By MaryLee Herrmann
Look! It says: Big Sale, 75% Off, Ends at Midnight! Must Act Immediately.
Oooh, wow, a special offer in your inbox from a big software company that offers document signing from smartphones and tablets.
Admissions for your community all done electronically! Wouldn’t that be great? And there’s a 30-day guarantee, so what can it hurt?
But wait, there’s more!
Sign up in the next 30 minutes for the special, “limited edition,” guaranteed-not-to-crash, glow-in-the-dark software bundle, and you’ll also get a free tote bag!
Well, better jump on it, time’s a-wastin’.
Before you press that shiny PAY NOW button, let’s do a little time travel to one year from today.
You’re working late, again? What’s with that ton of paper stacked up around your desk? Where’s that pricey, “game-changing” purchase you made 12 months ago that was supposed to eliminate this time-consuming paperwork?
Huh, it didn’t work!
It seemed like a good deal at 75% off. The only problem was, after receiving the software, you and your team spent a few weeks hopelessly trying to navigate your way through all the menus and options, many that don’t even pertain to senior living communities.
And then all those hours you spent on hold trying to reach customer support.
So, what happened?
You and everyone else figured, the hell with it. Paper is just as easy.
The desktop icon for the software mocks you as it glows on your computer screen. And your limited edition tote bag? It’s folded up under the leg of your desk to steady the wobble it developed from all your beating your head on the desk out of aggravation (ah, that explains your throbbing headache).
Back To Present Day
Whew, that was close!
You stopped in time and didn’t hit the purchase button. The “supersized” software isn’t on its way. The rest was all just a bad dream, including the head banging and wobbly desk.
You were looking for a reprieve from the madness of this clutter of paperwork, and the big shiny object in front of you appeared so promising. Alas, all that glitters is not gold.
So before you let yourself fall into a huge purchase you can’t come back from (because we can’t really travel through time), Neil Kraus and Jared Hancock of Senior Sign (a Foresight partner) offer six reasons why you should look past the hype of the broad-industry signing software and use senior-specific software to really make your admissions system run smoother.
1. Senior specific means custom-made (aka tailored fit).
With a long background in the industry, Neil sees software as either very vertical or very horizontal. “The broader-minded companies are developing for the mortgage industry and every other kind of general business. They’re trying to be something middle-of-the-road to fit everyone, whereas something that we’re trying to do is very much fill a niche vertical. We’re focused specifically on senior living.”
2. You get personalized service.
If you go with a national, nonspecific software, even if you have 30 communities, you’re not a big player to them. As Jared points out: “Smaller, more nimble software companies aren’t going to delegate or pass you down the line. They’ll look at a 30-community contract and go, ‘This is a big deal, and we’re going to make sure that they get the best service. We’re going to make sure that our customer service is there to solve their problems.’ That’s what we say. Because you matter.”
Smaller companies are going to have a vested interest in not only making sure you know how to use the software but in making sure you love using it and are getting the most from it.
3. Boutique companies know your pain points so they can pinpoint.
One-stop-shopping programs are targeting, well, pretty much anyone. It’s the reason for the term bloatware—it’s full of features you’ll never use, and missing many you actually would. Whereas, senior-centric software companies are hiring people that have been in communities and know their target users well.
As Neil mentions, “I’ve spent time with seniors, their families, and the sales and marketing managers, and that gives me insight into how we develop our product. We’re actually thought leaders when it comes to realizing something new that would be a really great tool. It’s already built into the software, or we’re building it into the next version, because we’re around senior living executives all the time and listening to their feedback.”
4. You get cost-effective pricing packages.
Don’t be surprised if, from the other guys, you hear, “You want HIPAA compliance with your order? Sure, we got that, but it’ll cost you extra—loads extra.” Do you know how much software developers and coders charge?
Not the case when you go with a company that is focused on senior care. They want you to have the bulk of what you need right off the bat.
Their thinking is that at a minimum, you should be able to purchase a core bundle that has all the features included if you need to move somebody in now. On this comparison chart on the Senior Sign site you can see that the features that are necessary to you and should be standard, those other guys call extras.
Sure, you can order “a la carte,” but that is “a la pricey.”
5. You are heard.
Imagine you have a great idea you know would enhance the program. You could approach the broader-minded company and suggest in the generic online form (because that’s the only way to contact them), “It’d be really great if you guys implemented a feature where it would track compliance according to the state.”
Their reply is likely to be, “Why on earth would we ever do that? Do you know the number of people who would be involved to implement that?”
Whereas at a company like Senior Sign, you give them a call, and they are going to listen to you, the customer. As Neil said, “We track all of that because the better our service becomes, and the better our software becomes at filling that specific need, the more people are going to talk about it, and it’s advantageous for us and advantageous for them. They can do their job better while we make an even better product.”
6. Built for seniors, so move-ins are smoother.
Think more “interface” and less “in-your-face.” Whereas tech companies are using the most forward-thinking designs for broad appeal, senior-specific software has taken into account that in addition to staff and families, there are seniors interfacing with the software who have varying levels of tech skills and abilities.
They are looking at important factors like font size, and even choice of font itself, for readability. They know to select high-contrast colors that aren’t difficult on aging eyes.
It’s a matter of making technology accessible so people are comfortable and can integrate it into their lives.
But Wait, There’s More!
This time, there actually is. With a focus on senior living communities, Senior Sign can continue to develop features with your residents, your staff, and you in mind to make the move-in process as pain-free as possible, because there’s no more banging your head on the desk. It’s smart software made for senior communities like yours.
Reach out to Senior Sign to learn more about eSigning software specifically for senior living communities.