Tag Archives: careindustry

Recruitment and Retention (and a well flagged sales pitch)

Recruitment in the social care sector is more challenging today than it has ever been. Social Care has to compete on many fronts and the pipeline for new carers is not looking great. The recent headline about ploughing money into social care was warmly received until we read that only a small proportion would be going into social care, with the NHS taking the lions share. Professor Martin Green of Care England commented that the government treated social care “like the child they are irritated with” while the NHS was “the favoured child”

This is nothing new but the impact in the current climate is that the NHS are recruiting hard. Providers of social care find that they are unable to compete with the pay and benefits afforded by the NHS, or indeed Local Authorities who themselves increasingly provide social care services. (It is important to note that Local Authority care services cost the public purse significantly more than services from private providers. The prospect of social care being nationalised is not a financially attractive one).

If the pandemic has taught us anything it is that social care and the NHS are inextricably linked. Taking jobs from social care into the NHS adds more pressure on the NHS.

So, we have an increasing demand for care and a reduction in the supply of carers. Is this a blip or is it structural? There is no doubt that pushing carers into vaccinations is having a negative impact on staff retention. However, less than a year ago, social care providers based around the c4b office didn’t have enough work for their carers so I’m going to take the optimistic view that we need short term answers in this blog.

So, what can we do about it in the short term? How do we provide the level of care that our clients deserve over the coming weeks and months? Without a fresh supply of carers entering the industry, we are competing for a diminishing pool of carers. The hard fact is that you are in competition with every social care provider in your area. In reality, it’s even more competitive as social care pay is often lower than many unskilled jobs in your area. Luckily, good carers love what they do and pay is not always a factor.

My first recommendation seems obvious. Retain the carers that you already have. Pay the best rates and benefits in your area; provide opportunities for progression (a career lasts longer than a job); make the job enjoyable and promote, promote, promote (in a marketing sense). You need your enterprise to be a place where people want to work and are proud to tell other people about. Social Care staff are under-valued and under-paid…. but that’s another blog!

Less obvious are the practicalities of recruitment. Getting ahead of the competition requires something different.

For many of us, job sites are a permanent monthly subscription – check.

Careers page on the website – check.

Social media – check

Open days – ?

Referral incentives – ?

Local paper – ?

Consider the ‘customer journey’ for a carer looking for a job. Let’s assume they are new to the area, have no recommendations from friends and family but want to work locally. They search for care jobs on the internet, they ignore the ads and the job sites and they identify who operates in their area. They see 4 care homes and 3 domiciliary care agencies. They take a look. First site looks a bit rubbish, move on. Second site, no careers page and no Call to Action for job applications, move on. Third site, (and here is the sales pitch) …a chat box pops up and asks if they need assistance. They engage, answer a few questions and get passed through to the recruiter who agrees a date and time for an interview.

Since the beginning of this year, 37% of all engagements with our chat service are care staff looking for work. (52% are for admission enquiries).

Our service engages immediately with a website visitor, qualifies their details and experience and invites your recruitment team to join the chat. This is followed up with a branded email and chat transcript.

One of the unique functions of C4B Connect is that we invite your sales team to engage with the website visitor whilst they are chatting. If your sales team engage at that time, the success rate goes from just over 40% for a traditional web chat enquiry to 75% for a C4B Connect enquiry.

Looking to implement chat onto your website but not sure where to start? Launch a chat now to speak with a member of our team or contact us here.

C4B – We Power Chat that Drives Sales




The Importance of Personalising your User Experience (UX)

Businesses stand out for the experiences they create. Within our changing world the evolution of the user experience (UX) is as important as it has ever been. Industries and companies, of all sizes, have successfully transitioned into offering online experiences for their prospects.

An online UX is considerably more than a website. It is a digital impression of your business and often that vital first engagement. It is an opportunity to leverage technology to connect with your prospects, share your brand values, grow your business, and create a ‘wow’ factor first impression.

Customers not only want a seamless UX but also expect brands to provide them with a unique and personalised experience throughout the journey. For example, research by Epsilon found that 80% of consumers will make a purchase from a brand that offers personalised experiences. Delivering personalised customer service has become essential to staying competitive in the market. In addition, Salesforce found that adopting a personalised customer engagement strategy has helped 97% of marketers report a quantifiable boost to business outcomes.

