Shell Point Retirement Community Enhances Resident Experience Using Digital Directories
Retirement community upgrades amenities with wayfinding, digital bulletin board and virtual receptionist
Shell Point is the premier retirement and long-term care community in the country. Based in Fort Myers, Florida, the 700-acre community offers multiple neighborhoods, home styles, resort amenities and other services for its 2,500 residents. For years, non-digital directories and printed signs were the go-to method of communicating with community members. So, when Shell Point decided to upgrade their lobbies and facilities, they sought technology solutions that better met the high expectations of increasingly tech savvy residents. Their community installed five TouchSource systems: 4 wall-mounted directories in resident buildings with virtual receptionist services, wayfinding and community messaging, and 1 slim-line style display with Shell Point messaging in the new Tribby Arts Center.
TouchSource spoke with Brian Hinds, Chief Information Officer at Shell Point, to learn about how the digital directories have benefitted the community.
What type of directories, if any, did you previously have in place?
Shell Point was very paper-centric before I took over as CIO. The directories were a combination of old strip boards, sandwich boards, or nothing at all. In addition, there was lots of printed signage in all building lobbies.
We now have five total TouchSource systems. Four of them were deployed in our residential communities — they are Pantella wall mounted units with integrated Virtual Receptionist with calling and speakerphones. The fifth unit, the Keystone, was recently deployed in our new state-of-the-art Tribby Arts Center and has a slim, custom, black-matted enclosure to match the space.
Can you share some of the reasons behind your decision to add the Pantella and Keystone directories?
Shell Point is the premier retirement and long-term care community in the country. Our residents are becoming increasingly tech savvy and we want to meet or exceed their expectations daily. Shell Point is also a community that fosters residents spending time with each other while maintaining security. So with that in mind we were looking for simple, technology solutions that would align with our upgraded lobbies and facilities. It needed to be a very high-end experience to match our resident expectations. Also, we wanted the ability for visitors to use the directories to call the residents for added security and comfort.
For our recent deployment at our new Tribby Arts Center, we were trying to solve different problems. The Tribby is a world-class performing arts center with a performance hall that rivals most cities and an entire building full of arts, crafts, music rooms, and fun spaces for the residents. We wanted to not only help people find where they are going but also showcase all that the Tribby has to offer. The initial screen shows all the locations so people can see where they are going at a glance, but we also incorporated buttons with interactive wayfinding to navigate the facility. On top of that we put in stunning images of the facility and a link to our resident bulletin board. Now when people enter the Tribby they can explore the entire center easily.
Are there any factors that set TouchSource products apart from other options you looked at?
We had a rigorous vetting process prior to deploying TouchSource solutions. First, we assessed the technology from an ease and security perspective. Then TouchSource built a demonstration unit for the CIO offices so all of the board and key residents could test and trial the experience. We looked at the ease of maintenance, updating, and look and feel. Ultimately TouchSource met our very difficult requirements, but we continue to test and explore with them.
What are some of the biggest advantages or benefits you have seen since installing the directories?
The TouchSource directories have become a point of pride for the residents and the staff for the buildings we deployed. The residents were actively involved in the design and testing. When friends or family arrive, they can easily call and make their way to meet their loved ones. It also has really helped in our reduction of paper on campus. Recently we deployed a “Digital Bulletin” board that integrated with the TouchSource directories. So now instead of the clutter of cork boards with lots of aged flyers, we have an organized digital bulletin board. Residents can post and all can see.
Is there anything else you would like to add about your company’s experience with the directories or dealing with TouchSource specifically?
TouchSource has been a great partner as we have embarked on our digital strategy. They worked with us to create a unique design for the resident buildings that combined “always on” visible listings with interactive push-to-talk capability. Also, the Customer Success Managers worked to make sure that everything for Shell Point was done consistently and aligned with our brand standards. Finally, TouchSource has been a great partner at exploring other ways for Shell Point to execute on our digital strategy. We are talking about ideas that include room reservations, digital art, space capacity tracking, and more.