If you don’t have an effective way to respond to the senior living leads who contact your community, nothing else matters. Not your fabulous website. Not your great reviews. Not your warm-and-fuzzy social media posts featuring happy residents.
And no amount of marketing automation or digital wizardry is going to solve this problem, either. That’s because the issue isn’t pixels—it’s people. Your current staff likely isn’t equipped to manage the various leads who call your community because they’re busy doing their jobs. (And trust us, we’ve seen the mystery shop data to know this is true!)
But here’s the good news: A senior living lead management solution could help bridge the gap.
Now, we know what you might be thinking: That sounds like a call center! Isn’t that incompatible with inbound marketing’s approach?
Here’s the thing to keep in mind: not all call centers are created equal. Great ones do exist. But before we get to that topic, let’s first discuss five signs that your community could benefit from a senior living lead management solution in the first place.
1. You’re seeing issues in your CRM about inadequate response times to leads.
You probably already suspect there’s a problem, thanks to your CRM data. Most senior living CRMs provide insightful reports on leads, including success rates with connecting to leads and the number of leads categorized as “lost – unable to reach.” For the latter, some leads are labeled as such after only one or two attempts! This isn’t OK. As we often say, there’s a gold mine in those so-called “cold” leads.
Another way to evaluate is to look at your call tracking reports to see . . .
- How many leads are not answered (and when)
- How many are abandoned while on hold
- How many are transferred to voicemail
You should also regularly listen to the quality of the interactions when a lead is (finally) able to connect with a concierge or member of the sales team.
- Does the lead sound happy with the interaction?
- Are their questions answered?
- Are they treated warmly and/or in a way that reflects your brand’s values?
- Is there a clear plan about what happens next?
2. You have a smaller market share of third-party leads compared to your competitors.
Pay attention to reports issued by third-party lead sources, like A Place for Mom. How many leads were delivered, what was the close rate, and how does your market share compare with your competitors?
With third-party leads, speed to the lead is critical—along with persistence. Both are often in short supply if your sales team is stretched thin and/or if they’re busy working with other prospects, giving tours, preparing for move-ins, hosting events, networking, and the like. A good senior living call center can fill in the gaps.
3. Your front desk person is the first line of defense. (And that’s not a good thing.)
Your receptionist or concierge probably isn’t prioritizing sales calls because they’re busy juggling many other tasks for residents and their families. Consequently, sales calls might go unanswered, be put on hold, or end up dumped into general voice mail.
But here’s the thing: Even if your receptionist attempted to engage with a lead, they probably won’t have the information and insights the person is looking for. (We’ve listened to enough calls and always marvel at receptionists who have no idea how or when tours are booked.)
Again, a senior living lead management solution can solve this problem because its sole focus is qualifying leads that come in and shepherding them through your marketing and sales workflows.
4. You’ve had turnover on the sales side that’s affected momentum.
Do you ever feel like your community sales team is just starting to gain traction when WHAM! Someone on the team leaves and the momentum stutters and stalls? We don’t have to tell you how much time it takes to recruit, hire, and onboard sales reps and managers.
Meanwhile, everyone else has to pick up the slack, which doesn’t happen—or it doesn’t happen well since everyone is busy working their own leads. Oftentimes, the leads just sit in the CRM. After one or two lackluster attempts at contact, they’re labeled cold.
A quality lead management solution, on the other hand, will always be “on duty” 24/7, fielding inquiries, qualifying leads, scheduling tours, and enrolling people in automated follow-ups—in other words, all the things you wish you could find in a good sales backup team. And a good lead management solution can help bridge the gap if someone on your sales team resigns or needs to take an extended leave.
5. You’re using outdated telephone technology. (Or you’re not maximizing newer systems.)
This goes hand-in-hand with point #3. Your concierge is only there during business hours. What happens after hours? Or what happens when they’re on another call? Don’t underestimate how important the right phone technology is. Yours needs to be simple for older people to navigate. It needs to be equal parts intuitive and fast—and that’s no easy feat. We’ve all complained about getting lost in phone directory hell.
Nothing can turn off leads faster than antiquated phone technology. A quick way to assess yours: Are you using IVR technology? IVR stands for Interactive Voice Response. IVR is automated phone technology that allows people to interact with the system using only their voice. This is especially helpful for older adults (no more fumbling for the pound button) or for people using mobile devices. But even IVR systems can be cumbersome or convoluted if not set up thoughtfully.
A senior living lead management solution wouldn’t replace your IVR system. Instead, it would work in harmony with it, particularly when the lead makes it clear they want to speak to a human. The key is having an IVR system that quickly identifies callers who want this level of interaction and routes them accordingly.
How many of the above signs can you relate to?
Even if you can relate to only one or two, your sales numbers could take a beating because of it. Luckily, good senior living lead management solutions that incorporate a call center do exist. Hint: We’ve just launched ours. It’s called LeadGenie. Check it out and discover how our solution for senior living lead management can help your community.