Is a Centralised Admission Process (Call Centre) the best way to attract potential care recipients into your Aged Care Organisation?

Watermarked(2018-05-07-1712)Is a Centralised Admission Process (Call Centre) the best way to attract potential care recipients into your Aged Care Organisation?


To make an enquiry about full time residential aged care is a tough thing to do…it means that someone you love is no longer able to care for themselves or you are no longer able to care for them at home.


When potential customers are starting the search for a residential aged care facility, they are emotional and possibly very fragile and vulnerable. They are looking for the best nursing home with all facilities and infrastructure that can meet their loved one’s physical care requirements, support their emotional needs and of course deliver genuine consumer directed care. They quite simply want to know, “what is on offer?”.


An aged care client (“a large Not-for-Profit”) recently approached The HDR Group to understand if the centralised process they set up for ‘Cost Efficiency’, was meeting their potential customer expectations.


The results were not great. In fact, we are not going to sugar coat it…. they were terrible.


We contacted the centralised number provided on the company website and we advised the call centre consultant that we were enquiring about a particular facility. We provided a detailed overview of the situation (e.g. an elderly female requiring residential aged care placement following a fall and all of their current care requirements). The consultant at the contact call centre asked for a myriad of contact details and finally the last thing they asked was, the name of the ‘potential care recipient’.


What came next really did shock us. We were told to ‘be as honest as possible’ and a full care assessment over the phone was conducted. We were asked questions that we had already provided in the overview of the situation. The call centre consultant asked if we thought the potential care recipient was a falls risk (we had already advised the potential care recipient was in hospital following a fall), if could she ‘wipe herself’ after she went to the toilet and if she ever became physically or verbally aggressive if staff tried to help her? We could go on and it did as an unpleasant experience for another 15 minutes…


During this 15 minutes of what felt like was an interrogation and not an assessment, did the call centre consultant call us by our name that we had provided or refer to the potential care recipient by their name. They were simply ticking off all the boxes on their “phone pre-assessment”.


At this stage, we advised again, that we had just rung to find out about more about the facility and what was on offer. The Call centre consultant said she was unable to answer any information about what the facility had to offer and she would put me through to the facility.


We were put through to the facility and the lady that answered the phone said she was unable to provide any information about the facility and that she would provide me the admissions officer phone number. Now if only she could find it? A painstaking 3 minutes later, the number was provided. We again advised that we were really just after some information about the facility and what was on offer. She advised all meals were provided, there was a dementia wing, 2 bus trips a week and one respite bed that would be becoming a full-time bed in July. That was it. We were not offered a tour, an application or any advice on the waiting list.


So we called the Admissions Coordinator and guess what, it was the wrong number……


Would you admit your loved to this facility or this organisation based on this experience?


Do you know what your potential customers think of you? Well, this client now does.


If you would like to learn more about the tailored Customer Experience Auditing programs that The HDR Group has on offer, please call Rhonda Withers on 0438 748 846 or email


How do you fix a problem, if you don’t know why there is a problem?



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