Mystery Shop Service Yields “Gigantic” Lead Conversion Rate Increase

Some of the senior living providers using A Place for Mom’s mystery shopping services in the past three years have seen their conversion rates jump 40%, according to Sean Kell, the CEO of the nation’s largest senior care referral service.

While there are many factors that contribute to a community’s success in converting leads to new residents, being able to apply information learned from mystery shopping can be very valuable.

“We’ve been doing it for about three years now, and we’ve seen some great news: The quality and speed of the responses from the individual communities has gone up sequentially each year that we’ve been giving them this data,” says Kell.

Mystery shopping can help senior living providers identify and improve weak spots in their marketing strategies, and Kell says his company’s mystery shopping services have produced measurable results. APFM works with national senior living chains and coordinates a mystery shop process with some of their largest partners—such as Emeritus and Brookdale—each year. Part of the service includes measuring how effective a community’s sales force is at responding to initial inquires from interested consumers.

When APFM started measuring this metric three years ago in 2010, only 51% of communities would respond within 24 hours to the initial inquiry from the referral service or consumer. This year, in 2012, that number rose 40% to 71%—a “gigantic increase,” according to Kell, that’s fantastic for both communities and consumers.

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Source: A Place for Mom

It can be hard for top-level executives to really know how their customers are being treated when they enter the front door of a senior living community for the first time, he continues. Mystery shopping can help provide actual data on the timeliness and quality of the reception and service that customers get.

“The number one driver in our research of the conversion rate—the ability of a community to meet the needs of the family—is the speed of the response,” says Kell.

Communities that respond to inquiries within 30 minutes rather than within a 24-hour timeframe have historically achieved a 16% market share advantage above their competitors, according to APFM.

Written by Alyssa Gerace





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