Aged care and the customer journey

Every customer interaction is an opportunity to build on your relationship and personalise engagement.

Client acquisition and marketing is an important aspect of business development for aged care providers, but studies suggest the cost of attracting a new client is 5 times greater than retaining an existing one. 

A recommendation by a trusted friend or family member remains one of the most powerful influences in a person’s decision-making process, which is why getting it right with your existing clients can have a greater impact on your business development goals than an expensive marketing campaign.  

Jenni Deslandes, Managing Director, Loaded Technologies

Jenni Deslandes, Managing Director at CRM solutions specialist Loaded Technologies says that how aged care providers set up and roll out a customer relationship management system (CRM) from the outset will have a significant impact on business planning and client retention over the long term.

“For many providers client acquisition begins with their initial enquiry about your services – for themselves, or perhaps for a family member. This may occur years before the individual becomes a customer and begins using your services or enters your care, but each contact point that you have had with them over this period is an opportunity to build on their profile, so that when they are ready, you have a clear picture of who they are.”

The day a client enters your care is the day your strategy needs to shift from acquisition to retention.

“Client retention is about delivering on your promise to provide personalised care every day. But, if you wait until there is a problem to initiate retention strategies, you will be doing so from the back foot and have probably already lost the client and any recommendations that may come from them, their family or friends.” Ms Deslandes said. 

How aged care providers build client profiles and manage that information from the outset will have a significant impact on retention as well as revenue and growth.

“To start getting predictive outcomes you need to begin thinking about the customer journey and what this looks like. Data can help you understand how sales are going, and the conversion of leads, with the ability to focus on areas developed by marketing. It can also enable better planning, not just for a client’s current care needs but for their future requirements, for example, transitioning into residential care when the time comes,” Ms Deslandes said.

This is where the role of the CRM comes into play. It becomes a central repository for customer interactions and provides the insights needed to drive retention and growth. Key to the success of a CRM strategy is defining the customer segmentation that will lead to insights. Equally important, is ensuring the data remains accurate and clean over time, and in turn, this requires such a solution to be rolled out effectively, with administrator and user training to maintain and preserve data integrity and health. Without appropriate use of the system, data will be undermined, and insights will be lost.

This implementation stage is often where businesses fail. Client retention is not just the responsibility of a marketing or customer engagement team – it is everyone’s responsibility, from your cleaning and catering teams, to care givers, allied health, human resources and accounts through to the CEO.  

“A great way to gain buy-in across your organisation is to hone in on the metrics and data that will be visible once you implement the CRM,” Ms Deslandes said.

“Ask your business leaders what insights are helpful and relevant in retaining and growing their specific business unit. That said, it’s not enough to just know which metrics to track, but how to set up your systems architecture and processes to ensure those things can be measured.”

“You also need to focus on data – data quality and data governance, so that meaningful metrics can actually be realised. Bringing all this to life requires a big focus on change management, as we’re asking people to think differently about their jobs and their roles, even talk a new language.”

Wesley Mission Queensland have recently changed its customer approach which has led to significant changes across the organisation.

Selina Beauchamp, Chief Information Officer, Wesley Mission Queensland

“We have learnt that a single customer view requires us to think, plan, act and manage very differently,” said Selina Beauchamp, CIO at WMQ.

“Implementing the right technology is just one element of the answer… we need to take a very different approach to how we design and manage our core customer-facing processes. We need to think carefully about the skills, capabilities and roles needed to manage aspects of the customer journey and set up the management rhythms so we’re constantly thinking, talking and making decisions with a customer-first lens. It’s certainly hard work, and ultimately it requires a change in culture.”

Ms Deslandes says it is vital to bring your people on a change journey when rolling out any CRM. 

“If you don’t spend the time to bring people on a change journey then there is no point starting. We are talking about change management and you need to show people how they can use the data.  A lot of people have been in the sector a long time and need to be shown how the data can help them get better outcomes in their job and business.”


Sugar offers an industry-leading customer experience, a simple interface and an intuitive customisation platform. Sugar will help you to streamline your business operations and deliver in-depth trends and predictions about your customers.

There are three core products that Sugar offers, which then combine with additional applications to enhance your solution to develop deep insights, reports and analytics; integrate third party applications; and map your customer journeys.

Sugar Market – Marketing Automation

Sugar Market is the all-you-need marketing automation solution built with highly intuitive campaign builders, advanced automation and superior reporting. Enabling you to understand engagement, improve conversion rates and drive more revenue.

Sugar Sell – Sales Automation

Create extraordinary customer relationships with Sugar Sell. Track and monitor activities, map each customer’s journey and automate as many workflows as you need. Sugar Sell is lean, fast and integrates with anything.

Sugar Serve – Customer Service

Get customer satisfaction levels back on track with Sugar Sell’s intuitive reporting and dashboards. Ensure proper response and resolution times, monitor customer satisfaction and meet your customers’ needs across the full range of support channels.

The SugarCRM suite of products will allow you to understand where your leads are coming from and help the sales and marketing teams refine their efforts, which is especially useful where the sales process is long in areas such as retirement living.

Fundraising and benefactors

Loaded Technologies has extended the functionality of SugarCRM for customers to manage donations, events, memberships and sponsorships. This involves the use of customer portals that integrate with the CRM to capture the required information.

“This solution is used by a range of not for profits to streamline these marketing processes and grow customer engagement and revenue. We have seen a real uplift in efficiencies for our customers who have utilised this solution, by having information such as donations in one place along with all other customer data. This provides real opportunities for personalised communications.” Ms Deslandes said.

For further information get in touch with Jenni and the team at Loaded Technologies –

Sponsored by Loaded Technologies


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