ve been growing your SMS subscriber list. Send a text to subscribers like:
“[Katy], new styles are in at [Store] this weekend! Come by for 40% off doorbusters this Saturday at 10am. See you there!”
You can always include links to your website, too, to drive engagement and online sales.
"Our Company signed up with Text request in February, sent out just one blast a month so far since April, and the return rate was better than hiring an outbound customer service rep. We also found great use of the program with our customers that just can't find the time to call to schedule an appointment. We do everything through text.
Our existing customers absolutely love having us at their fingertips now. We highly recommend this service for any type of business, since today's world is about technology we are able to stay in contact with our customers easier. Great work developing something that is definitely beneficial to use!" - Kara, Manager with Joseph Giannone Heating and Air Conditioning
7. Collect payments while saving time.
You provide services for customers and they need to pay you. The trouble is getting someone to pay when forgetting is the number one reason they’ll miss a payment.
If you want to grab someone’s attention these days, you text them. So text customers politely reminding them about your invoice.
“Hi [First Name], just a friendly reminder about our invoice. If it’s easier, you can just pay online at company.com/portal Thanks! - [Name, Company]”
There are all sorts of other ways you can use texting day-to-day, like:
- Appointment scheduling
- Event registration
- Class reminders
- General updates (like holiday hours)
- Customer service
- Hiring & staffing
- Coupons & keyword subscribers
- And more
If you have questions about any of these use cases, see the next section. We’ll help you out!
How can your franchise start texting?
First you need to choose a reason to start texting, maybe it’s lead generation, following up with leads to schedule appointments, or something else. We can help you with the rest.
Text Request is a text messaging software that gives you the power to text using your business phone number. If you have multiple locations, you can manage all of those under one account. We’ll even help you strategize how to get the most engagement and highest ROI (average ROI is around 20X-25X depending on the use).
We also have features like autoresponses, picture messages, mass messaging, reporting, SMS Chat, and integrations to give you the solutions you need to increase franchise revenue while also making your life easier.
Want to see how Text Request can fit into your business? Click here to schedule a quick demo with one of our experts.