You can’t underestimate the impact of a first impression, especially in senior living where it is usually formed during an initial phone call.

By Susan Saldibar

You can’t underestimate the impact of a first impression, especially in senior living where it is usually formed during an initial phone call. That interaction can either create a path to a tour or go nowhere at all, based upon the call experience.

That’s why we have contact centers in senior living. That first call is critical and they are trained to maximize it.

Meg Ostrom, Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Chicago-based Enlivant, an owner/operator of several hundred assisted living communities, was out to increase the company’s tour activity and had heard good things about RealPage, a Senior Housing Forum partner. With a pioneering approach to senior living designed to give residents a supportive, stimulating environment and compassionate care, the company placed a high priority on finding a partner capable of getting the tone and culture right, and to provide callers with a positive and authentic experience.

Three things stood out about RealPage’s approach:

  1. Training: After vetting a number of different contact centers, Meg was impressed with RealPage’s contact center and its commitment to providing a higher level of training. “Watching the RealPage team in action was impressive,” remarked Meg. “These are people who not only know what they’re doing; they are passionate about it.” RealPage associates go through a rigorous training process and they do not take a call until they have passed a variety of tests. This was exactly what Enlivant was looking for.

  2. Customization: According to Meg, being able to build a custom experience was critical to supporting the Enlivant brand. “We put RealPage to the test and they proved themselves as a true partner to help us optimize our brand and our unique benefits,” she noted.

  3. Analytics: Most providers will produce endless sets of reports, leaving the client to go through them and come to their own conclusions. RealPage was a standout in this area as well. “We not only got better visibility into the source of our calls, we had more insight into where we should be spending our marketing dollars,” said Meg.

The results?

In a fairly short period of time, Enlivant saw an uptick in the number of tours and a shorter length of time between the initial contact and a tour. The bottom line has been a strong increase in their conversion rates.

Meg sums up the experience. “Our community staffs spend a significant amount of time working to provide assisted living solutions to prospects and families, as well as local referral partners. As we created our brand, the value of having a senior living contact center became crucial to ensuring that a positive customer experience began at the first phone contact. Our partner, RealPage, provides every prospect with a high quality, consistent experience.”