Customer Service Heaven or Hell?

Customer Service Heaven or Hell?

Customer Service Heaven or HellHave you begun to wonder what happened to quality customer service?  I have been through some bad experiences lately and then suddenly I had a “Wow” customer experience yesterday.

In the last week, I had two shopping returns.  One was an item I purchased on Amazon.com.  It has taken eight emails back and forth with the seller and ultimately I felt penalized.  I received a product that did not fit and was not as pictured on Amazon.  They claimed I ordered the wrong one.  Sigh…  My second return was an Origami Owl locket.  Two of the crystals had fallen out and my church friend distributer had discontinued her business.  Was I out of luck?  NO!  I called the company and they immediately said they would send me a replacement!  I thanked them for a “Wow” experience!  It was the easiest return of my year!

How is the customer service experience at your senior living community?

  • Do you have a process to check back with a new move-in?  Is someone designated to check with the new senior resident three or four times in the first week, just to make sure they are acclimating and everything is as promised?  Or do you wait for them to complain?  Or are you too busy?
  • If someone has a concern are they able to talk to administrator in a timely fashion?
  • How quickly is the response time for a maintenance request?
  • What happens if housekeeping accidentally breaks an item?
  • If an adult child has a concern about their mom or dad is it addressed immediately?
  • What if someone says their soup is cold or they don’t like the entrée?

Your tips could help others improve on a national basis, so please share by commenting on this blog.  If this weekly newsletter can help your sales and occupancy – why not sign up today so you don’t miss a single one? 

Diane Twohy Masson writes this weekly blog to support and engage with other senior housing professionals.  Her first book is Senior Housing Marketing – How To Increase Your Occupancy and Stay Full.  Many sales teams and organizations have used the 12 keys contained in this book for their weekly book review.  Diane is working on her second book to help seniors select their senior housing options.

 

© Marketing 2 Seniors| Diane Twohy Masson 2014 All Rights Reserved. No part of this blog post may be reproduced, copied, modified or adapted, without the prior written consent of the author, unless otherwise indicated for stand-alone materials. You may share this website and or it’s content by any of the following means: 1. Using any of the share icons at the bottom of each page. 2. Providing a back-link or the URL of the content you wish to disseminate. 3. You may quote extracts from the website with attribution to Diane Masson CASP and link http://www.marketing2seniors.net For any other mode of sharing, please contact the author Diane Masson.
What is EGG-STRA Special this week at your Retirement Community?

What is EGG-STRA Special this week at your Retirement Community?

EGG-STRA Special Retirement CommunityHas your Retirement Community done anything EGG-STRA special for your residents lately?  Well, please share!  If you posted a picture on your Facebook page, then share the link so we can go see it and LIKE your Facebook page.

Here is link to something EGG-STRA special The Village residents in Hemet enjoyed for Easter brunch.  Click on the link to see the photo.

Your turn to share…

Please share your successes, failures or comment below to join the conversation and interact with other senior living professionals on what is currently being effective to increase occupancy on a nationwide basis.

Diane Twohy Masson is the author of “Senior Housing Marketing – How to Increase Your Occupancy and Stay Full,” available at Amazon.com with a 5-star rating.  The book is required reading at George Mason University as a part of its marketing curriculum.  Within this book, the author developed a sales & marketing method with 12 keys to help senior living providers increase their occupancy.   Masson developed this expertise as a marketing consultant, sought-after blogger for senior housing and a regional marketing director of continuing care retirement communities in several markets.  She has also been a corporate director of sales and a mystery shopper for independent living, assisted living, memory care and skilled care nursing communities in multiple states.  Currently, Masson is setting move-in records as the regional marketing director of two debt-free Continuing Care Retirement Communities in Southern California – Freedom Village in Lake Forest and The Village in Hemet, California.  Interestingly, this career started when she was looking for a place for her own mom and helped her loved one transition through three levels of care.

© Marketing 2 Seniors| Diane Twohy Masson 2013 All Rights Reserved. No part of this blog post may be reproduced, copied, modified or adapted, without the prior written consent of the author, unless otherwise indicated for stand-alone materials. You may share this website and or it’s content by any of the following means: 1. Using any of the share icons at the bottom of each page. 2. Providing a back-link or the URL of the content you wish to disseminate. 3. You may quote extracts from the website with attribution to Diane Masson CASP and link http://www.marketing2seniors.net For any other mode of sharing, please contact the author Diane Masson.
10 Ideas for Operations to WOW Senior Living Sales

10 Ideas for Operations to WOW Senior Living Sales

10 Senior Living TipsHere are 10 bright ideas on how the operations team can WOW senior living prospects and help increase sales and occupancy.

