Who handles the customer service function in your senior living community? Your answer should be everyone!
I’m sad to say, however, that our industry hasn’t been the best at handling what is arguably the most important function of any organization: service. Maybe that’s why I so often hear from executive directors how hard it is to wean a new resident off of going to the sales counselor with all their questions and concerns. They’ll tell you that these are the folks with whom they and their families have built trust. Stands to reason that they resist being “handed off” to the care-giving staff knowing that the quality of service they receive may suffer. And, it often does.
The good news is that, by rethinking how you train and manage your sales and service staff you can drive the best in both of them. Here are four areas to focus on that I have picked up from successful senior living operators who report them as making a big difference to their communities and to those who work and live within them.
- Treat everyone as a prospect. Whether they are a hot lead or just someone you’ve come into contact with (even a vendor!) you never know who might become a prospect. Treat them as such and build a network through your responsiveness. Over time people will remember your community in a positive light, and either refer someone to you or move in themselves!
- Think of sales as customer service (and vice versa). This industry demands a high level of authenticity and trust. That means sales needs to demonstrate a high level of service to prospective residents and their families right from the beginning. That means finding the time to return calls and emails within minutes or hours; not days! Don’t let them let things fall through the cracks.
- Make sure the right person is following up. Does your CRM push out notifications when communications flow is lagging? Does it recommend what to say and when to say it? These days you should be able to automate these alerts and reduce the amount of nagging that management has to do. You should use your technology to do that in ways that get people on track and keep them there.
- Serve them their way. Serving them their way means offering multiple avenues of support. Some people prefer to communicate via email, others may prefer chat, text, or a phone call. Use the knowledge base you have built in your CRM to learn these preferences and cater your communications accordingly.
Great customer service starts with sales. Great sales serves the unique needs of each prospect. Whether you’re selling a refrigerator or a place to retire, those who are successful understand this and have learned how to bring great sales and service together. By refocusing on these four areas you can do it too.
Give us a call at 800-570-6030 and see how Continuum CRM can improve your sales and marketing effectiveness without breaking the bank. Or, feel free to visit our website www.continuumcrm.com to learn more.