Portrait of a smling African-American male nursing employee wearing gray scrubs and face mask interacts with a senior aged patient during the Covid-19 pandemic, Midwest, USA

Virtual Visits: Bridging the Gap Between Customers and Senior Living Facilities

If one thing is certain, COVID-19 has a way of negatively impacting our most vulnerable populations. And there is no doubt, the most vulnerable population during the coronavirus pandemic are people over the age of 65. This is not only due to increased age, but also “underlying health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, or lung disease,” according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). So, how do we protect our most vulnerable population?

Health and Hygiene at senior living facilities is the upmost priority for protecting senior residents. A Closer Look conducted a study of the Impact of Health and Hygiene on Senior Living Customer Spending Habits, “Based on our survey of senior living facilities, 100% said that proper health and hygiene practices were either critical or very important to their customers.” Senior living facilities are aware of their customers’ vulnerabilities and make great efforts to have policies in place to protect residents from COVID-19 in so far as to limit group activities, communal eating, and even contact with outside visitors. We’ve seen the touching stories of families visiting their elderly loved ones through windows or sending a special care package through the mail. But limited visitations are not only for the families of residents.

Prospect tours of the facilities are also suspended for safety. According to Senior Housing News, almost 85% of facilities have suspended tour visits to senior living facilities. But this raises an interesting predicament: Family members are still seeking care for their loved ones. This is especially true for some COVID-19 patients who need more care after their illness. In fact, Senior Housing News predicts this type of demand will increase over time.

In response to this demand, senior living facilities have utilized virtual visits to give potential clients not only an in-depth tour of the facility but also the ability to answer questions one on one through the facility preferred telecommunicating platform. So far, virtual visits have been incredibly valuable to senior living facilities and customers offering a safe and accessible way to continue to accommodate potential residents. Furthermore, virtual visits make comparing and learning about facilities more convenient for the prospective client. Now, customers can reach more senior living facilities in a single day than ever before.
But with more competition, how can a senior living facility be sure it is standing out amongst its competitors? Lisa Wohlers, Director of Field Support and an expert in Virtual Visits for A Closer Look, answers, “when a prospect has access to speak to multiple communities, the community that stands out will be the one that builds rapport and connects most with the customer on a personal level. This community is most likely to earn the prospective resident’s business.” So, there is not only the vital health and hygiene procedures the salesperson will have to communicate, but they will also have to convey a sense of community and comfort to the prospective customer.
This can be a heavy undertaking especially if the facility believes they are communicating the proper information and rapport with the customers, but in actuality, have some shortcomings. However, Lisa Wohlers has a solution to this, “Senior Living Facilities benefit from evaluating whether their salespeople are comfortable on a video platform. Some salespeople might be comfortable in front of a prospect in person, but not on a zoom call. A virtual environment might have a completely different outcome than anticipated.” It is incredibly valuable for a senior living facility to be able to know if a virtual visit is successful. And with the Virtual Visits solution, senior living facilities will be able to effectively manage their virtual sales strategy while ensuring their business develops loyal customers and drives overall revenue.

Senior living facilities can expect the highest level of support through A Closer Look’s Virtual Visits solution. A participating senior living facility can expect to receive a discreet evaluation of their virtual visit conducted by a qualified, independent contractor. The virtual visit will be measured on the actual process of the virtual sale and the information given by the employee per the company’s protocols including health and hygiene. This discreet evaluation that includes recommendations and actionable strategies will be available to the facility within 24-48 hours. This allows the facility to make efficient adjustments to their phone and virtual sales process.

Through the Virtual Visits solution, the participating senior living facility may also notice their assessment includes the ability to compare their competitor’s compliance in health and hygiene standards to their own. Each assessment includes the industry’s best practices in health and hygiene, marketing information, and an assessment of their current sales protocols concerning virtual visits.
In addition to the discreet evaluation and competitor assessments, clients may opt to receive valuable feedback from current and prospective customers after their virtual visit or transaction. Using an economical texting-platform, prospects and customers will be prompted to submit a quick and accessible satisfaction survey about the interaction with the facility and virtual sales process.
Lastly, the Virtual Visits solution is fully customizable to the senior living facility’s standard procedures and protocols. It’s truly a full circle and personalized service that will improve the senior living facility’s interaction with customers, help them become a top-tier competitor, and drive direct sales to the business.