August 9, 2020

Why you need a Mystery Shopping Program before you franchise

Congratulations for thinking about franchising your business, that is the first step. You’re starting with a popular brand that you believe in and want to expand; we’re excited for you and would love to help you achieve your goal! It’s now vital to get every move right in order to maintain the integrity of your business and to maximise your chances of success. It helps that you’re starting in a franchise-loving country: Australia has more franchises per capita than any other country and the majority are Australian owned.(1)


There are two main types of franchises: product distribution (petrol stations, car dealerships) and business format (McDonalds, Zarraffas, Dominos). The business format is the most popular type of franchise in Australia and a popular industry is quick-service food. Six of the top 10 leading franchises in Australia are quick-service food brands, with an average estimated franchise cost of $350000.(2) 


It may seem overwhelming as there is a lot to consider when franchising: the agreement, fit-out, branding, financials, core values, third party companies, etc. Often customer service is an afterthought (i.e. thought after the business starts getting negative reviews). Your customer service standards should be the first expectations you communicate to potential franchisees. Just as you would share your policies for processing and preparing orders, so should you share your policy on serving a customer. The franchisees and their staff will be representing the brand, they need to represent it well. 


At Above Benchmark, we can help you understand your customer service policy and ensure your standards are communicated and upheld. We do this by designing a Mystery Shopping survey to assess your current customer service standards. Ideally, this survey would be accompanied by a Customer Satisfaction survey to also gather feedback from actual customers. This would both identify opportunities for improvement and recognise great moments in service. It also should lead to an increase in sales.


How does a Mystery Shopping program benefit your business? 

  • We provide measurable data and KPIs, which could be passed directly to potential franchisees. 
  • The surveys could be used as training tools to showcase perfect customer experience scenarios.
  • You can hold franchisees accountable to these standards
  • Get unbiased insight into what’s happening at ground level
  • Also allows you to check other standards, such as food quality and team/location presentation
  • Our software allows for two levels of questions. You can collect data that the franchisee does not have access to. 


How does a Mystery Shopping program benefit your franchisees? 


  • It provides a clear expectation on the brand’s customer service policy 
  • The data can be used as a training tool for both current and new Team Members
  • Positive surveys can be used to boost team morale 
  • It’s their Mystery Shopping program too, they should feel included in the process


Like most business decisions, timing is everything. While you can implement a Mystery Shopping program after you’ve launched your franchise model, writing the program into your agreement can give you the winning edge. Here are the top 3 reasons you should have a Mystery Shopping program when you launch your franchise.


  1. You can incorporate the fees into the franchise agreement
  2. The customer service expectations will be clear from the start
  3. There will be consistency when new locations open 


It’s never too late! If you’ve already launched your franchise model, you can still implement a Mystery Shopping program. You may need to have some careful conversations with current franchisees, but they will soon realise having a customer service policy that is measured with a Mystery Shopping program will help them to grow their new business. New franchisees will be accepting of the program from sign-up as the customer culture will already be in place. 


How do you choose the right mystery shopping provider for your business?


You want a company who will understand and share your core values, who believes in your business and supports you. Some mystery shopping providers only consider their bottom line and will only work with industry giants. At Above Benchmark we’re passionate about helping small businesses grow into industry giants. We understand that outlining and measuring your customer service is critical to your growth and should be included in your franchise model and agreement and we’d love to help you with that!





Take action

Here at Above Benchmark, we make Mystery Shopping simple. We help our clients design their ideal customer service experience. Then we have our professional Mystery Shoppers evaluate their customer service so we can compare it to their benchmark.

We live and breathe customer service and have been designing unique Mystery Shopping programs for almost 2 decades.

If you want to grow your business through better service and experiences, contact us today.

Simply call 1300 400 716 and let us help you achieve above your benchmark.

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