Occupancy growth is the key to remaining successful in the senior living business, and it all starts with an appointment. But getting more appointments — which lead to more tours and, eventually, more move-ins — can be tricky.
So what’s the secret? Well, recent studies suggest that the key to getting more appointments may be to use a call center.
Where Leads Come from and Why This is Important
The first goal in expanding your community’s occupancy is learning where your leads are coming from.
According to one study, as much as 50% of leads come from the internet. Referrals and call-ins also account for high percentages, in the mid-20s to low-30s. Knowing where your leads come from is important so you can decide how best to allocate your resources.
Call Centers and Internet Leads
Some senior living communities may not want to embrace call centers because they believe that the people working at these call centers don’t know anything about senior living. But this lack of specific knowledge isn’t as detrimental as you might think, and the advantages of call centers more than make up for it.
One of the biggest advantages of call centers is that they follow up on all leads, which is not something that in-house staff do regularly. Call centers are able to contact internet leads within 24 hours, which can significantly boost the number of tours your community gets. They can also have staff available every day of the week to answer questions and register prospects for appointments and tours. And for prospects who are just gathering information, call centers can schedule followups at set intervals, such as a week or a month after the first call.
In addition, and this point was key in the study, call center employees have no bias about lead type. They treat internet leads the same as any other, which is not always the case for senior living staff, who often treat internet leads as lower quality. But as the study shows, the lack of bias results in more tours, which in turn results in increased occupancy.
Call Centers and Call-In Leads
Of course, internet leads are not the only kind that benefit from call centers — call-ins do too (they are call centers, after all!). Again, call centers don’t have preconceived notions about leads — their goal is to provide great customer service across the board. With the right scripts, they can answer most questions prospects have, and can sign prospects up for appointments and tours very easily.
Because of these advantages, call centers can be boost call-to-tour or lead-to-tour rates as much as 25%. Then all you have to do is make sure your tours are up to par, and you can expect to see much in the way of occupancy growth.