Enrich the Experience through Customer Service Excellence
While a prospect is exploring where and how they will spend their later retirement years, they often visit between five to over twenty-five communities, based on their geographic area. Frequently, their visits fade one into the next, until the prospect has difficulty remembering which was which. The job of the sales counselor (or other staff person in the case of a drop-in) is to make the visit to your campus memorable. The way to accomplish that is to structure the visit/tour to create the best impression possible.
MAKE IT PERSONAL
First and foremost, do your best to make it personal. If the visit is preplanned, be sure that the guests feel special; indicate that you’ve gone that extra mile when expecting them.
- Have a parking place reserved in their name.
- Have a placard at the entry door welcoming them by name.
- Be sure the receptionist knows their name and uses it when greeting them for the first time.
- Send around a company-wide email so that others you might pass in the hall can greet them by name.
- At the initial meeting, mention something you already know about them.
- BE ON TIME to the appointment!!!
CREATE A UNIQUE TOUR, STRUCTURED FOR THEM
Whether a walk-in or a pre-reserved visit, structure a unique visit that is streamlined to accommodate their requests and needs. Therefore, don’t rush it. The first thing you need to do is get to know your visitors; honestly and sincerely inquire about them. So be sure to train your staff members in best questions. Here are a few:
- Where prompted you to visit us today?
- Where do you live now?
- What are you seeking in particular?
- What is an important aspect of your life that you would like to preserve/continue?
It does not take a long time to ascertain the elements of your community that would most attract a potential resident after some well-thought questions. Then arrange the tour around those specific interests. If the potential resident is concerned about the potential responsibilities of caring for a spouse with cognitive difficulties, be sure to show off the memory care or adult day care areas rather than the wellness center. On the other hand, if the couple is on the younger side and expresses their focus is on physical health and wellness, indeed show off the wellness center, walking paths, community garden- even if they do not visit health care areas on the first visit. Sometimes showing our guest EVERYTHING on the first visit contributes to overloading their memories about each individual community. Now that polaroids have come back, consider taking a picture in front of something they found outstanding about your community (if they haven’t mentioned anything, ask what stands out). The picture may serve to spur their memory about your community later when they are reviewing all the communities.
Engage and explore. Be honestly interested. Be different every time. Be memorable.
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About the Author
Patty Scotten is a consultant with Retirement DYNAMICS® and serves as their marketing manager. Patty has over twenty five years’ experience in the senior living industry and has led several communities in preselling expansions or increasing occupancy levels. She graduated from Elon University and holds a Masters Degree from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Patty is licensed as both an assisted living and nursing home administrator.