  1. Does the housekeeping department touch up the entrance to the senior living community and tour path areas several times per day (particularly in the fall when leaves are everywhere)?
  2. Are the retirement community’s walls touched up by maintenance on a regular basis (as they get marked up by walkers)?
  3. Will dining services make a WOW presentation of the food and use the china instead of disposal plates and styrofoam cups?
  4. Are the receptionists willing to stand up to greet marketing guests?
  5. Does the activity director reschedule resident classes in advance, so residents are not angry with the marketing staff on the day of an event (seniors don’t like short notices)?
  6. Will the transportation department pick up senior living prospective residents who don’t drive and transport them to and from the senior living community for a tour?
  7. Are the landscaping, signage and building exterior in prime condition for first impressions?
  8. Does every department head go out of their way to introduce themselves to senior living prospective residents?
  9. Has every manager encouraged their frontline staff to smile and greet all guests and residents?
  10. Will department heads take two hours per month to help at sales and marketing events?

Please share your successes, failures or comment below to join the conversation and interact with other senior living professionals on what is currently being effective to increase occupancy on a nationwide basis.

Diane Twohy Masson is the author of “Senior Housing Marketing – How to Increase Your Occupancy and Stay Full,” available at Amazon.com with a 5-star rating.  The book is required reading at George Mason University as a part of its marketing curriculum.  Within this book, the author developed a sales & marketing method with 12 keys to help senior living providers increase their occupancy.   Masson developed this expertise as a marketing consultant, sought-after blogger for senior housing and a regional marketing director of continuing care retirement communities in several markets.  She has also been a corporate director of sales and a mystery shopper for independent living, assisted living, memory care and skilled care nursing communities in multiple states.  Most recently Masson was recruited to consult for two debt-free Continuing Care Retirement Communities in Southern California – Freedom Village in Lake Forest and The Village in Hemet, California.  Interestingly, this career started when she was looking for a place for her own mom and helped her loved one transition through three levels of care.

© Marketing 2 Seniors| Diane Twohy Masson 2013 All Rights Reserved. No part of this blog post may be reproduced, copied, modified or adapted, without the prior written consent of the author, unless otherwise indicated for stand-alone materials. You may share this website and or it’s content by any of the following means: 1. Using any of the share icons at the bottom of each page. 2. Providing a back-link or the URL of the content you wish to disseminate. 3. You may quote extracts from the website with attribution to Diane Masson CASP and link http://www.marketing2seniors.net For any other mode of sharing, please contact the author Diane Masson.
Getting Ahead of the Curve of Senior Living Attrition

Getting Ahead of the Curve of Senior Living Attrition

Senior Housing MarketingEvery organization approaches goals a little differently.  Some senior living communities set sales and occupancy goals that are never achieved.   Each month and year the occupancy dips a little lower with constant resident attrition.  How do you get ahead of the curve?

Well, someone needs to create a sales and marketing strategic plan for your individual independent living, assisted living, memory care, skilled nursing care or Continuing Care Retirement Community.  The plan needs to be implemented and every sales person and operational team member needs to be on board.  The focus should be on the simultaneous goals of serving the existing residents and increasing the occupancy with new move-ins.

There are twelve keys that I have developed to increase the occupancy of all types of senior housing.  Some keys can be implemented immediately for quick results and other keys are a process that can take some time to develop and execute.   The bottom line is these twelve keys work and it is my joy to reach 100% occupancy.  Here are the keys in a nutshell; the details are contained in my book called Senior Housing Marketing – How To Increase Your Occupancy and Stay Full:

Key 1 – Attitude toward Occupancy – Turn Your Change into Dollars

  • Occupancy-driven Marketing Reports that will Wow Your CFO

Key 2 – Quit Blabbing! Control the Flow of Information

  • Tip: Five Steps to Controlling the Flow of Information
  • Decreasing Apartment Availability
  • Create Urgency for the Wait List

Key 3 – Dare to Differentiate Yourself from Your Competition

  • Keep the Waiting List FULL through Branding

Key 4 – Do You Have Proactive or Reactive Marketing?

