Senior Living Facilities: Is Contact Center Outsourcing Right for You?
Contact center outsourcing can relieve stress and boost business.
Articles published June 1, 2021 by Michael Gallagher
A day in the life of your front desk personnel could probably be described in one word, busy! Front desk employees at senior living facilities take care of a wide range of services. Their daily responsibilities include answering calls, managing escalations, leading sales tours, handling maintenance issues, and coordinating activities. Because they juggle multiple roles, your workers are often called away from the front desk, leaving phones to ring or transfer to voicemail.
When calls at senior living communities are missed, message response time may be slow or never happen at all. This results in frustrated callers and missed sales opportunities. The same is true for other communication channels such as live chats and social media.
In a perfect world, senior care facilities could outsource much of their call volume that tends to overload front desk personnel to a third-party contact center. The ideal contact center would be highly knowledgeable, proficient, empathetic, and supportive of the unique challenges faced by callers within this market. They could assist in disseminating information to prospective clients, teeing up sales calls for your team, and at the same time, assist other callers with basic needs.
This frees up time for your staff to care for the important duties of running your facility with the high level of care your residents — and their loved ones — expect and deserve.
Aureon Contact Center has built an excellent track record of customer satisfaction in our decades of experience operating call centers. Unfortunately, we don’t live in a perfect world and even well-intentioned third-party call centers can sometimes miss the mark. However, at Aureon Contact Center, every engagement with our clients creates valuable learning experiences.
Ultimately, these learning experiences have demonstrated three key areas that deserve special consideration when outsourcing communications at your senior living facility. We have also noted some ways to build a foundation for success when you decide to utilize call center services.
Let’s talk about these.
Expect to Adjust to Changing Customer Needs
By partnering with a third-party contact center like Aureon, you can count on adaptable processes to better connect with potential residents. Aureon Contact Center’s seasoned experts are able to effectively identify approaches that work well, work poorly, or maybe don’t work at all, based on our past experience working with senior living facilities. By implementing flexible strategies and consistent reviews of those strategies, your contact center partner can leverage its approach in a way that complements your brand, initiatives, and in-house professional staff.
Communication Is Key for a Successful Partnership
Spend time communicating your individual needs early, so that your contact center partner is able to understand and accommodate them. For instance, the demand for senior living facilities is at an all-time high. An article published by Aging.com estimated that two million housing facilities will be needed for senior residents for adequate living space by 2040 as a result of this growth. This rise in demand for senior living will undoubtedly result in a need to hire more workers. However, the level of support that is needed will vary at the individual community level.
Senior living executives agree that 2021 marks the start of a new era for their communities. At the same time, employee stress and fatigue is a growing concern. One way to improve quality of care is assessing pain points and figuring out how to best alleviate employee stress and fatigue. The solution to this industry-wide problem is unique to each customer. Give your new partner time to interview and gather information so they can uncover how to best provide what you need.
Here is a sample of the actions we take at the beginning of every new client engagement to help us support their individual needs and better serve their customers:
- Identify the client’s individual goals for outsourcing contact center services
- Quantify what defines success and create timelines to drive progress
- Understand the processes/procedures that add value to sales efforts
- Find out if processes and procedures are consistent across all senior living communities. This ensures we can perform effective training and build a knowledge base
- If processes and procedures are not consistent across all communities, we will attempt to identify what additional training and information can be provided
- Review sales messages and responses for consistency. In the event this messaging is not consistent, we will work with the client for alignment. Make sure training provided to front desk staff and your contact center agent partner is consistent and sufficient
- Identify the client’s core competencies that require on-site skills. Once identified, Aureon Contact Center suggests you do not outsource these competencies. Instead focus on outsourcing customer service in a way that complements on-site work
- Frame an accurate picture of the technology available to help agents do business, including IVR, call recording, call management, CRM, and ticketing applications
- Conduct a deep dive into 24/7 customer support needs and call volumes. This can result in happier contacts and less missed opportunities
- Predict, account for and provide flexibility for call spikes
Perhaps most importantly, you should expect there to be a learning curve when outsourcing contact center services, just as you would when hiring any new employee. Contact center staff does not start out with an intimate knowledge of your facilities that a long-term employee might have. Sometimes escalation to the community or a follow-up call may be preferable.
By identifying these challenges and communication needs early on, additional training can be accomplished to continue improving the quality of support the contact center provides.
Customer Service Should Be a Top Priority
People often call into senior living facilities out of necessity and concern for their loved ones. That’s why it’s important to only work with customer service representatives who take the time to understand the ins-and-outs of your business and show empathy in their interactions. Potential residents seeking out information about a community will more than likely look elsewhere if customer service is poor. Call center agents need to get things right the first time.
Partnering with the right contact center can result in more answered calls, a better focus on residents, and ultimately, it can increase residency rates and improve satisfaction scores. Taking the time to discuss the specifics of your business with a potential new contact center provider is one of the most important things you can do during your decision-making process.
Successful Outsourcing Boosts Business
At Aureon Contact Center, we understand that outsourcing any service is a big decision. A reputable contact center solutions provider will work alongside you every step of the way. We train our contact center agents to act as if they were one of your employees. They take the time to learn the ins-and-outs of your business and answer any incoming questions. We work to become an extension of your brand and we only succeed when your business succeeds. By doing this we hope to serve a small role in improving the lives of the people you care for.
Are you having trouble keeping up with customer support and sales opportunities at your senior living facility? It might be time to consider outsourcing your contact center solutions.