How Scent (or Lack of) Impacts the Business Performance for Senior Living Facilities

June 3, 2021
June 3, 2021 rblakerice

Scent marketing is a powerful tool. A successful scent marketing strategy can sway consumers’ emotions, encouraging them to buy products or services, stay longer in stores, and keep coming back for more. With effective scent marketing technology, you can increase occupancy and enhance the experience in your senior living facility resulting in a healthier bottom-line.

As you know well, senior living facilities aren’t strictly businesses; they are care centers focused on providing residents with high-quality medical assistance, enriching their lives, and assuring families their loved ones receive care and security. The decision to choose the best senior living facility is more than what’s presented on the back of the brochure; It’s the FULL experience from the very first impression to the continuous “welcome back” with every visit. Knowing that scent is a major factor in the first impression experience, it has a large part to play in your prospects’ decision-making process.

The Power of Scent on Your Bottom Line

Following a time where senior living properties have declined in occupancy due to COVID-19, it’s imperative to provide a clean, welcoming environment to incoming senior occupants and their families. As a result of the pandemic, many families have also realized that it is better for their loved one to be engaged in a quality community than to be home alone. Your team already strives to make seniors feel comfortable and welcomed in your facility by providing top-notch care, rooms that are pleasing to everyone, and community activities. Investing in scent marketing for your senior care facility is a cost-effective, high-impact way to create a fond, memorable experience for new seniors and their loved ones who visit.

Keep Control of the Experience by Controlling the Scent 

A clean environment is more important now than ever.  However, the antiseptic smell of cleaners and sanitizers tend to give spaces like lobbies and entry areas a cold, institutional feel which can negatively impact the all-important first impression resulting in a lost client. 

It sounds simple, but the most important piece of your scent marketing strategy is that you have scent devices with high uptime. Without a working scent system in place, other non-pleasing odors can linger throughout your facility. At ScentBridge, our scent services guarantee a 99% uptime.

Improve Length of Stay for Residents and their Connection to Visitors

Pleasant scents in the air can alleviate stress, soothe disruptive emotions, and enhance your residents’ comfort. Your residents’ visitors can benefit, too. If your facility has a pleasing aroma that improves their spirits, they may increase their visit frequency and length, further boosting residents’ well-being. And as you know well, there’s a critical link between your residents’ emotions and physical health.

Decrease Senior Isolation to Increase Community Activity

Isolation is a big problem in senior living facilities. When isolation rates increase,  participation in community activities decreases. You can help residents feel happier between family visits, delicious meals, and community activities by providing a scent that smells familiar and evokes memories. According to Harvard Professor Venkatesh Murthy, “smell and memory seem to be so closely linked because of the brain’s anatomy.” Certain scents can trigger pleasant memories—and help them feel less alone.

Boost Staff Spirits

Your senior living facility’s scent can even affect your staff. A good-smelling workplace can be pleasant to work in, contributing to better spirits all around. Certain scents can boost alertness, increase focus, or even increase performance. In fact, a study found that those who work with computers made 54% fewer typing errors when their workplace was scented with lemon, 33% fewer errors with jasmine, and 20% fewer mistakes with lavender.

3 Steps to Implementing a Scent Marketing Strategy for Senior Living 

Successfully executing a scent marketing strategy can be challenging, especially if you don’t have the right technology. Let’s explore the three steps to implementing a successful strategy in your senior living facility. 

Step 1: Select a Scent System with Powerful Controls

Simple scented candles, aerosols, or diffusers aren’t going to cut it. Some scent services function adequately but won’t alert you when they are unplugged or malfunction due to equipment failure or human error. Instead of these options, choose an app-controlled scent delivery system that provides high-quality fragrance and fail-proof features. Your system should rely on IoT technology within multiple smart diffusers. They should monitor scent levels, manage fragrance refills, and provide proactive maintenance alerts. In short, use technology to monitor and ensure you are getting what you pay for.  

Step 2: Identify a Scent that Matches Your Goals

Next, choose a scent that matches your senior living facility’s overall goals. Consider using familiar fragrances, like apple and cinnamon, to make your facility smell like a home where there’s always fresh pie cooking in the oven. You may want to use tropical scents, like citrus and coconut, to make your facility smell like a luxurious, five-star spa. You may want to use a natural scent, like magnolia or sea spray, to make your facility smell like the great outdoors. 

Step 3: Monitor Results and Make Changes

Your scent delivery system should empower you to check metrics like scent intensity, coverage, and air turnover. Track those metrics alongside key performance indicators (KPIs) like Net Promoter Score (NPS) survey results and Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) survey results. Then, you can measure fragrance performance and make subsequent adjustments to improve your scent delivery. 

Conclusion: A Successful Scent Marketing Strategy for Senior Living

A successful scent marketing strategy can have many benefits for your senior living facility. It can enhance the environment, improve your residents’ well-being, decrease seniors’ social isolation, and boost staff performance. The right technology and deployment can help you drastically improve your senior living facility overall, improve the lives of your residents, and give comfort to visiting family members reminding them of why they chose your facility in the first place.