An investment by The Orders of St John Care Trust (OSJCT) in live chat is helping drive up occupancy.
The not for profit provider has teamed up with live chat provider, Moneypenny, on an investment in the customer relationship which in turn helps to drive occupancy.
Matthew Wix, Head of Sales, (pictured) said: “We know that when people research care providers, they typically look at a number of different service providers and that these interactions often start outside of traditional hours – typically in the evenings. It’s important that when we get those enquiries – whether it’s about bed availability, costs, types of care provision, COVID precautions or visiting protocols – we can engage.”
The relative anonymity of live chat has tremendous value, particularly for those at the start of their care home experience, said Matthew. “Those initial interactions with a care home are often when the enquirer is feeling most vulnerable, unsure or anxious, so they need the most help and empathy,” he added. “Being able to help them, there in that moment, is a critical part of authentic customer engagement and care. Live chat offers a degree of anonymity that makes it easy for them to put a toe in the water and take their first steps into the care sector.
“We also find that people are more willing to open up, ask questions and share their situation via live chat than they might over the phone, so it’s a hugely important channel for us and the sector.”
With the help of Moneypenny, OSJCT has identified a list of frequently asked questions and their answers – spanning issues such as pricing or specialist care provision – so that live chat operators can be efficient in their responses.
Matthew said: “Tone of voice is also a very important consideration for us. It’s not just about representing our brand and what we stand for but making sure we strike an appropriate tone with our customers.
“If someone is enquiring about end-of-life care for a relative, we need to be mindful of the need for friendliness, patience and understanding, rather than joviality and speed. Live chat allows us to deliver that in real time and ensures their experiences of the OSJCT brand are both positive and consistent.”
The OSJCT is also making use of a chat bot to aid recruitment. Maxine Roberts, Head of Recruitment and Talent Management, said using an automated chat bot, which answers the most common recruitment questions, had enabled OSJCT to reserve live chat for valuable new customer enquiries.