In short, a personalised UX is key. One approach to delivering a personalised online UX is through fully managed live chat. Live chat is the most effective and fastest way to connect with prospects online, whilst they are in ‘buying mode’. Importantly, it helps website visitors find the information they need and the answers to their questions. At the same time initiating customer engagement and starting the next stage in the sales journey.

Making each one of your prospects feel connected and valued, is essential in creating a positive UX. This is particularly crucial in the care home industry. Choosing the right care home for a loved one can be an emotional experience. Providing live chat on your website can enable you to offer this personalised, positive, and connected experience.

However, it is crucial to note that customers want to talk to real people. A 2019 survey by CGS found that 86% of consumers prefer to interact with a human chat agent rather than an AI-based system such as a chatbot. 71% of participants also said that they would be less likely to use a company if they did not have human customer service representatives available.

So how exactly can fully managed chat provide a personalised UX for your customers?

Firstly, chat offers an instant and informal way to communicate.

Advisers can adjust their responses to suit their individual communication style – creating a much more personal connection with prospects. For example, using chat ensures you have an opportunity to personalise the conversation and tailor your responses. Additionally, during the conversation, you can refer to the visitor by their name and answer their questions directly.

Chat conversations are instantly documented and easily accessed. 

With C4B’s fully managed chat, chat transcripts are emailed to both the visitor and your team at the end of every chat. The context is always clear, and the agent does not need to notate anything as all the information is included in the chat transcript. This will ensure the chat enquiry is correctly followed up and all sales opportunities are maximized.

Advisers can also include their name and a real profile picture.

A personal UX is not possible without disclosing any personal information. C4B will introduce you at the start of the chat and display your profile picture. Allowing you to build a much more personal connection with your prospects/website visitor. Thus, building rapport and trust with your prospect.

Data insights can help you structure your sales and marketing activity to better suit the needs of your customers.

With C4B’s chat reporting you will gain insights into which marketing campaigns are working, as well as what is not working and may require change. These insights can help you structure your sales and marketing activity to both personalise and better suit the needs of your customers. Our reporting console offers you a complete overview of all your chats, team statistics, and details of your leads. You can measure your number of daily chats, enquiry type and our response times with our advanced reporting.

At C4B we understand that a personalised human connection is the key to a great customer UX. We provide an outstanding, high quality, and personal service that is designed to be empathetic and deliver an exceptional UX.

Looking to implement chat onto your website but not sure where to start? Launch a chat now to speak with a member of our team or contact us here.

C4B – We Power Chat that Drives Sales


The C4B difference 

Generally, selecting care is a personal and emotional process. It requires the empathy and knowledge that is sewn within the fabric of successful care businesses.

Managed Chat services use a combination of software and receptionists to engage prospects whilst browsing your website and researching options. They will seek to capture contact information and basic requirements before e-mailing the enquiry through to you.

The developers at UK based C4B identified several shortcomings with these traditional managed chat services in relation to sales in the Care sector. First and foremost was the lack of rapport building with the prospect. Linked to this was the lack of relevant qualification and finally was a lack of immediate follow-up. 

Establish Trust

Rapport is important in high involvement purchases and is normally built through product knowledge and personality. The problem with traditional managed chat services when selling your product is that the provider will have at best, a static and basic understanding of your product. Availability and type of care often go unanswered and the ‘conversation’ is limited. The initial conversation necessarily ends with the comment that the enquiry will be passed on, leaving the prospect to click away without knowing what happens next.

Identify Requirements

Qualifying a prospect is more than just gathering name, email address and phone number. This first impression will never happen again and taking an interest in the prospects circumstances is key to helping them buy your service.

Maintain communication

Follow-up confirms that a conversation has been registered and provides the comfort to the visitor that they are in your system. Customised comments confirming visits or next steps enable your sales team to control this early stage of the relationship.

