Lately, we’ve been talking about the fact that senior living communities don’t need call centers—they need lead centers.
Sure, twenty years ago, communities could get away with having “just” a call center.
Why? Well, people were still used to 9-5 mindsets for business hours. Digital marketing was in its infancy. Along with social media. Heck, back in 2003, many people didn’t have email addresses, and plenty of businesses didn’t have websites. (Or if they did, they were very basic.)
But everything has grown up and become more complex, including people’s expectations when they call a senior living community, no matter the time of day. If the person answering the phone isn’t equipped to answer the lead’s questions or book a tour, the lead is likely to dial on—quite literally.
That would really stink, wouldn’t it? Think of ALL the work (and money) that went into getting that lead to call in the first place . . . only to have the lead hang up in disgust, confusion, or both.
Now, we know what you might be thinking: Who cares if we miss a few phone calls? Most of the real action happens online anyway.
It’s easy to think that all marketing happens online. And while it’s true that most consumers’ journeys begin online, it’s also true that phone calls still have a place—especially in our industry.
In fact, did you know that 70% of senior services’ marketing leads are phone calls?
The problem is that too many of these valuable inbound calls are being handled by a receptionist or concierge whose job isn’t to qualify prospects. And/or the inbound calls are put on the shoulders of a call center that’s nothing more than a glorified answering service.
This is precisely why senior living communities need lead centers, not call centers.
And not just any company that calls itself a lead center, either. You need a lead center that can manage your inbound calls effectively and function as an extension of your sales team—one that’s literally “on call” during off-hours.
No easy task since most call centers that refer to themselves as lead centers aren’t.
So what should you do? How can you be sure you’re choosing a true senior living lead center?
Senior living lead center best practices.
Be on the lookout for the following best practices. If you hear the lead center’s sales reps talking about these things, you can feel confident that you’re in good hands.
The senior living lead center employs a team of experienced sales counselors to answer your community’s inbound calls.
The counselors have received training about the senior living industry and understand how emotional this call might be for some people.
They always treat callers with compassion and work hard at putting the caller into the appropriate lead-nurturing workflow. (For example, an adult child calling on behalf of a parent wouldn’t go into a workflow for someone inquiring about themselves.)
The senior living lead center’s counselors use your community’s discovery process.
Every community’s sales process is a little different, so it makes sense for the lead center to train counselors on the specifics of your discovery process.
- PRO TIP: Sharing your well-research buyer personas can be an excellent way to contribute to this important training.
The senior living lead center uses your CRM.
Again, the counselors from the lead center are an extension of your sales team. So they should feel comfortable learning and using your CRM. This is a must to ensure inbound callers don’t fall through the cracks.
The senior living lead center knows how to identify those callers who are ready for tours.
And best of all . . . the senior living lead center will go ahead and book these tours!
Over the years, we’ve listened in on SO many calls where the person answering the phone at the community cannot take care of this simple task. If someone calls wanting a tour—or if a tour is an obvious next step for the caller after asking them a few questions—then a tour should be booked ASAP.
This is often the first improvement you’ll notice after contracting with a good senior living lead center—you’ll see an increase in tours booked from phone calls.
Does this feel overwhelming?
Well, we’ve got some good news. We’ve created a next-generation senior living lead center called LeadGenie, and it does ALL of the above—and then some.