PRESS RELEASE: Barchester Healthcare – one of the UK’s largest independent residential care providers, with over 200 homes across the UK – is working with customer contact specialist, Echo Managed Services, in a major new customer drive. Echo is currently providing a centralised service that handles new customer enquiries for the Barchester care home estate, with the aim of providing a more consistent level of service to prospective customers and their families.
Having previously provided successful out-of-hours support to select care homes and handled the response to a regional door drop campaign, a team of specially trained advisors at Echo are now the first port of call for all new customers.
Echo’s advisors have been trained to provide empathetic, personal, and sound support to the organisation’s potential customers, on issues including occupancy and respite care, and to ensure communication remains consistent with the Barchester brand and values.
The initiative will also provide better quality leads, increased conversions, and deeper marketing insights for Barchester, as well as enabling care home staff – who were sometimes required to handle enquiries – to focus fully on delivering expert care to residents and their families.
Commenting on the appointment, Lawrence Bate, director of sales and marketing at Barchester Healthcare, said: “Customer service is a key priority for us, and we know it can be frustrating for customers when it is inconsistent. Through our collaboration with Echo, we have seen marked improvements in the number of new customer enquiries handled correctly first time, as well as enhancements in the accuracy of customer information capture.
“We worked very closely with the team at Echo on our pilot projects throughout the course of 2015, and saw immediate positive results. We are now working to rollout Echo’s customer contact and engagement capabilities across our broader business and care home estate.”
Karen Banfield, contact centre director at Echo Managed Services, said: “We recognise that customer service is increasingly a key differentiator in the residential care sector, as it adjusts its business model to rely increasingly on private fee paying customers. We also recognise effective customer service in this market requires expert support and empathy, as customers and their families are facing emotionally and financially difficult decisions.
“By entrusting all of its new customer contact to Echo, Barchester is ensuring its messaging remains consistent and its customers are given a unified experience. Equally, the insights we provide are enabling Barchester’s future marketing and engagement to be more customer-centric and cohesive.”