The C4B Solution

To address these issues, C4B Connect engages the website visitor within 5 seconds of launching a chat. We qualify that the visitor is a prospect and we invite your sales team to join the chat then and there. The prospect is continually engaged and further qualified. Ideally, one of your sales team join during the qualification process and work their magic in booking a visit to your home. When the salesperson ends the conversation, a wrap-up email will be displayed on their screen which can either be sent directly or customised and sent. This wrap-up email contains a template message with your branding and a transcript of the chat conversation. This is addressed to the prospect with a copy to your team or directly into your CRM.

If your sales team are unavailable, the C4B receptionists will complete the chat and send the wrap-up email on your behalf. 

C4B Connect does not use bots. Choosing residential or nursing care is by definition a personal experience. Within our target age group, bots are not looked at favourably and are likely to trigger a negative response. We are keeping an open mind for the future.

If you would like to find out more, call James on 07710 311577; email [email protected] or chat with us at https://c4b.live



A Brief Overview of the Care Home Sector and How to Stay Ahead

The Care Home market has always had it’s winners and losers. Shifts in the economic environment have contributed to some major players experiencing challenging circumstances over the last decade. However, it remains a vibrant and profitable market, especially for those businesses whose product attracts the private client. The winners over the next 10 years will remain the private operators who are able to differentiate their offering from their local competitors.

This report seeks to describe the market and offer a solution for staying ahead.

According to Businesswire, there are 5,500 care home providers in the UK. These operate in a £16.6Billion marketplace (down from £17.3Billion in March 2020). The market is relatively diffuse and fragmented where “economies of scale are limited and there are significant diseconomies of scale” (House of Commons Briefing Paper, 2018).

Over the last 10 years, there has been a decrease of 3,000 homes; and since 2000, there has been a decrease of 55,000 beds. Much of this can be attributed to the in-home care offering which has grown at a similar rate to the shrinkage in residential and nursing care.

Fig 1 – Decrease in Care Homes 2009 – 2020

Government data from April 2020 lists 15,517 homes in England with 457,631 beds in total (average of 29.5 beds per home). Nearly 20% of all homes in England are located in the South East and more than 8 out of 10 of the beds are provided by the private sector. Locality is important as most residents book into homes less than 10 miles from where they, or their family live.

Fig 2 – Care Homes / Residential Homes By Region (England, 2020)

According to LangBuissons 2019 research, average residential care home fees in England were £655 per week, with nursing care at £937. Self-funders or private clients pay a premium of up to 50% over council commissioned care and many providers find that council commissioned rates are less than their average costs incurred in providing that care.

Fig 3 – Price differential by Care Home (CMA, 2017)


The large differential in rates has led to some two-tier local markets servicing either the council commissioned care or the self-funded residents. The for-profit providers favour the private rates and focus on attracting those customers within their homes’ locality. Consequently, some local authorities are re-entering the residential care market in an effort to fulfil the demand at the rates they have set.

With the market running at 79% capacity (compared to pre-pandemic 87.3%), competition is rife.

Demand is set to increase with the over 85 age group growing by 27.5% per year to 2030. JLL forecasts that this will require an additional 110,000 beds over the next decade.

In summary, the market is stable, demand is growing and capacity exists. Self-funded residents are more profitable and the care homes that attract them can generate good profit margins. Until the challenge of the two-tier market can be resolved, care homes need to differentiate themselves from their local competition to win the more profitable private clients.

One way to differentiate is to use technology to capture prospects early in their buying process. As pretty much all research is carried out online, this is the best place for an early engagement. Though adoption of the internet is mainstream, this last year has seen a forced shift for even the technology laggards to do their care home research on-line. Investment in company websites and online marketing has increased and is seen as more critical than ever for the success of even the most traditional businesses. (See previous blog here)

At C4B, we believe that it’s important for your sales team to engage with target prospects early in their buying journey. They want help to make the right decision and if your sales team can help them before they engage with your competition, it’s good for them and it’s great for you.

C4B provides a unique managed chat service, focussed on increasing care home occupancy by connecting your sales team directly to prospects whilst they are in buying mode.

If you want to find out more about this innovation, contact James Lloyd on 07710 311577, email [email protected] or chat with us at https://c4b.live