Driving increased occupancy at senior living organizations requires something more than excellent clinical care or beautiful buildings.

Transforming tours into move-ins requires a laser-sharp focus on addressing your target audience’s needs…in other words, customer service.

And when it comes to customer service, Apple has shown mastery.

A Statista survey revealed that 50% of Apple users were “very satisfied” with its customer service, and 38% were “rather satisfied.” That means more than 3 out of every 4 respondents had some level of satisfaction.

These kinds of results aren’t surprising, especially when you dive deeper into Apple’s historic training philosophy when it comes to customer service.

In this article, we’re examining how Apple has trained its in-store talent.

Together, we’ll see what made their approach special—and how senior living organizations can mimic Apple’s strategy for their operations.

1. Don’t Make Assumptions about Your Senior Living Organization’s Talent

Assumptions

It’s a mistake to think…

  • Your team members understand how to meet your annual goals.
  • Your communities possess personal skills that will compensate for training.
  • Your team members can translate natural talent into revenue-generating results apart from education.

Take a lesson from Apple…and don’t assume your on-site leaders or individual team members are fine without guidance.

When you walk into an Apple retail store, you’ll encounter “Geniuses,” Apple’s customer support team members.

Historically, Apple has taken the training for this position very seriously. While there are some rumors that training practices have changed, here’s a snapshot of the protocol for new Genius hires that Apple has used in the past. MacRumors reports…

“For years, Apple has sent new Genius hires to its Infinite Loop headquarters in Cupertino, or sometimes an auxiliary campus in Austin or Cork, to receive hands-on training for up to three weeks.”

Takeaway: Instead of making assumptions about talent based on the interview process or supposed skill sets, give your team members in-depth training. Take a moment, and compare this training approach to the support your non-clinical team members receive.

2. Give Your Talent a Predefined System and Plan for Customer Interactions

systems

Back in 2012, some news hit the headlines.

Gizmodo shared Apple’s Genius Training Student Workbook, sparking a flurry of articles on the new information released.

Want to take a peek into the tech giant’s mindset? Here are some highlights Gizmodo shared from the training manual. Apple…

  • Spelled out dos and don’ts for its representatives.
  • Used the acronym A.P.P.L.E. (approach, probe, present, listen, end) to teach its Geniuses how to sell its products.
  • Provided three techniques for showing empathy to customers.

In the words of Shopify, “everything you’ve expected from the moment you walk into the time you leave has been tediously thought out and most of it scripted.”

Takeaway: Apple didn’t leave how to treat customers up to their Geniuses. Instead, it provided a system for success. Consider if your senior housing operation clearly defines how your teams can experience customer service success.

How Senior Living Organizations Can Mimic Apple’s Historic Approach

There’s a lot for senior living organizations to learn from these insights into how Apple has historically provided training.

Cutting through industry differences, here are the two most important things to glean…and put into practice immediately.

  1. Don’t mistakenly think your talent is properly trained. A brief period of onboarding is no guarantee for success…and neither is a polished resume.
  2. Give your team members a clearly defined system. To use the words of Shopify, script out the behavior you expect from them for success…don’t leave it up to individual preferences.

At Bild & Co, we’re passionate about providing senior living organizations the systematized training that equips team members to drive occupancy and revenue.

And next week, we’re kicking off a special program designed to do just that…for executive directors.

Over the years, we’ve seen that executive directors often lack the training they need.

EDs struggle to hold sales teams accountable. They make cost-saving decisions that ultimately harm occupancy. They fail to create a culture that unites team members around the needs of your target audience.

On Wednesday, July 11, we’re launching our Executive Director Academy.

This six-week, LIVE online program gives EDs a crash course in our proven system for filling apartments and personalized guidance.

Learn more about our upcoming Executive Director Academy here, and be sure to enroll before registration closes on July 9.