When prospects look for senior living options, much of their search takes place online. What they find depends on how each operator uses the web to attract and engage their interest. San Diego-based Pacifica Senior Living not only used the web to engage their future customers, but they also utilized search optimization and automated engagement tools to boost website move-ins by 128%.
“I realize the importance of online reviews and a stellar reputation,” says Lucie Barry-Punches, Director of Digital Marketing for Pacifica. As she studied the portfolio of Pacifica properties and evaluated the source of each move-in, she would often see many of the usual referrers: families, websites, sources such as Caring and A Place for Mom, and other sources with which most senior living companies are familiar.
However, while researching Pacifica’s online profiles she continued to see a new review site: Family Assets. Impressed with the variety of reviews across multiple locations, Barry-Punches reached out to parent company Further to dig deeper into how they could partner with Pacifica for continued growth.
After they forged a partnership, they looked at ways they could combine their efforts to increase digital conversions. The team at Further walked her through the ways their artificial intelligence-backed virtual sales assistant could automate the sales process to better engage prospects via web-based chat.
With this new technology, each Pacifica community website was able to engage more of its site traffic, qualifying and capturing leads for the sales team. This enabled the Pacifica sales teams to focus on qualified hot leads coming straight from their own website.
The result? From June 2020 to June 2021, Pacifica saw a 128% increase in move-ins originating from their website, with 40% of all website move-ins coming directly from Further’s automated digital conversations.
Effectively using data to precipitate changes to the sales approach
Pacifica learned that proper use of Further can transform a senior living website into a virtual sales office through automation and data collection. Further’s automated chat feature increased communication with prospects on the website, creating an active selling experience and capturing valuable insights along the way. These insights could be easily viewed in a dashboard of curated metrics, providing insights into sales activity, marketing performance, and much more.
Further’s dashboard organizes the data by location to ultimately ensure that the prospect finds the information they need more efficiently. The data gathered per location is also unique, as what works for one location doesn’t automatically work for another.
For Pacifica, quick and easy access to all this data assists its approach to SEO optimization, thus increasing organic traffic. Most of this data is available in Google analytics but the Further dashboard allows operators to make swift recommendations to the sales teams to ensure they have the data they need to be in front of the prospect at the right time.
Bringing local flavor through carefully collected data
Pacifica used this curated data to create search experiences pertinent to each community and new users. For Hollywood Hills, Pacifica’s luxury Hollywood senior community, the team at Further geared the website keywords to that specific community, changed some of the links on the site and updated tags throughout.
After analyzing insights and past traffic, Pacifica made the searches more iPad-friendly and instructed the pay-per-click (PPC) team to reduce the bids from 11 p.m. – 7 a.m. to use the budget more effectively. Barry-Punches also requested the prior three months of search term keywords in order to refine them. She learned the times when people were searching, and changed Pacifica’s strategies to accommodate those prospects.
After seeing the initial success of the chat function and its ability to have prospects raise their hand and share information, the team worked with Further to add a nurture campaign, using automated SMS messages to reach back out to people who haven’t engaged yet.
As a result, Pacifica can better see the journey of the prospect/lead and knows how to tailor engagement for those prospects. They can use the Further insights to reverse-engineer from a move-in and see what keywords, devices and times of the day each person entered to find a Pacifica location. And they can use the chat function to automate conversations with potential leads. Barry-Punches has seen better results with the Further chat function than their previous chat efforts.
“We can learn how close prospects are so we know if a salesperson should reach out,” says Chris Beaudin, head of marketing at Further. “Or we can wait for them raise to raise their hand in the chat to say, ‘Hi, I’m ready for a sales person to give me a tour.’”
In all, Pacifica uses the Further tool to gain these customized insights for each of their 89 properties. At Hollywood Hills, Pacifica saw these results:
● Lead volume increased 44%
● Overall traffic increased 10%
● Session duration up 5%
The downside of data — and how to fix it
More data drives more leads. And with more leads comes the risk of a drop in move-in ratios. To combat this downside of data, Pacifica is fine tuning its automated sorting tools.
“With the more leads, one thing we added was the ‘financially unqualified’ note,” Barry-Punches says. Pacifica can ensure that even with the increase in lead volume, the sales teams are able to quickly zero in on quality leads and avoid some of the prescreening. Determining if the lead is the right fit for a certain location is challenging, and Further is one more tool for the sales team. Ensuring the sales teams are as successful as possible is a win-win for Pacifica and prospective families. The digital world is the perfect place to capitalize on new qualified leads and if there is a path to fine-tune this process for a sales team, Barry-Punches will find every way possible.
“We help people connect more directly and at the right time,” Beaudin says.
In the end, Further has helped Pacifica drive move-ins, optimize sales efforts, and reduce the expense of paid leads.
“With Further, I can easily see the top sources for traffic/move-ins and how to strategize in bringing the cost per lead down,” Barry-Punches says. “My goal is for the cost-to-lead to be as least expensive as possible. When organic Google traffic is the top source, that means that I have done my job effectively and I feel satisfied. I’m really happy working with Further.”
This article is sponsored by Further. To learn more about how you can improve your website and drive more move-ins, visit talkfurther.com.