Photo of a board for the article: Should You Outsource Your Senior Living Call Center?

Should You Outsource Your Senior Living Call Center?

Photo of a board for the article: Should You Outsource Your Senior Living Call Center?

We don’t have to tell you that phone calls still matter in senior living. You’re living and breathing it every day.

But here’s an interesting stat from Invoca that verifies this experience: “70% of senior living and care consumers will call during the consumer journey. Since senior living and care is a highly-considered purchase, it often requires direct communication with a qualified agent.” (Emphasis is ours.)

The phrase “qualified agent” suggests a call center, a popular topic at the Senior Housing News conference in Tampa earlier this year. During various panels, several operators brought up the value of using a call center to improve lead response and conversions.

The question is, should you manage your own call center? Or should you outsource?

We have a strong opinion on this subject, and for a good reason: We built a senior living call center.

We launched LeadGenie in early 2023 to complement our marketing services and ensure that the leads we generate for clients are answered—and answered in a way that helps the prospect.

We got to this point after listening to countless hours of call recordings filled with lousy customer interactions and prospects who sounded frustrated (rightfully so). Many of these prospects had scheduled tours on the website, yet no one from the community had responded to confirm. Or they were dumped in voicemail, told to call back, or put on hold for so long that they abandoned the call.

It soon became clear that half of the leads we worked so hard to generate for our clients were mismanaged and never reached the salesperson.

So, we decided to build something that would work better for prospects—and our industry. The result was LeadGenie, a complete lead management solution with a call center at its core.

We’re not going to lie: It was really hard in the beginning. We made mistakes and had to rebuild the team and the infrastructure several months into the launch. Today, we know more about call centers and centralized lead management than we ever thought possible, and we love sharing our knowledge.

What to know about senior living call centers

The telephony system you choose can make or break your call center.

Your phone system must be easy for your staff to use. It should include workforce management to ensure proper staffing by day and time, provide transparency to staff performance so you can reward top performers and coach (or fire) underperformers, and generate a reporting dashboard to hold the team accountable to KPIs.

Speaking of KPIs, are you ready for some alphabet soup?

If you thought marketing jargon and acronyms were bad, just wait until you see the stuff related to call centers.

Service Level Agreement (SLA)

We set this with each client based on their goals. The most common is the percentage of calls answered within an agreed-upon timeframe.

We average 85/30, meaning we answer 85% of all calls within 30 seconds for inbound calls. We use minutes to measure outbound calls (generated from third-party leads and web forms) since the team has to receive the lead, read the notes, and make an outbound call attempt. We had a client with a 27-hour speed-to-lead that we reduced to a few minutes.

Once you agree upon the SLA, it should be visible on the client dashboard.

Average Handle Time (AHT)

Each client has a different goal regarding how deeply they want us to explore prospects. Some want light discovery with AHT under 3 minutes. Others want us to act as an extension of their sales team and conduct deep and detailed discovery, which can take eight to 12 minutes.

Call centers, whether you own or outsource, are labor intensive. Labor will be your biggest investment, so setting expectations on AHT is critical to achieving the desired results. Read more about call center best practices.

After Call Work (ACW)

Call center staff must document notes into your CRM once the call is completed. A few minutes per interaction must be built into staffing models and included in reporting.

Call centers might combine AHT and ACW into “screen time” if the telephony system records each agent’s screen for training purposes.


Agreeing upon the lead response and follow-up cadence will help set the tone for a successful relationship. Some clients want us to manage a lead for only 24 hours, while others might want up to four attempts in three days. One client requested 14 touchpoints in 10 days, and others want us to own the lead until we qualify, disqualify, or advance it to an appointment.

Some of our workflows involve only inbound and outbound calls, while others include emails. Once everyone agrees on the workflow, there must be accountability for managing it successfully.

So, should you manage your own call center? Or outsource? 5 considerations.

The problem with managing your own senior living call center is you don’t realize how complex things can become until you’re in it. Five areas in particular can become headaches in a hurry:

1. Recruiting

This is a specialized hire (especially if you’re building a remote team). Do you have a recruiting specialist for this role?

2. Training

Do you have a team that can train new hires about the senior living industry? What about sales skills, call center skills, and technical proficiency? It can take skilled call center teams two to three weeks to fully train an agent before they’re ready to get on the phone. Oh, and training should never stop. You must have live call monitoring, evaluations of recorded calls, and one-to-one coaching with each agent.

