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CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management, a software used to manage interactions with current and potential customers. In the context of senior living CRM, “customers” more accurately refers to prospects and potential residents and their families who may be referred to a facility by a hospital. 

A senior living CRM helps administrators and other relevant staff organize their interactions with prospects as well as their sales activities and data analysis. Efficient senior living CRM should have the ability to automate repetitive processes in long term care facilities. Some of these automotive processes include:

Senior resident in a wheelchair, outside with a nurse.
Long term care facilities that utilize a senior living CRM with an effective care plan software have an increase in the quality of care for residents.
  • Lead generation and follow up
  • Referral source tracking
  • Inquiry and prospect management
  • Marketing programs and campaigns
  • Management of sales processes 
  • Waitlist management
  • Initiation of customer contracts
  • Sales forecasts and analysis
  • Customer experience, service, and retention
  • Donor development

Benefits of a CRM for Senior Living Facilities

If an administrator is interested in implementing a senior living CRM in their facility, they need to understand what benefits a CRM for senior living can contribute for the facility. Some of the benefits of a CRM include:

Nursing home administrator using a computer
Administrators need to review past performance reports, determine how many leads were obtained, how many leads were converted into customers, and use that to plan for the future.
  • Better customer service: CRMs primarily improve business-customer relationships. For nursing homes and other long term care facilities, customers generally include the residents and their families. A CRM can gather all contacts for residents’ families and enable nurses and physicians to reach out to family when needed. Also, when the family of a resident reaches out to the long term care facility, the nursing home software is used to track and resolve any concerns.
  • Increased revenue: A senior living CRM can help boost the revenue of a nursing home, as the sales team of a long term care facility can use long term care software to streamline their sales processes, build sales funnels, automate tasks, and follow up on leads (families who inquired about bed availability in the facility). All these can help to acquire and admit new residents, which in turn generates more revenue for the nursing home.
  • Higher retention of residents: If long term care facilities utilize a senior living CRM with an effective care plan software, this can increase the quality of care for residents and generate better care outcomes. This is because a CRM for senior living enables nursing home staff to communicate with families of residents while addressing their concerns. When families feel heard and feel like their loved one is getting the best care, they will want them to continue staying in that long term care facility.
  • Detailed, automated reports: A senior living CRM allows facilities to generate reports for marketing campaigns and tracked referrals more easily. These easy-to-understand reports show the sales and marketing what strategies are working, what are not working, and what needs to be improved so the facility can generate more sales.
  • Increased worker productivity and efficiency: The best senior living CRM can automate various marketing tasks (like email replies). These automation tools also reduce the number of employees needed to achieve marketing objectives. 
  • Centralized database: An efficient senior living CRM can integrate with a long term care EHR, allowing for a centralized database of information. When a prospect registers with a facility, their data is collected in the CRM, which then flows to the Admit Discharge Transfer software where it is synced with billing and EMR (Electronic Medical Records). A centralized database is beneficial as it can be accessed by anyone in the organization and it allows easy supervision of documentation.
  • Lead nurturing: Lead nurturing can be a complicated and time-consuming process. Further, many marketing teams may not have a lot of experience with digital marketing strategies. A CRM can automate processes (such as email delivery), making it easier for sales and marketing to focus on community outreach and face-to-face interaction.
  • Segmentation and personalization: Sometimes long term care providers offer different services at different sites. In such cases, a senior living CRM can segment potential residents into groups in accordance with the services they need. This is helpful, as an administrator does not want to send an email about rehabilitation to a potential resident looking for an assisted living facility.  Segmentation ensures the potential residents and their families get the right sales and marketing information delivered to them. Also, these messages can be personalized in a CRM. For example, the email can have their name in the first line, giving it a personal touch.
  • Forecasting: Administrators need to review their past performance reports—see how many leads were obtained and how many leads were converted into customers—and plan for the future. Forecasting tools in a senior living CRM enables administrators to generate reports and observe trends. This enables a facility to determine its future sales cycle performance and adjust its efforts and resources accordingly.
  • Improved internal communications: A CRM for senior living improves business and customer relations while also boosting internal employee and employee communications. Staff can share notes, reports, and observations in a CRM, which helps to improve worker efficiency.

