The Marchex Blog

Senior Living Series #1: How to deliver a premium customer experience across your business

One of the most common challenges faced by senior living marketers is how to deliver a consistently superior customer experience.

Marketers in the senior living and multi-family housing industries understand this. In fact, implementing a consistent, best-in-class customer experience is a key objective with many marketers in these industries. The challenge is not in the awareness, but rather the execution.

Delivering a consistent experience across your brand is important

A typical conversation with a Marchex customer goes something like this:

“I am at a loss to explain why my location(s) in the southeast are generating great reviews, but not in the northeast. How can I provide customers a great brand experience no matter where they contact us?”

The concern around delivering a great customer experience is real. A report by Joseph Batdorf of J Turner Research attempts to measure the impact online reviews have on a consumer’s path-to-purchase. The findings:

  • 62% of consumers check reviews at the beginning of their search.
  • 75% of consumers look at ratings and reviews multiple times in their apartment search.
  • The importance of the management company’s reputation in a consumer’s decision to lease at a specific community scored 8.1 / 10.

Optimizing the offline experience requires different tactics than those used online

Clearly, the customer experience is important in determining how residents think of your brand. Marketers spend loads of money optimizing their website and digital efforts based on customer engagement data. So, how do marketers do the same with offline engagement?

The fact is, marketers need different tools to gain offline insights. While any of the tactics below can be helpful in improving your brand’s ability to create a better first impression, they all have limits.

Tactic #1: Secret shopper services contact properties randomly and score their experience

The biggest concern with this tactic is, secret shoppers don’t generate enough calls to provide a good sample size for evaluation. In addition, property reps always seem to know when they have a secret shopper on the line. To get around the volume issue, some secret shopper vendors outsource call scoring by having other reviewers listen to calls. But, one reviewer’s criteria for a good call can differ from another reviewer.

Tactic #2: Property reps use phone scripts to ensure a consistent brand voice

Though a step in the right direction, someone needs to evaluate the calls to maintain quality. Whose responsibility is it to listen to and score the calls? Marketers? Property managers? Regional managers? In all likelihood, companies will have to trust that their employees are following the script.

Tactic #3: Third-party call centers receive inbound calls in order to provide a consistent experience

Though call center agents are trained and expected to follow a script, the same issue exists in this scenario whether it’s just after-hours calls or all calls that are being handled. How are the calls evaluated so that quality is maintained?

The ideal scenario

In a perfect world, the marketer would score all calls according to standardized criteria. This way, marketers get accurate engagement data from all calls based on benchmarks they define. And no one would be responsible for listening to calls. All the outcome data would be parsed automatically.

So, how do we get to the ideal scenario? Marchex helps some of the most recognized brands in the senior living and multi-family industry gain visibility into the offline customer experience.

First, brands learn what the best reps are doing to drive engagement. Then, shares these best practices across their organization so marketers or operations folks can scale the behaviors.

Operational problems are often uncovered, which enables stakeholders to course-correct. In turn, they can deliver a better customer experience or reduce operating expenses. For example, an automotive brand with over 2,000 locations leveraged Marchex to replace their secret shopper service with advanced analytics technology. Now, they can evaluate every call at a much lower cost.

Numerous tools and tactics exist so marketers can deliver a consistently superior customer experience. To learn how Marchex can help you improve the customer experience for offline channels including the phone, download our information sheet.