3. Admin, HR, and Payroll

Do you want to manage a high-turnover, hourly staffing model with last-minute call-outs, no-shows, and missed punches?

4. Accountability and Productivity

Do you know how many sales activities each agent should complete per hour/shift? Do you have KPIs to measure quality, productivity, and results? Do you have the capacity to coach to improve performance and identify gaps in learning?

5. Knowledge Bases

You’ll have to build custom knowledge bases for each community so your agents can quickly provide prospects with answers to their questions. Agents will need more than what’s available on your website, so having the right platform to make it easy for agents to navigate while keeping the prospect engaged is critical.

Think you might be better off outsourcing? Give LeadGenie a try.

LeadGenie has been a great addition to our marketing agency services since it takes all the great leads we’ve been generating for clients and advancing more of them to tours and move-ins.

If you’re considering a call center partnership that allows you to use your CRM, customize your workflow, and measure results, schedule a call with LeadGenie. Visit the LeadGenie site to learn more.

How to choose a senior living call center

How to Choose a Senior Living Call Center: 5 Questions to Ask

Wondering how to choose a senior living call center? Here are 5 important questions to ask—and what you should look for in the answers.

1. Are you locked into an annual contract?

Annual contracts stink. Why should you be locked into a whole year? Or be required to pay a penalty if you break the contract because you’re not happy with the service?

Being able to pay as you go makes more sense for everyone, including the call center. How so? Well, if you could conceivably cancel at any time, the call center will be much more motivated to deliver superior service every day. This great service will make you a happy customer. Happy customers become loyal customers and good sources of referrals (which will make the call center happy).

2. What sort of training does the call center provide?

Call center staff should receive training about the senior living industry in general and your community in particular.

Ideally, you’d want to work with a call center that specializes in senior living. This way, the call center staff will already be ahead of the curve since they’ll have an understanding of things like . . .

  • Different types of senior living lifestyles. Think independent living, assisted living, memory care, active adult, and so forth.
  • Questions that will help uncover a caller’s immediate needs. Is the caller interested in booking a tour? Do they have questions about amenities? The call center staff should be able to address these questions.
  • How to properly represent your brand and the senior living industry. Remember, the caller isn’t going to know they’ve reached a third-party service. The caller will assume the person answering their calls is part of your community.

3. Is it “just” a call center—or does the call center offer a true lead management solution?

There’s nothing wrong with “just” a call center. But if you’re going to make this investment, wouldn’t it make sense for the call center staff to do more than simply act as a glorified answering service?

Think about why you’re considering a call center in the first place. You probably suspect something’s “off” with your current sales process when potential leads call your community. You might not know exactly where things fall apart, but you know it starts when a prospect calls, especially after hours.

If this is the case, you don’t need “just” an answering service. You need a lead management solution, one where the call center staff can answer specific questions about your community, properly qualify callers, and funnel them into the right channels for follow-up and further communications.

For example, is the caller ready for an immediate sales interaction? Or are they still in the early stages and would benefit from email nurturing? Does the call center staff have experience with your senior living CRM so that they can properly score the lead and enter the person into the appropriate next stage for follow-up?

Bottom line: If what you need is a true lead management solution, then the senior living call center should seamlessly become an extension of your sales and marketing teams. And not every call center is capable of doing that, which is precisely why you need to ask.

4. Does the call center meet and/or comply with regulatory requirements?

Compliance matters! You want to use a provider that meets regulatory requirements, such as HIPAA, TCPA, and various federal, state, and local consumer privacy laws (like CCPA) while recording up to 100% of interactions in a fully-compliant manner.

When vetting call centers, ask about things like . . .

  • Encryption
  • Automated and on-demand masking
  • Consent-based recording
  • Retention options

5. How’s the call center’s uptime?

You’re paying a senior living call center to TAKE CALLS, not lose them. Look for a provider that can offer a high-reliability environment with 99% uptime and no actual downtime for maintenance windows.

Your call center should never lose a call or session due to the center’s infrastructure going down, and there should never be any disruption of active or queued sessions or calls.

Need a recommendation? Say hello to LeadGenie!

We’re proud to offer LeadGenie. It’s more than a call center, it’s our senior living contact center solution. Check out the LeadGenie website to learn more!