Care Enquiries: Telephone vs Email vs Live Chat

“On average, one-third 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. has analysed the initial contact method of an extra large sample set of care referrals from July 2022- September 2022 and discovered that:

  • 67% of first contacts were made by telephone
  • 28% of first contacts were made by email
  • 5% of first contacts were made by 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 increasingly being challenged by email/live-chat enquiries. In July 2019, 82% of first contacts were made by telephone as opposed to 67% in 2022 which shows an increase in care seekers opting to get in touch with care homes by email or live chat. The question is, are email enquiries of equal value to your business as telephone enquiries?

Telephone vs Email vs Live Chat: Visits Booked

To further analyse the value of telephone vs email vs live chat enquiries, let’s take a look at the number of enquiries who organised a visit to the care home:

  • Telephone: 52% of enquirers booked an appointment to come & see the home on their first contact
  • Email: 15% of enquirers booked an appointment to come & see the home on their first contact
  • Live chat: 22% 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 42% greater for telephone enquiries than email enquiries and live chat enquiries put together. This tells us that care seekers are much more likely to book a visit if they are having a telephone conversation with someone at the care home.

For the time being, telephone enquiries still hold the heavy-weight title in the social care sector, but email enquiries and live chat enquiries are gaining strength! As they now account for one-third of total enquiries into your business they are deserving of your attention.

3 Top-tips From TrustedCare Advisers 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 they're enquiring on behalf of somebody that they are the full-time Carer for.

For further support managing telephone or email enquiries speak to TrustedCare today.

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