Americans are living longer than ever, and there’s more of us making it later into life. Not everyone wants to spend their golden years concerning themselves with housework, yard work, home maintenance or in many cases, even grocery shopping. Many Americans are considering retirement communities offering varying levels of independent and assisted living arrangements. And while the number of older Americans has increased, so has the number of retirement communities…resulting in an exponential increase in the competition among those communities for residents.
In most instances, the first contact a potential resident, or a potential resident’s loved one, has with your community is likely on the telephone. And chances are, that phone call is going to be put On Hold for the period of time necessary for your Admissions Director, Executive Director or other member of your team to complete their current task in order to give this new caller their full, undivided attention. What impression will that caller come away with during that all-important first encounter with your community?
Turning a negative impression into a positive.
A customized Care and Comfort On Hold Messages program from On Hold Marketing lets those callers know that you care about them, you appreciate their patience, that they haven’t been forgotten about or hung up on, and gives you the opportunity to begin telling the story of your facility, and why so many of your current residents are pleased to call it “Home.”
We know how to combine the music and messages to create an effective Care and Comfort On Hold Messages program that occupies the caller’s attention and distracts them from thinking about the amount of time they spend holding. They’ll actually think their Hold time is less when they’re presented with information that is of use and value to them, and how your community can contribute happier, more relaxed and perhaps even healthier life in the years to come. This is far and away more desirable than silence On Hold, those annoying beep tones, or a radio station that someone in your office might like but your callers don’t.
So What Do I Say?
When a caller hears content On Hold – at a retirement community, a doctor’s office, car dealership, retail store, restaurant or any other business – a little voice goes off in the back of their head that says “Why do I care?” For a period that might range from a few seconds to as long as a few minutes, you have a captive audience that wants to know how you’re going to help them, or the family member they have called on behalf of. So get right to the point: Here’s what we have…here’s what we do that makes living here more than just an enjoyable – makes it an Experience! The content of the messages is the key to engagement and to distracting them from the fact that they’re waiting On Hold.
Examples might include:
- The kinds of homes / apartments / suites available
- Dining options
- On-site services such as light-housekeeping, laundry services, barber shop and hair salon services
- Proximity to nearby medical parks, healthcare centers, clinics and hospitals
- On-site social and recreational facilities such as a gym, pool, tennis courts, community garden, library, game room, snack bar, etc.
- Proximity to nearby attractions such as golf courses, bowling alleys, shopping districts, theatres, sports teams or other cultural attractions.
- Information on in-house medical care such as staff nurses, physical therapists, physicians and other providers.
- The option to transfer from independent living to assisted living, and the availability of Alzheimer’s or dementia care should the need arise.
- Staff led activities such as exercise classes, arts & crafts, cooking classes, technology classes, social outings and more.
- Physical location of the community, proximity to nearby local landmarks, community web site.
- An invitation to schedule a tour of the community.
- Availability of transportation to medical and dental appointments for residents who no longer drive.
The right content shifts the caller’s attention away from the wait time and toward the benefits of your community…
What kind of music will my Care and Comfort On Hold Message program have?
Our production library is rich with a wide variety of musical styles, genres and tempos, and we have a long and excellent track record of matching up the right music to the tone of your script and the professional image of your community. It’s always important to remember that the messages are the stars in your program…the music is just the glue that holds them together. If a caller comes away from your Care and Comfort On Hold program humming the tune of your music, but doesn’t remember the content of your messages, we’ve failed. That’s why our music options are decidedly background in nature. We’re not going to lull anyone to sleep, we’re just going to provide them with a calming, professional, assuring background that reinforces your community as a the next natural step in the life the caller.
How often will my Care and Comfort On Hold program change?
There is no right or wrong answer to this question. It depends on how often things change at your community. Do you change your other marketing efforts quarterly, semi-annually or annually? Then change your On Hold messages in conjunction. Does your community have a quarterly or seasonal them that changes four times a year? Change your program along with it. Things stay pretty much the same all year round? Then you only need to change once a year to keep fresh and current. We’ll help you determine that when we talk on the phone. And we’ll keep you updated with the right seasonal information at the right time, regardless of how often you want / need your program to be updated.
How does my Care and Comfort On Hold Message program play into my telephone system?
Telephone system types vary more widely than ever before…and how you play an on hold program to caller is dependent on the phone system’s capabilities. Many telephone systems have an audio input jack to accept audio from an external audio source. VoIP or Hosted telephone systems usually require an audio file. Yet there are variations to every rule so asking your telephone dealer or your on hold provider is the best way to find out what your telephone system can do.
I’m one of five seasoned professionals here at On Hold Marketing where we all have over 10 years’ experience. Our Care and Comfort On Hold service is helping Retirement Communities reduce caller hang-ups and frustration, and reminds callers about the many services you offer to help fully enjoy their retirement years without the worries and responsibilities.