  • Effective Follow-Up Inquiry Goals
  • The Typical Behavior of the Average Prospective Resident
  • Follow Up – When and How Much?

Key 5 – Building Value for Your Community – Giving a Wow Experience!

  • “How much does an apartment cost?”
  • Let them push up the price point

Key 6 – Great Events can fill Your Building

  • What is the timing of an effective program?
  • Step-By-Step Event Planner Guidelines

Key 7 – Never Say to the Customer…

  • Use health services words that add value and differentiate you from the competition!

Key 8 – Selling to Personalities

  • Are you selling to their personality type—or yours?

Key 9 – Hard or Soft Closing?

  • Hot Buttons
  • Objections
  • Recognizing Buying Questions
  • Types of Closes
  • Make Urgency!

Key 10 – Internal Customers – no need to worry about them, right? Wrong!

Key 11 – Join the Twenty-first Century with your Website, E-mail Blasts, and Social Media

  • How can you save money building a website?
  • “I just don’t have time to be responsible for social media…”

Key 12 – Media Buying, Public Relations, and Community Relations with a Skinny Piggy Bank

  • Keeping the costs affordable in the marketing plan
  • The magic three to build attendance at an event

Please share your success, failures or comment below to join the conversation and interact with other senior living professionals on what is currently being effective to increase occupancy on a nationwide basis.

Diane Twohy Masson is the author of “Senior Housing Marketing – How to Increase Your Occupancy and Stay Full,” available at Amazon.com with a 5-star rating.  The book is required reading at George Mason University as a part of its marketing curriculum.  Within this book, the author developed a sales & marketing method with 12 keys to help senior living providers increase their occupancy.   Masson developed this expertise as a marketing consultant, sought-after blogger for senior housing and a regional marketing director of continuing care retirement communities in several markets.  She has also been a corporate director of sales and a mystery shopper for independent living, assisted living, memory care and skilled care nursing communities in multiple states.  Most recently Masson was recruited to consult for two debt-free Continuing Care Retirement Communities in Southern California – Freedom Village in Lake Forest and The Village in Hemet, California.  Interestingly, this career started when she was looking for a place for her own mom and helped her loved one transition through three levels of care.

© Marketing 2 Seniors| Diane Twohy Masson 2013 All Rights Reserved. No part of this blog post may be reproduced, copied, modified or adapted, without the prior written consent of the author, unless otherwise indicated for stand-alone materials. You may share this website and or it’s content by any of the following means: 1. Using any of the share icons at the bottom of each page. 2. Providing a back-link or the URL of the content you wish to disseminate. 3. You may quote extracts from the website with attribution to Diane Masson CASP and link http://www.marketing2seniors.net For any other mode of sharing, please contact the author Diane Masson.
Surprise Visit to my Mom’s Skilled Nursing Care

Surprise Visit to my Mom’s Skilled Nursing Care

Surprise Visit to my Mom's Skilled NursingI can’t stop thinking about my surprise visit with my mom yesterday.  I arrived Sunday afternoon about 2:30 PM to Freedom Village Healthcare Center in California.  She was not in her usual places – where was she?  A caregiver said, “Oh, your mom is down in the activity room.”  I said to my husband Chris, “We really need to pay more attention to the activity calendar, so we don’t visit during those times.  I want her to enjoy all the social times and I can visit her when nothing else is going on.”

We happened upon the activity calendar and all the activities were done for the day.  So what was she doing?  As we turned the corner, we saw my mom’s beaming face.  She was playing bingo.  The caregiver smiled at me and said, “Oh, do you want to take your mom?”  I said, “Absolutely not, let her enjoy herself.”  It was great to see pure joy – when she said, “Bingo!”

What was interesting to me was her interacting with the other residents and helping them play too.  My mom has severe vascular dementia.  When she speaks it is about 70% non-reality.  What a great activity to really stimulate her brain.  The caregiver said to me, “We decided to put on a bingo game for them, they like it and it gives them something to do.”

Well, bless those two caregivers who created an unscheduled resident activity to help with the resident’s quality of life.  This was a huge “Wow” for me and I can’t stop thinking about how happy my mom was.  For those of you who follow my blog, I moved my mom 1000 miles to be near me about three months ago.  This was the best day of my mom’s life here in California.

