So you operate a home care agency, and you’re on the lookout for new clients. Whether you’re focusing on referrals or simply hoping to get the name of your organization out in the community, there are a number of things you can do to appeal to prospects. At the center of these items are word-of-mouth referrals.
According to the 2018 Home Care Benchmarking Study, the main reason clients chose a home care agency in 2017 was due to a recommendation from friends or family.
Word of mouth is a crucial marketing resource. It’s important, in this regard, to keep your business efficient and your branding solid. Agencies should vet their caregivers and conduct thorough background checks, just like we do before listing our caregivers in the Nurse2Help app.
Of equal importance is sound communication, and best practices designed to keep your agency competitive.
What does all this mean? In simple terms, home care agencies must build a positive reputation and transform clients and community members into vocal promoters of the services they provide. Here are some tips to attract new clients and ultimately enhance your word-of-mouth referral network:
Ask for feedback and work toward improvement.
Ask your clients and their loved ones for feedback so that you can continually improve your services. Distribute surveys on a regular basis. Say, for instance, a client mentions their caregiver is reliable and personable, but spends too much time on their phone. This is something you can address.
By working toward improvement, you can boost your agency’s reputation. And good client experiences translate to good marketing, as happy clients will likely share their thoughts with acquaintances and loved ones.
Ultimately, word of mouth is an invaluable, timesaving resource. It will save your marketing team precious time, as clients will be taking over some of the marketing for you, and it’s a cost-effective solution for appealing to new customers.
Partner with organizations that complement your agency.
When you think of referrals, you probably think of your customers and their families. What should also come to mind are the many other organizations in your community that provide complementary services to your agency.
For instance, you can increase your referral network by visiting nursing or rehab facilities, and discussing what your support staff have to offer in addition to what these organizations provide themselves. Don’t hesitate to partner with local healthcare facilities and insurance agencies, as well as social workers—you might agree to refer clients to one another.
In addition, you can cultivate relationships with competing home care agencies. Say one agency is unable to accommodate a client’s request—perhaps it specializes in the elderly rather than youth—the other can take on the client and return the favor later down the road.
Another viable option for home care agencies is to get out and speak in front of prospects. Think about visiting health fairs, schools, and other programs, and touching on relevant topics ranging from nutrition and exercise, to memory and mental health. Put these subjects—and the services your agency offers—in the minds of your prospects.
Stay tuned for more tips, tricks, and resources from Nurse2Help. The Nurse2Help app lists hundreds of prescreened caregivers in the D.C., Maryland, and Virginia area. Please contact us for more information.