Most senior living communities have employees who answer sales calls during business hours, Monday through Friday. But what happens when a person has a loved one in need and wants to reach a community or facility in the middle of the night or on the weekend? It’s difficult to predict when someone will call your facility in need of help, but you also want to provide the best service possible to future residents and their families. So how much time, money, and resources should you spend on after-hour inquiries? This is an issue many assisted living facilities are faced with answering.
Why Add After Hours Resources at Assisted Living Facilities?
Many senior living communities don’t feel they need to have someone answering calls from people on nights and weekends. After all, they get few calls, if any, at night…right? Plus, they assume that many people have a reasonable expectation of waiting until regular business hours to speak with an employee regarding senior care. However, our data suggests otherwise. When surveyed, the vast majority of families said they believe that service companies should have support available to talk to them before and after “their” work hours. The participants said, “Aren’t you in the service business of taking care of their senior loved ones 24/7?” Fair or not, that is the expectation. So exactly how do senior living communities solve this problem? Read on to discover why adding sales resource coverage after hours can increase sales and lead conversions.
1. Family members usually get together during off-business hours.
Many family members don’t have time to see or check in on their loved one until after work or during the weekend. So, if there are any existing or pressing issues that may mean the senior needs constant care or an assisted living situation, the family may not know they need to call you until it is too late in the day.
2. Family members are already in distress.
When families finally get to the point where they need to pick up the phone to call a community, they are already stressed and overwhelmed. The last thing they want to hear is that they need to wait. Our data shows that in 83% of cases, if a person calls a facility and is transferred to voicemail, they will hang up without leaving a message. In fact, they may keep calling places until they find one that answers the phone. Regardless of whether that place is best fit for their loved one, they may end up choosing that place because they were available to speak at that moment.
3. Not being available means driving leads to your competitors.
If a family needs an assisted living facility, they sometimes have a specific community in mind. However, if it’s after business hours, and they don’t answer the call, or return a call in a timely manner, then the family might turn to Google to get better ideas. This usually leads to them clicking on a third-party referral website (like A Place for Mom or Caring.com) that could send them to one of your competitors.
4. A quicker connection means more lead conversions.
The first community that has a meaningful connection with a lead wins over their business 84% of the time. And, making that connection within 5 minutes of their initial call increases chances of move-in by over 400%. Even though a senior living community may have someone answering the phone and transferring people to voicemail during the off-business hours, this is not the same as advancing on the lead. By actually making a human connection with the person calling on the other end of the phone, that can help the family feel more comfortable about placing their loved one in that community.
A Real-Life Case Study of After-Hour Inquiries
SeniorVu had the privilege of working with a client–let’s call them Community L–to test out this theory in their very own “after-hours case study.” Community L had the issue of no available sales resources after hours and on weekends. So even though they wanted to have their phones covered 24/7, it just wasn’t possible with the size of their community and their staff.
Community L’s solution was to hire SeniorVu to handle after hours and weekend sales coverage for their communities. SeniorVu’s Contact Center, using SeniorVu’s Lead Management Platform, which is integrated with Community L’s CRM solution, took all inquiries and handled them as a sales support team for the community. It was discovered that 37% of Community L’s inquiries were not coming in during traditional business hours. With the addition of the Contact Center, 100% of those were then answered on behalf of Community L.
Using SeniorVu’s after-hours service and platform, Community L received 2,876 after-hours inquiries, scheduled 71 tours, and had 16 residents move-in in the first seven months. This generated over $670,000 in annual revenue that would have likely gone to other communities handling after-hours inquiries.
This kind of data shows that, even though senior living communities may be thinking that what they’re currently doing (listening to days-old voicemails and returning as many as they can) is enough to get people through their doors, it is not. Quicker connections means more lead conversions and satisfied customers.
Ready to Increase Move-Ins Using an Industry-leading Lead Management Platform?
Contact SeniorVu. The SeniorVu Contact Center is trained on the unique elements of each community and how to qualify/disqualify each family to the community’s standards. It operates with a high degree of empathy, gently providing information or guiding the family through the logical steps in the process to tour the community, qualify for additional nurturing, again based on the community’s standards. All information is tracked, calls recorded, collaterals sent, and follow-up tasks established. It is made available for the community’s sales team to review in virtually real time.