After each resident said bingo, the caregiver would call the resident by name and say, “You won a cookie.”  No cookies appeared.  I thought to myself, well the residents have dementia – they won’t remember the cookie promise.  To my utter surprise – cookies appeared at the end of the last game.  One cookie for each resident.  When the caregiver was handing out the last cookie, the resident said, “I don’t get one – I didn’t win.”  The caregiver said, “That’s okay, you are a winner for even being here.”  There are tears in my eyes writing this, because these staff went above and beyond!

As the afternoon progressed – my mom continued being animated and talking nonstop.  It did not matter that 60% was non-reality.  She was having a great time and I loved spending quality time with her.  Some people think people with dementia have nothing to offer in life, well, they are 100% wrong.

Please share your success, failures or comment below to join the conversation and interact with other senior living professionals on what is currently being effective to increase occupancy on a nationwide basis.

Diane Twohy Masson is the author of “Senior Housing Marketing – How to Increase Your Occupancy and Stay Full,” available at Amazon.com with a 5-star rating.  The book is required reading at George Mason University as a part of its marketing curriculum.  Within this book, the author developed a sales & marketing method with 12 keys to help senior living providers increase their occupancy.   Masson developed this expertise as a marketing consultant, sought-after blogger for senior housing and a regional marketing director of continuing care retirement communities in several markets.  She has also been a corporate director of sales and a mystery shopper for independent living, assisted living, memory care and skilled care nursing communities in multiple states.  Most recently Masson was recruited to consult for two debt-free Continuing Care Retirement Communities in Southern California – Freedom Village in Lake Forest and The Village in Hemet, California.  Interestingly, this career started when she was looking for a place for her own mom and helped her loved one transition through three levels of care.

© Marketing 2 Seniors| Diane Twohy Masson 2013 All Rights Reserved. No part of this blog post may be reproduced, copied, modified or adapted, without the prior written consent of the author, unless otherwise indicated for stand-alone materials. You may share this website and or it’s content by any of the following means: 1. Using any of the share icons at the bottom of each page. 2. Providing a back-link or the URL of the content you wish to disseminate. 3. You may quote extracts from the website with attribution to Diane Masson CASP and link http://www.marketing2seniors.net For any other mode of sharing, please contact the author Diane Masson.
10 Training Tips For Senior Living Sales People in 2013

10 Training Tips For Senior Living Sales People in 2013

How to Increase the Occupancy and Stay Full1)   Identify your sales team’s attitude toward the occupancy goals – do they believe they can hit the occupancy goal? – if not – check out my blog tip from last week – Sales Meeting Tips to Increase the Occupancy in 2013.

2)   Are they differentiating your senior living community from the competitor down the road?  Never say anything bad about the competition, but always highlight your retirement community’s strengths.

3)   Have you set a quota for a certain number of calls per week and is the director of marketing or executive director tracking it?  Sales people just want seniors to come in and put down a deposit.  A lot of sales are made with that quick follow up phone call to invite the senior back again for a 2nd or 3rd look.

4)   A “wow” tour, including painting a picture of the lifestyle, can make the monthly fee look like a bargain…

5)   Do you have exciting events that draw new faces into your community and inspire 2nd and 3rd looks to move forward?

6)   One negative word, like calling your community a facility, can cause a senior to back away from the move.  Who wants to leave their beautiful home and move into a facility?

7)   Have your focused on selling to personalities?  Some analytical drillers want every scrap of paper you have ever published on your community to make a decision and other seniors can walk away from information overload.  Tailor each tour to the personality of each customer…

8)   Focus on each senior’s hot buttons, like not being a burden to their kids…

9)   Are you asking for the deposit – every single time?

10)  Creating urgency to make a decision now is a must – it’s awesome when you have two different seniors considering the same apartment!

Diane Twohy Masson is the author of Senior Housing Marketing – How to Increase Your Occupancy and Stay Full,” available for sale at Amazon.com.  Masson’s book will be required reading at George Mason University in the Fall as part of the marketing curriculum.  She is currently consulting with Seniors For Living and two debt-free Continuing Care Retirement Communities in Southern California – Freedom Village in Lake Forest and The Village in Hemet, California. Connection and partnership opportunities: Email diane@marketing2seniors.net Twitter: @market2seniors Web: www.marketing2seniors.net Blog: http://marketing2seniors.net/blog/