Traci Bild, CEO of Bild & Co, Announces Her Third Executive Book Club Series: The Customer of the Future by Blake Morgan.
Implement marketing strategies in 2020 for seniors housing to stay ahead of disruptive innovation and gain increased market share.
This is one of my most exciting reviews, I must say. It’s going to be packed with amazing 2020 marketing and customer strategies to stay ahead of market shifts. We’ve been discussing disruptive innovation for nearly four months now, so please stay with us and order your copy here. Be sure to share this club with your executive team and investor partners for ultimate alignment around the customer of the future and how to create raving fans – It’s a must follow, must read – I promise!
In a recent survey of international business school graduates, the top threat facing global business leaders was the pace of technological and digital advancement. We are blind to the future and unprepared for it. Humans are programmed to resist evolution and fight change at every step, preferring to stay in our safe, cozy zones of complacency. Perhaps you can relate!
The reality is the last few years we have seen unprecedented disruption to the business world. Seniors housing itself has undergone a massive transformation.
Companies we knew and loved disappeared overnight. In fact, only 53 of the companies on the Fortune 500 list in 1955 were still on the list in 2018! Within the seniors housing industry, could we ever have imagined Summerville being swallowed up by Emeritus who was ultimately acquired by Brookdale with over 1,000 communities? Remember when an average operator had three to four locations? Those days are long gone.
How does a Company stand out in a world of constant disruption?
How we make people feel has a significant impact on their perception of us; that is the customer experience. Take Apple for example, they have always differentiated their products with experience. Not only do they engineer beautiful products, but they continually improve them. When visiting a store or chatting with a rep on your phone, the service experience is superior, and you have 100% of their attention. A recent survey found that Apple’s iPhone has twice the customer loyalty rate as the next highest brand.
A study by McKinsey found that 70% of the customer’s journey is dictated by how the customer FEELS they are being treated. I can say with certainty that we have a long way to go here as it relates to the seniors housing buyer experience. The way we make them feel is unimportant and even invisible! We don’t take their inquiries seriously, pre-plan or personalize their visits or even follow up after a tour. How do you think this makes them feel? This experience is clearly reflected in our sales numbers with occupancy unable to break 89% industry-wide.
Further research indicates that a moderate increase in customer experience generates an average revenue increase of $823M over three years for a company with $1 billion in annual revenues. Small improvements yield tremendous impact. We see this every day at Bild & Co which is why we are so passionate about what we do.
Even better, research proves that customers are willing to spend more money with companies that make them feel good than with companies that make them feel bad and frustrated. If you’re thinking, “well good thing we treat our prospective buyers, residents, and employees great!” Have you validated that? Who says? Are you sure?
- How does it make a prospective buyer feel that calls to inquire about your community three times only to be sent to voice mail each time?
- What impact does it make on a newly hired employee who is waiting to be trained only to be told it will have to wait due to other priorities and ultimately is never properly onboarded?
- How does it make a resident feel when the executive director walks by them with a prospective buyer without acknowledging their presence?
A great experience includes a 16% price premium (US) on products and services plus increased loyalty. No wonder salespeople are so quick to discount rents and waive community fees. Our industry, as a whole, provides a very poor buyer experience that fails to build value in the eye of consumers.
The best way to gauge your resident experience is by the number of resident referrals you get. Satisfied customers won’t go out of their way to tell anyone about you whereas very satisfied customer will go out of their way to tell five people about you! That’s a big deal.
Just think, instead of discounting, you could be increasing your asking rate, creating raving fans and building a wait list, maximizing revenue and NOI rather than seeing it diminished.
CHANGE IS THE ONLY CONSTANT AND INCREASING AT LIGHTSPEED
The rate of change is increasing. As seniors housing operators and investors, we must have a growth mindset and be willing to let go of methods that worked in the past but are no longer working. Operators in particular are scared of change while investors press for it; together both must find middle ground.
Strategic Marketing is a perfect example. Every day we see direct mail campaigns, print ads and believe it or not, phone book placements that show little to no return for senior living communities. Yet because it was done in the past, it continues today! That mindset makes no sense and is very expensive.
So, what is the best marketing strategy to reach more buyers in seniors housing?
In her book, author Blake Morgan goes on to say that the challenge is that most companies are product-focused rather than customer-focused, and I could not agree more. The time, energy and effort that goes into site selection, design and the construction of a new senior living community compared to the customer experience is 100-fold. In fact, I don’t see any time invested into the customer experience. We still develop with a Field of Dreams mindset, “build it and they will come” because the feasibility study said so! In a crowded marketplace, the one thing that can make a BIG difference between hitting lease up goals or not, is the customer experience and I’ve been preaching this for decades; it’s a surefire winner every time.
As we dive into our 3rd executive book club – The Customer of the Future:
Chapter 1, we dive into what a customer experience mindset looks like in action and how you can plug and play to create your own raving fan customer experience.
In Chapter 2, will take that customer experience mindset a step further and look at creating a customer-centric culture. To do that YOU HAVE TO GET YOUR OWN HOUSE IN ORDER as I stated above. We’ll look at your own Company culture, research on the employee experience and the ties between a healthy company culture and your bottom line. What a great opportunity for alignment between operators and investors! Consider doing this club together as we will also look at a development program that trains leaders to be TRANSFORMATIONAL LEADERS who can make or break your customer experience program.
In Chapter 3 we will explore the traits and habits of today’s most transformational leaders. Many companies believe one executive can turn around a Company. The best companies have leadership development programs in place that develop the leaders they need for tomorrow; something Bild & Co is a huge advocate of and does internally. Leadership development will be operationalized as we explore this Chapter.
After deep diving into MINDSET, culture and leadership…
Chapter 4, we will get into the topic of designing customer experiences that are thoughtful and look at how customers actually experience what you have to offer whether independent or assisted living, memory care or active adult. We are going to explore the role of efficiency and innovation in the pursuit of creating a desirable, zero-friction customer experience.
Chapter 5 will focus in on how to build marketing for the customer of the future. This is critical because seniors housing marketing is sort of a mess with operators stuck between the traditional and digital marketing world with little to no return on investment metrics to show for their marketing spends. We’ll look at the CMO of the future and the role of strategy along with the rest of the C-suite.
Moving on to Chapter 6, we will look at today’s customer experience technology landscape and distill the most important strategies for your customer experience management technology approach. We’ll look artificial intelligence (I can’t wait) on customer experience and the emergence of the cloud.
In Chapter 7, we dive into digital transformation as it relates to customer experience and in Chapter 8, we look at the role of personalization in the modern customer experience and explore recent and compelling examples of personalization which is vital to both employees, residents and prospective customers.
Chapter 9 will move into a discussion of analytics and consider a new approach to customer lifetime value. This is vital to seniors housing!
Finally, we close with Chapter 10 with looking at new approaches to managing customer data.
I can’t wait to dive into this book with you and help you understand how to leverage this wealth of information in the world of seniors housing and care. I’ve been waiting to dive into a book like this with you and explore what’s possible.
Go get the book or meet us on our upcoming Webinar to learn 7 Game Changing Strategies – Specifically for Operator and Investor Alignment. Enroll TODAY and participate in our BOGO offer!