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Holiday Calls are About to Pick Up: Is Your Community Ready?

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Sales & Marketing Strategy

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‘Tis the season for call volume to increase at your senior living community. Last year, the communities we serve saw an average 64% increase in call volume from December to January.

While a spike in new leads is promising, it can be overwhelming without the people-power to properly answer and return calls. Leads will literally get lost in the hustle and bustle, and even if they do leave a message, they’ve chosen another community by the time you can connect.

You want to be number one on every lead’s nice list. And now’s the moment to prepare for the most call volume time of the year.

Why the sudden surge in call volume during the holidays?

During this season of family togetherness and visiting with loved ones, many adult children will return home to discover a decline in their parent’s health. Maybe they haven’t seen each other in several months, or even a year or more, but the change in physical and mental competencies will motivate families to seek out alternative living arrangements for Mom or Dad.

Some other reasons people turn to senior living communities during the holiday season can be found here.

What actually happens next?

Some family members will immediately go into research mode, reading websites and reviews online, and calling communities with questions they hadn’t planned on asking during this season.

And because schedules are tight and flights back home have long been booked, many families panic and keep calling communities until they find one that’s made the time for them.

A powerful truth? 75% of families go with the first community they talk to.

Like any other industry, if consumers can’t get someone on the phone fast, they’re already off to the next company.

Who will your leads end up choosing?

While you want to be the first and last number they call, you’re leaving a lot up to chance if your community isn’t set up to efficiently and effectively handle each request.

Just during the holiday season, you may have a number of factors hindering your success:

  • Staffing shortages and lack of qualified applicants
  • Staff members who are juggling multiple roles, including those in caregiving positions who can’t grab the phone while tending to residents
  • High staff turnover
  • Other communities who do have a surefire plan in place, ready to win your sale when you miss a call

You want potential residents to choose you. But you can’t let them even think about going to another community. You have to be there for them every time.

 How can your community improve its lead time?

Forbes states, “How your company now responds to and treats its customers could impact your business for years to come.”

That said, you can either restructure your entire staff, re-train, and add more tech to your process. Or, expand your sales team with the VIA Contact Center.

Imagine knowing, with total confidence, that:

  • You have what it takes to be first. In fact, every family who calls test next year will talk to a caring, knowledgeable advisor within minutes.
  • You have the right systems in place to keep following up with those families until they make a decision.
  • You’ll never lose a tour or a move-in due to slow communication.

If your first thought is, “Yeah right… My people are swamped!” then you definitely need the VIA Contact Center in your corner.

Our highly trained, US-based Advocates act as an extension of your sales team. When leads come in, we nurture them all the way to scheduling a tour for you. Hear from one of our Advocates, Lisa, to get a glimpse of what it’s like to work with our Advocate team.

The best part: When you leave the follow-ups to us, you and your team can spend more time building real relationships with real people.

The Advocates are an extension of your CSDs, staying after-hours and on weekends to talk with anxious relatives. Our Advocates understand the uneasiness, heartache, and worrisome hypotheticals that many callers bring to their inquiries. And they’re highly-trained to patiently talk through concerns and answer meaningful questions.

In a second article by Forbes, titled How to Transform Your Customer Service Experience, Fastcall CEO, Rich Rosen, says, “Soft skills are also critical, such as empathy and adaptability.”

When can my community discuss a change to VIA?

We’re ready when you are. We encourage you to check out our website, read testimonials, and listen to our contact center advocates share, in their own words, why they love what they do.

We’ll leave you with a quote from Knoel Christopher, on of the Advocates:

“I do what I do at Serviam because I want the seniors that are calling us to have a great rest of their life…Knowing that I’m able to speak with them, really listen to what’s going on, and try to help point them in the right direction, that is what sets us apart.”

Remember, last year, the communities we serve saw an average 64% increase in call volume from December to January. Will you be ready for the post-holiday rush? Schedule a demo today so you can have help in place come 2023.

Expert advice and ideas for the new world of senior living

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