“On average, one fifth of enquiries into Care Homes come from email or online messaging forums.”
With the tide of daily emails flooding your inbox, new care referral requests can easily get lost or put on the back-burner for a later date.
TrustedCare.co.uk has analysed the initial contact method of 1,000 care referrals over a consecutive time period and discovered that:
- 82% of first contacts were made by telephone
- 18% of first contacts were made by email/live-chat
Although telephone enquiries still account for the overwhelming majority of referrals into your business, the previously held notion that if somebody needs care they will call, is being challenged by email/live-chat enquiries. The question is, are email enquiries of equal value to your business as telephone enquiries?
Telephone V's Email: Visits Booked
To further analyse the value of telephone enquiries v’s email enquiries, let’s take a look at the amount of enquiries who organised a visit to the care home:
- Telephone: 39% of enquirers booked an appointment to come & see the home on their first contact
- Email: 21% of enquirers booked an appointment to come & see the home on their first contact
The percentage of appointments booked on the first contact is a significant 19% greater for telephone enquiries than email enquiries.
For the time-being, telephone enquiries still hold the heavy-weight title in the social care sector, but email enquiries are gaining in strength! As they now account for one fifth of total enquiries into your business they are deserving of your attention.
3 Top-tips From TrustedCare Adviser's For Managing Email Enquiries:
1. Where possible make contact within 1 hour of receiving email enquiry
TrustedCare’s team of Advisers have found that they have a higher success rate of qualifying email enquiries if contact is made within 1 hour of the email hitting their inbox.
Establishing contact within an hour doubles your chances of booking an appointment on the initial call.
Remember that the enquirer likely sent multiple emails to different care providers when they contacted you. They will likely favour the first provider to contact them back if they have a positive ‘first-contact’ experience.
2. Set-up an automated email response
In order to acknowledge all new email enquiries, set-up an automated email response to thank the sender for their email and advise them of time-frames for a response. Setting the expectation for email response time-frames will let the care-seeker know to look out for your call/email.
3. Immediately upload email enquiries to your Enquiry Management System
By uploading your email enquiries into your Enquiry Management System you can rest assured that they will not get lost in your inbox. If you don’t get through to the enquirer on your first attempt then set regular actions against the enquiry to keep trying.
Similarly, if you don’t manage to get through to the enquirer by telephone then make sure you email as well. Some enquirers prefer to communicate via email, especially if their enquiring on behalf of somebody that they are the full-time Carer for.