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Silverado Senior Living and the ROI of 24/7 Chat

By on August 03, 2011 • 57 Comments

Silverado-Senior-Living-LogoI’ve been watching what Silverado Senior Living has been doing with social media for a while now, and I’ve always been a big fan of the company and the services they provide. So when I moderated a round table discussion called Social Media for Senior Living at LTC LINK in Chicago last week, I was excited that Nancy Convertito, Regional Director for Sales & Marketing for Silverado Senior Living, Hospice, and At-Home, was at the table. Nancy shared some interesting stats about Silverado’s innovative 24/7 Online Live Chat Feature on their website. First, let me explain how it works:

When you land on Silverado’s website, a window pops up that asks if you would like to chat with a live professional to get answers to your questions right now. Here’s an image of the pop-up…

Silverado Chat Pop Up

If you click “yes,” you are immediately connected to a person who can answer your questions, even at 2AM when you can’t sleep because you’re trying to figure out what to do with your mother who is unsafely living at home with moderate-stage dementia. If you click “no,” the pop-up disappears and you are free to navigate the company’s website. You can also call call a toll-free number to talk with a Silverado representative by phone about your issues 24/7.

Now, I’m not a big fan of pop-ups on any website, but this one is pretty benign, not obnoxious, and gives site visitors the ability to quickly get rid of it if they don’t want to use it. Plus, the value proposition to a site visitor is pretty compelling: find exactly what I need right now with the help of a real human being vs. spend 20 minutes looking around a website with no guarantee I’ll find what I’m looking for.

But here’s the most compelling part: Nancy shared that the Online Chat Feature paid for itself in 7 months. Since January 2011, 350 inquiries have come through the Chat Line and 10% of those inquiries converted.

So why are so many people who visit Silverado’s website using the Online Chat? It’s because many family caregivers who are looking for the type of services Silverado offers don’t have time to futz around on a big company website. They need answers, and they need them now. They need solutions to their problems, and they want them yesterday. The Chat Line gives site visitors this option. And it’s clearly paying off for Silverado.

But this story illuminates another very important issue for the vast majority of senior living, long-term care, homecare and hospice providers (detailed in this 2009 post): most of your websites are obsolete, outdated, and totally ineffective. The Silverado Online Chat story shows that if you provide your site visitors with a more human experience, easy access to the information they need, and resources designed to help them make informed decisions, you will gain customers.

Your website should be strategically designed to do 4 things:

  1. Attract new visitors
  2. Inform site visitors
  3. Engage site visitors
  4. Create business value by converting site visitors to customers

The 24/7 Chat Feature is helping Silverado do all of the above. Kudos to Nancy and the Silverado crew for innovating “next practices” and sharing their results with us.

To learn more about how CareNetworks call help your organization create an amazing online presence, contact us. We design and build websites and provide social media strategy, management and solutions to senior living, LTC, homecare, and hospice providers.

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