As senior living occupancy continues its steady climb back to pre-2020 numbers, more operators and community leaders are ready to invest in senior living technology, from AI-powered communication tools to engagement platforms.
This also means that if communities are dissatisfied with a solution, they may now have the opportunity (read: budget) to seek out a better fit. But this raises the question: how do you know the problem lies with the technology and not with how you implemented it?
We’ve previously highlighted best practices for tech implementation. And there’s no question about it: the right approach to technology adoption can help you maximize your investment. But sometimes, underperforming tech is out of your control.
Here are three signs it’s not you; it’s the technology.
1. Your Residents and Staff Aren’t Using the Technology
Picture this: it’s been a few months since you implemented your engagement platform. Despite your hopes that residents would line up to use the tool, less than a third of them registered. And your data shows that only a tiny fraction of those residents use the platform at least once a week.
Stumped, you run through what you did before investing in this technology. You confirmed your existing infrastructure (WiFi speeds, bandwidth, etc.) could support it. So you know it’s not a technical issue on your end. You also made sure to announce this product across various digital channels (email, phone call, and text) and sent out bulletins and mailers. So you know the low adoption isn’t due to a lack of awareness.
This leads you to suspect it’s an issue with comprehension. So you ask staff members to check in with residents about the tool. Over the next couple of days, you start getting responses like “it’s hard to use” and “I don’t know how to log in.” Before scheduling any follow-up training session, you ask staff if they’d feel comfortable leading it. They don’t. They also find the platform confusing.
Still, you try to make the platform work. You schedule training sessions for staff and residents. Then more. But adoption remains low. The engagement platform isn’t delivering on its promise – to help residents engage with your community.
The takeaway: it shouldn’t be this hard to adopt a new piece of senior living technology. Yes, sometimes you can attribute low adoption rates to insufficient training or a rough onboarding process. But that isn’t the case here. When residents and staff are making similar complaints about a “solution,” that often means it’s the problem.
2. The Tech Won’t Integrate with Other Systems
You were sold on a communication platform that the vendor said, within the next year, could offer interoperability with dozens of other tech solutions. Sure, the platform offered limited integrations, but the interface was snappy and the vendor seemed confident in the product roadmap. So you signed on the dotted line. Cut to nine months later and that interoperability is nowhere to be found.
You eventually learn that your communication platform doesn’t play well with Amazon Alexa devices. This alters your plan to purchase a fleet of Echo Shows for your residents’ living quarters.
Not only that, but your platform has never integrated cleanly with your digital calendar. This has forced your staff to file life enrichment information and community announcements in two places: your calendar and your communication platform. That inefficiency pulls staff away from valued one-on-one time with residents.
To summarize, you’re saddled with a piece of senior living tech that…
- Hampers your existing platforms and forces staff members to do the same work more than once.
- Prevents you from adopting new technology (smart home devices) that can make your residents’ lives better.
The takeaway: It’s important to have a platform that can integrate with solutions you either currently have or plan to adopt in the near future. To be clear, we’re not saying you need a piece of senior living technology that’s fully tech-agnostic (though, if that’s what you want…👋). But if a vendor can’t offer you the integrations you need right out of the box, or hasn’t made progress on that front, it’s a sign you need to look elsewhere.
3. Your Customer Support Requests Are Piling Up
Before adopting your new piece of senior living tech, you understood the value of customer success teams. They schedule onboarding training sessions, offer ongoing technical support, and walk through product enhancements as they come up. In short, a customer success team helps maximize a product’s value.
But lately, you’ve been having issues with your solution. And your CS representative hasn’t resolved any of the support requests you’ve sent. You understand that technical issues can take time to work through – and there might be a patch coming out soon. But you don’t know that. And right now, it feels like you’re stranded.
In the meantime, your solution is growing more dysfunctional. Your staff is trying their best to develop workarounds. Residents are coming to you with questions that you can’t answer. And you’re starting to notice the number of active users drop.
You’re running out of options. You don’t even know if it makes sense to hire a developer to fix the issues – and even if it does, you’re not sure you have the budget. All you can do is continue to send customer support tickets and hope your vendor gets back to you.
The takeaway: When you land on the right piece of technology for your community, you’re not just signing a contract; you’re also striking up a partnership with the vendor. A true tech partner looks out for your needs. They keep you updated with tactical how-to information. They work with you to ensure a product meets – and exceeds – your expectations. If you’re dealing with month-old support tickets or an endless stream of dial tones and voicemail greetings, it’s time to find a new senior living tech partner.
The Right Senior Living Tech Pays for Itself
It’s daunting to implement a new piece of senior living technology, especially if you’ve been burned in the past. But do you want to know what costs more than a new solution? A legacy platform that doesn’t meet your needs. The right piece of senior living technology can help you optimize costs – and even generate revenue.Want to learn more about how Icon’s technology enriches the aging experience? Check out our white paper. And if you want to see our tech in action, shoot us a message!