How Digitally Approachable Is Your Franchise?


Did you hear the one about the hiker lost on a mountain for 24 hours who ignored calls from rescuers because he didn’t recognize the phone number?


This is not a joke. 


Even a text message automation company like FranFunnel couldn’t make this story up.


A recent news report came out about a hiker who was reported missing after he never returned from a trek on Mount Elbert in Colorado, the highest summit of the Rocky Mountains.


According to Lake County Search and Rescue, the hiker ignored repeated phone calls from the rescue team because he didn’t recognize the number. The captain’s advice to future hikers was:

If you’re overdue according to your itinerary, and you start getting repeated calls from an unknown number, please answer the phone.


Thankfully, the hiker made it back alive. Whew!


This story is a chilling case study of failed digital approachability. Kind of makes you wonder:


Who’s ignoring your phone calls? How many potential franchisees are you missing out on because they don’t recognize your number?


Now, to be fair, smartphone technology can be inconsistent across platforms, devices, providers and locations. Users can’t always know who’s calling them.


The question is, which party is to blame? Was it the lost hiker who ignored repeated calls, or the search and rescue team whose number wasn’t recognizable?

Culpability of the Message Receiver

We understand the hiker was likely cold, lost, hungry, confused and scared. It’s no surprise they weren’t thinking clearly. However, they take a risk as a public hiker, and need to be open minded to receiving help in the event of an emergency. If that person was stranded on the side of a mountain for an entire day, then one would assume their distrust of spam calls would be outweighed by the human survival instinct. 


Look, we all get frustrated with unlisted numbers, persistent political canvassers and other annoying interruptions on our phones. But at a certain point, we have to swallow our pride and say hello. Otherwise the only thing we’ll be swallowing is snow. 


How many of your leads are just like this hiker? Is your franchise prepared to combat the call reluctance of real leads who can become owners?


Culpability of the Message Sender

Lake County Search and Rescue is an amazing organization. They’re an all-volunteer team providing emergency search, rescue and recovery services for persons lost, missing or otherwise impaired in the rugged backcountry surrounding Leadville, Colorado. 


Unfortunately, for whatever reason, their phone carrier data registered on the screen of the hiker in a way that he didn’t associate with help. 


But perhaps there’s an opportunity to innovate here. 


  • Maybe the rescue team could contact customer support at their wireless provider and find out how to make the data track on the screen of the phone as an emergency service number, thus increasing the chance of a pickup. 


  • Maybe the local and regional carriers themselves could make a charitable donation to such causes to help them boost their signals and make their phone data more digitally approachable.


If their job is saving lives, digital technology must be a part of that to whatever degree is technically possible.


How digitally approachable is your phone number? Is there any technology you can implement to help make sure your messages are received in a timely fashion?


Call Me Maybe? Optimize Your Phone Number

A few months ago, we wrote a bulletin about how your outbound sales efforts all need to thread back to a specific phone number that's yours and yours alone. Otherwise you might be missing out on potential buyers. 


The same principle applies here. Whether your customers are lost on a mountain, or lost in their career, assuring “peak” digital approachability is paramount. 


If your company is using tech automation partners for texting and other services, and they aren’t giving you a dedicated number, that can destroy your contact rate. 


But if you make your franchise more digitally approachable, you’ll be sure to hike up your number of closed deals.


Want to learn about call forwarding so you inbound calls are forwarded to a dedicated number of their choosing? Set up a demo with FranFunnel today.

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