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CRM Management and 11 Things to Consider When Choosing A CRM

Before choosing a senior living CRM for their facility, administrators should ensure that there is a designated CRM manager who is responsible for CRM management. CRM management typically involves organizing all the relevant data on a company’s prospects and customers, analyzing the data, and using it to enhance customer relationships. The CRM manager will work closely with both sales and management, as the data and its relevant reports are important for the sales and marketing departments of a nursing home.

Once a CRM manager has been identified, the administrator and CRM manager can then proceed to look for the best CRM for senior living. Below are 11 things to consider when choosing this senior living software:

Nurse using software on a tablet
Administrators should always consider whether the CRM is compatible with the facility’s current hardware and if it can keep up with any future CRM updates.
  1. Identify the facility’s needs: What are the needs and expectations of the sales and marketing teams? Administrators should talk to the team to understand what they expect from the senior living CRM. Different CRMs provide different tools depending on what the facility’s sales and marketing teams are trying to achieve.
  2. Determine the CRM “growth” with the team: Organizations grow and priorities change, but a state-of-the-art senior living CRM will adapt and change along with the organization. Administrators should look for a CRM that also has tools for adaptation and change in line with the sales and marketing objectives.
  3. Establish whether it is web-based, cloud-based, or on-premise: On-premise software has the benefit of working offline and ownership of data, but it cannot be accessed remotely by staff. In a web-based system data can be securely hosted by a third-party server, though that can be costly. Cloud-based CRMs are invaluable in that they can be used while on the move or while at home. An administrator should consider the benefits and drawbacks for each of the above software models before implementation.
  4. Consider your hardware: An administrator needs to consider whether the CRM is compatibe with the facility’s current hardware, if it can keep up with any future CRM updates, and if more investment is needed in the future for new hardware.
  5. Integrations: Nursing homes and other long term care facilities use specialized care plan software to provide care to their residents. Ideally, an administrator should look for a senior living CRM that is compatible with their long term care software, as this makes data integration, migration and analysis seamless.
  6. Analyze data import and export capabilities: A CRM primarily manages customer and potential customer data. Hence, an administrator may need to import or export data from an external source into the senior living CRM. When choosing a CRM, an administrator should check that the CRM has the capability to import and export data in multiple formats.
  7. Identity the usability: A senior living CRM should have a user-friendly interface that at least somewhat resembles the management software the facility is currently using. This makes it easier for staff to implement the new CRM. For those who are not familiar with these technologies, administrators should look for software providers that include free software training to get everyone up to scratch.
  8. Establish the vendor’s reputation: Online reviews can help administrators understand what it’s like to use the senior living CRM. Administrators can also look for other senior living facilities that are using the same CRM by calling and asking them for their experiences in using the senior living CRM. CRM for senior living isn’t cheap, which is why an administrator needs to obtain as much information as possible about the vendor, their customer service, and customer experiences before making a decision.
  9. Determine the cost: Cost will always be a determining factor. The nursing home administrator should call the vendor of interest to determine the cost of the senior living CRM. Some long term care vendors offer their CRM software as a module together with their long term care EHR software. It is important for administrators to stay within budget when acquiring a new senior living CRM.
  10. Assess what support is included: Software support should not be overlooked. An administrator should investigate the level of technical support offered by the long term care software provider.
  11. Request a demo or a free trial: To test all of the features of the senior living CRM, administrators should request a demo and test all of the features relevant to their organization. This “test drive” will give decision-makers a much better idea of what it is like to use the software and navigate between its various systems. 

The Importance of Senior Living CRM

A senior living CRM is essential for long term care facilities looking to boost their sales and revenue, as it can help to build relationships with people while recording essential data that is passed onto the sales team. CRMs provide several key benefits that include the automation of processes, better workflows, and efficiency, all of which results in increased revenue for long term care facilities. Of course, before committing to any new software, it is wise to request a demo of the software to test and determine if it is compatible with the facility and its needs.

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Elijah Oling Wanga