A dynamic and engaging website can be one of the most effective tools to any senior living or independent living sales team. However, web visitors are not the easiest to engage with directly, as standard website tools such as contact forms are not effective. Studies show that the average user stays on a website for less than three minutes, so it is important to increase engagement with seniors the moment they reach your site.
The websites of senior living providers, for example, are often extremely outdated, and many are inefficient at lead generation. In addition, the sales cycle for a senior living development is incredibly long, 120 days. Compare this to an assisted living facility, for example, which is only 70 days long. This means your sales team must stay in regular contact with leads for up to four months.
Today’s seniors are much more technologically-savvy than we give them credit for. Most have lived in the digital age for nearly half of their lives, a vast majority use a smartphone, and are comfortable browsing the internet. When researching an independent living provider, most of that research will be done online, and they may not reach out to a salesperson, or want to be contacted by a human, for several months.
Senior living provider marketers collectively say the biggest problem is cultivating enough leads, yet they are trying to promote their services through a website that often accomplishes just the opposite. There is a simple fix, combining the expertise of your human staff with the artificial intelligence and real-time nature of a chatbot. For a web visitor, a chatbot can be the best of both worlds, a real-time, “always on” conversation tool that allows users to freely ask questions and receive instant answers, 24 hours a day, while also allowing a sales team to monitor and engage in any conversation when it is appropriate.
That process sure beats the way things are done today, with live chat options being sporadically available (only when a live person is there to chat), and web contact forms often answered 24-48 hours later, during “normal business hours”. Not to mention the long wait times that phone calls or live chat options can produce, and the high turnover of human staff that leads to inaccurate or inconsistent responses depending on which team member is responding.
The customer experience is crucial, and is dependent on the business making itself accessible to consumers on their terms. Customer expectations for real time assistance is growing, and response time is one of the important attributes today’s consumer cares about. In fact, 59% of customers are more likely to buy when brands answer their queries in under a minute.
Unfortunately for senior living providers, response time has not been high on the priority list. Nearly 40% of senior care facilities take 12 hours or more to follow up with leads. Not only does this give the consumer a negative first impression, but often it will drive consumers to the competition when they are unable to get the answers they seek.
COVID-19 has exacerbated this issue of “instant gratification” for businesses still reliant on phone calls, emails and in-person communication. All of us have benefited in some way from the rapid changes brought on by the pandemic. Since the onset of COVID-19, internet usage among seniors has risen, and part of this usage increase no doubt is spent on researching options for senior living providers. Your website is suddenly the sole source of information and will make or break a decision within just a few minutes.
By automating the top-of-the-funnel step of the customer journey, staff can reserve their limited time for higher-intent activities. In fact, 80% of all conversations handled by an AtlasRTX chatbot are completed without the need for human assistance. Lead generation through your website can be improved simply by improving the customer experience, and chatbots are proven to help with both.