Inquiries are an important part of your home care business. Do you train all of your administrative staff on how to take an inquiry call or how to respond to an email about a new service? Do you handle it all on your own?
New service inquiries can differ greatly from one to another and it’s important to have a system that covers this varied nature. Some clients may need a couple of hours of support each week from a companion, while others need continuous care all hours of the day with personal and specialized care needs.
Learn some best practices on how to handle each home care website inquiry and how to attract clients.
Take the initial information provided with a grain of salt.
When prospective clients utilize a third-party referral website or your own website to inquire about services, take this with a grain of salt. When a loved one is in the hospital with limited access to their family/power of attorney, the information they have might not be the complete picture or full scope of what they will end up needing.
Conditions can change quickly, which prompts the necessity for an in-person assessment before starting services. Don’t jump the gun too early in scheduling a meeting, take the time to learn more about the family’s circumstances, what family support is available to the client, any auxiliary services will be in place, what durable medical equipment is needed, etc…
Give the family and client the space to voice their concerns.
As a franchise or independently operated home care agency, you might have a pre-scripted or loose outline for how a new home care inquiry should go, but make sure you take the time to get to know the family.
We have seen inquiry call structures that are too rigid and assertive that don’t give the caller the room to state their concerns, wishes, goals, and more. Contrary to what you may believe from a business standpoint, let the caller lead the discussion.
Let them tell you what they want, how they need to be supported, and how they want their loved one to be supported.
Take advantage of situations when time is on your side.
You might be looking for clients who want to start services immediately and need you right now. It’s easy to dismiss prospective clients who aren’t looking to start services right away and want to shop around. You should encourage them to do so.
Give them reasons and concrete proof of why they should work with you. Using this time to prepare and train caregivers, finding the right match can help you set this client up for success.
Oftentimes, when a client is being discharged from the hospital, time is never a luxury. Same-day or next-day notice of discharges is typical, which forces you to scramble and piecemeal a care team together. You want to create and maintain that great first impression, from the first phone call throughout the entirety of service. Even after they no longer need you.
This hurrying and rushing around can make simple, easy-to-follow steps fall through the cracks. From forgetting a signature on a form or skipping a section on the care plan, these subtle mistakes can contribute to a poor client experience.
Take clients on as you can, however, don’t overlook those who are not quite ready to sign on and start services with you yet.
Explain your agency story.
Putting together a concrete agency story is critical to your ability to convert clients from skeptical consumers to loyal clients. Think about these questions as you put it together:
- Why did I open my home care business?
- What is my personal connection to home care?
- What is the mission statement of my agency?
These are only a few questions to begin brainstorming on how you would want to create your agency story. Each of your office staff can have a similar version of these questions adapted for their role in your business. When they answer a call, it may be helpful for them to explain their role, why they chose the home care industry, and how they contribute to your mission statement.
This helps clients to build rapport and understand that your staff genuinely want to help them and their family get the care that they need.
Inquiries are not one-size-fits-all.
Author and entrepreneur, Jay Baer, once said, “Customer service is the new marketing, it’s what differentiates one business from another.” You can be the home care agency that attracts clients through superior digital marketing and customer service skills.
Every client that inquires about your services has a unique set of circumstances, conditions, and family dynamics that led them to search for home care. Be the agency that they go with by following these best practices.
Whether a prospect heard about you from a friend of theirs or your name was on a list from the hospital, take the time to learn their story and why they’re calling. And in exchange, tell them your story and why you’re answering.
Instead of following a script or structure, let the client lead the conversation as you follow along. Fill in the gaps with how your services will help them have the quality of life they long for at home, with experienced and trained caregivers.
Want to tighten up your new client inquiry procedures?
At Home Care Marketing Pros, we understand how important each new client is to you. From every customer touchpoint to matching them with the right caregiver, there are a lot of moving parts involved.
We will take a look at your existing home care marketing materials and client inquiry procedures to see what works and doesn’t work, and come up with a plan that will help you grow your business. Schedule a 30-minute meeting with us here and one of our marketing experts will reach out to you.