Senior living organizations spend an average of 4.86% of their annual budget on marketing. According to a 2022 survey, this percentage had increased from 2015.[1]. Senior living providers can spend this money (plus hours of precious time) perfecting a website, nailing the latest social media marketing trends, or carefully crafting targeted email newsletters.

But what happens when a prospective senior or family caregiver is effectively engaged and reaches out for more details, only to find no one is available to respond to their inquiry?

According to ApexChat data, businesses need 24/7 staffing to get 59% of leads. To avoid a 30-40% lead loss, there needs to be an around-the-clock live website engagement tool.[2]

What are the Benefits of 24/7 Live Chat?

According to ServiceBell [3], as of 2023, 41% of consumers preferred getting business support via live chat. That’s a more significant percentage than those who chose phone support (32%), email support (23%), and social media support (3%). Businesses capture almost half of all leads outside regular business hours. [2] In 2024, customers increasingly expect around-the-clock availability from organizations. The likelihood of conversion plummets by almost 8% with every additional 30 seconds of response time [2]. As a result, having an instantaneous live chat option available at all hours can be powerful in converting leads and increasing marketing ROI.

What Can Live Chat Do for Senior Living Websites?

It’s normal for senior living providers to have some reservations about using outsourced live chat; after all, senior care is a business in which industry knowledge, connection, and empathy are paramount.

But when used in the right way, live chat can be an excellent website feature and a vital step in converting leads. Contrary to popular myth, live chat is not a replacement but a support for your on-site sales team.

Live chat can enhance your sales team’s ability to provide the compassionate, tailored service families need when exploring senior care. While industry-trained live chat agents manage basic inquiries like opening times, appointments, website navigation, and requests for callbacks, your sales experts will have more free time.

With this additional time, senior living marketers have the space to answer more complex questions, conduct leisurely and thorough tours that show off the best of your community, and guide visitors through the final steps of becoming a resident. The time-saving nature of live chat could be particularly beneficial for smaller assisted living communities with fewer staff members to manage sales.

Benefits of Live Chat for Prospective Residents:

  • Seeing available appointment slots and arranging tours at the click of a button.
  • Getting instant answers to practical questions.
  • Getting directions to specific website pages that can help with their questions.
  • Being able to quickly request a callback from the sales team (no time wasted on hold).

Benefits of Live Chat for Senior Living Providers:

  • Boost conversion of leads and increase ROI on marketing efforts.
  • Fill your CRM with contact details of vetted and valuable leads.
  • Streamline the sales process, quickly resolving simple inquiries and freeing up time for your sales team.
  • Reduce loss of high-quality leads.

Is Harnessing Technology a Good Idea in Senior Living?

When considering senior living, it’s natural to assume that modern technology isn’t the way forward immediately. But today’s seniors are more tech-savvy than ever, with 2023 AARP research [4] finding that 88% of adults aged 50+ use at least one social media platform, and 78% frequently use technology to connect with loved ones. These figures suggest many seniors in 2024 are familiar with or actively use live chat through social media.

It’s also important to consider that seniors often aren’t the ones driving the search for senior living. In many cases, adult children or other younger family caregivers take on this role or at least offer support to seniors throughout the process. Millennials (the latest generation to start researching senior care for aging parents) favor live chat over the phone, email, and other types of customer support [3].

Why Outsource Your Live Chat Service?

An outsourced live chat service can offer the best of both worlds for senior living communities and individuals searching for senior care. Customers can receive support from real, industry-trained, and empathetic humans at all hours, while senior living providers do not need to bear the costs of training and paying new employees to provide live chat support day and night.

What About AI Chatbots?

The AI (artificial intelligence) chatbot is an emerging trend in live chat services. Instead of outsourcing queries to human agents, AI chatbots answer questions themselves. Chatbots can better mimic human interaction, offering personalized responses to customer queries.

While live chat that connects to agents is still superior for solving complex and potentially emotional queries, AI chatbots can be a great option to answer simple questions and redirect more complex requests to a sales team. 

How Can SMCG® Help?

Scott Marketing and Consulting Group® partners with an expert live chat provider to install customized software onto senior living websites. With this tool, senior care communities can initiate a conversation with every website visitor using chat prompts (a strategy that makes visitors 4x more likely to engage [3]).

Outsourced live chat agents are trained to respond to inquiries compassionately, reflecting the core values of senior living. Ultimately, this service allows prospective residents to swiftly get the answers they need, even when senior living sales teams are off the clock. According to Apex Chat inside sales research [2], with 30-50% of sales going to the vendor who responds first, immediate responses really do matter in 2024.

To learn more about our 24/7 live chat and other senior living marketing, branding, website development and content creation services, contact us and arrange a no-obligation consultation today.


[1] Senior House News

[2] ApexChat Live Chat Software & Service 

[3] Service Bell

[4]  AARP 2023 Tech Trends