As the world begins to open, the need for quality senior living communities is going to be very important for seniors as they look for their next chapter in retirement. COVID-19 caused a significant strain on everyone in the world, and especially with the senior community. For many, they were looking forward to moving into their new home, but due to the pandemic, probably realized it wasn’t the best time for them to be making such a significant change.
Now as vaccines become more available, seniors are looking to get back to living their lives fully. The opportunity for senior living communities is immense, if they can capitalize and grab market share from the competition.
The United States senior population is set to reach 100 million by the year 2060. Construction on senior communities took a dip during 2020, but many projects that were tabled last year are set to restart in the second half of 2021. While construction continues get back on its feet this year, competition will remain a major concern for senior care marketing and sales professionals.
So how can senior living communities beat out the competition? Provide the best customer experience by putting the consumer, not the business, in the driver’s seat.
Senior living community websites resemble more of a glorified brochure than a lead generation tool for the sales team. Seniors today are far more tech savvy than they were just 10 years ago, and most of them spend about four hours of their leisure time in front of a screen. In addition, most providers still operate within the old rules of “normal business hours” and make customers wait for answers.
The best way for a senior living provider to grab market share from the competition is to not be like the competition. Think about how the consumer wants to conduct business and make your brand available to them. Allow consumers to get answers to questions 24 hours a day, through the channels in which they prefer to communicate; chat and texting. Give them a friendly, familiar way to engage with your company. Implement automated tools to qualify your potential customers instead of your sales team chasing every potential lead. And follow up with the customer after their web visit to continue the conversation.
Having some form of live chat on a website is becoming more common these days, but it doesn’t solve the core problem of companies only making themselves available to answer questions between 8:00am and 5:00pm. Contact forms are so generic, you never know where your message is going, and you may or may not ever receive a response. In addition, these tools serve no benefit to your sales team, as they must reach out to these leads without any background information about the customer’s buying preferences.
Combining the strengths of a successful sales team and the powers of artificial intelligence will separate you from the competition. When a prospective customer is on your website, they will be greeted immediately with a chatbot ready and able to guide them to the information they seek and answer any questions they have. In fact, 80% of the conversations with a chatbot are resolved without any human interaction. With AtlasRTX chatbots, this number often goes even higher, as our staff continually optimizes and trains the chatbot with new information and answers.
The consumer can get their questions answered instantly, no matter the time of day, what language they speak, how many other potential customers may also be engaging with the bot, or what device they are using. Compared to the competition’s reliance on static web pages, contact forms, a phone number or live chat app, a chatbot provides a vastly improved customer experience from the first interaction and continues through the entire sales journey. If a customer does interact with the bot during normal business hours, or if the chatbot ever receives a question that it cannot understand, the chatbot can quickly and seamlessly route the user to a human for additional help or collect the user’s information so a team member can follow up with them. Any salesperson can monitor chatbot conversations in real-time, jumping in when appropriate to engage with the lead directly and help move them to the next step in their journey.
Chatbots are not perfect, and they’re not designed to replace a human-powered sales team, but when you put the expertise of AI and humans together, you get the perfect combination. Seniors are more tech savvy than ever, and those providers who can engage with this audience in a new 24/7 real-time way, will be able to grab market share and leave the competition scratching their heads in disbelief.