By Steve Moran

In 2022 I attended the Senior Living Innovation Forum in the Bahamas, and one of the speakers was Chris Barton, the founder and first CEO of Shazam, the “What’s the name of that song?” app you have, or should have, on your mobile phone.

He talked about how, as they built the app, one of their biggest goals was to make the process of using it as frictionless as possible. It was the single point in his talk that most resonated with me, and I made a note to myself to devote an entire article to that idea. This is also a concept that some senior living organizations are starting to apply to their higher process, but should probably be its own article. 

A High Friction Purchase

I am sure it would be possible to make purchasing senior living harder than it is, but it is hard to imagine. Even people who work in senior living complain about how hard it is …

  • Figuring out the right level of care
  • Finding prices on senior living communities’ websites (A HUGE PET PEEVE OF MINE)
  • That lead aggregators make consumers a party to a contract in a way they can’t possibly understand just by filling out a web form, checking a box, and hitting the submit button
  • Figuring out how to pay for it
  • Figuring out what to do with the house and stuff
  • Wondering if Mom or Dad will really be happy
  • Wondering if a loved one will really be safe
  • Then, when the decision is made, completing the mounds and mounds of paperwork — so much that no one ever really reads it all

There is great opportunity to reduce the friction, and mostly we just accept that it is the way it is, and nothing changes … when it could and should. 

Nope, the title is not clickbait … read on …

But Then …

I came across this great article in Forbes where it talks about how Amazon, a company that is 100% committed to creating a frictionless purchase experience (Can you say “one click, buy now?”) has actually increased the friction by adding a box you have to check to apply a coupon.

They, for sure, assume 100% of the shoppers will click the box, but it turns out that by clicking the box, consumers end up being happier with their purchase, liking it better, and feeling more in control.

How It Might Work In Senior Living …

I can imagine a lead aggregator adding a checkbox on their inquiry form that would entitle the person submitting to a discount off their entrance fee or first month’s rent. I could see a senior living community doing the same thing. Or maybe a senior living community would make available a welcome package that would be significant if they clicked the box.

I could see senior living solution providers doing something similar with their inquiry forms.

It is simply a really cool way to make your prospects and your customers like you better.