Have You Figured Out Your Ideal Home Care Client?

How to identify the people most likely to need and be happy with your agency’s home care services

A senior woman who is being taken care of by a professional caregiver exemplifies the ideal home care client.

The essence of strategic home care sales is understanding who your ideal client is and where to reach them. Every business has an ideal client, and it’s likely you already have the information you need to identify yours. 

Your current client roster, marketing data, network, and institutional knowledge will tell you everything you need to know about who this model client is.

What is an ideal client?

Plain and simple, your ideal client is one that is uniquely positioned to need, afford, and be happy with the services you provide.

Home care sales are unique in that the person you sell to is not necessarily the person who receives your care, yet both parties need to be pleased. Ideal home care clients are often a family or at least two parties making a decision in tandem.

Your end customer might be a woman in her eighties who needs memory care and occupational therapy following a stroke, but the person making the purchase decision might be her son who lives six hours away. Both mother and son need to be happy with your home care agency’s services.

Do you have an ideal client? Should you?

Whether you realize it or not, your home care agency has an ideal customer. It’s theoretical, sure, but it means that there is a certain type of person who most benefits from your services, whose needs you are equipped to meet.

It’s often easier to identify who your ideal client is not, so start here. If you don’t offer hospice care, then your ideal client is not someone making end-of-life preparations for a family member. Who your ideal client is is defined by more factors than the services offered.

Ideal client vs. customer personas

As a home care marketer, you may have designed customer personas, or detailed, fictional profiles of customer archetypes. For example, one of your customer personas could be Julie, a woman in her forties who works full-time running her own business and has two kids in high school. Time is a luxury for Julie, who is also caring for her parents who have chosen to age in place and need basic assistance around the house.

Customer personas help you design messaging and target marketing campaigns. An ideal client, on the other hand, is described on a less granular level.

Your ideal client might be an adult located in your area with access to the combination of liquid resources and insurance to afford your services. Business consulting firm Gartner defines the two like this: “Unlike the term ‘target customer,’ which is often used to describe any company that might buy a product or service, the [ideal customer profile] is focused on the most valuable customers and prospects that are also most likely to buy.”

Targeting ideal clients is often a matter of where: Hospital discharge? Surgical centers? And how much: who has the ability to afford your care?

Characteristics of your ideal home care client

They need and want the services you offer

Of course, your ideal clients need your services. They have needs you can meet and problems you can solve. That’s requirement number one.

They can afford your services

Second, your ideal client can pay for your services. The ability to afford home care doesn’t require the ability to pay in cash. Affordability is often a result of the right combination of private insurance, Medicare/Medicaid, and liquid resources, etc.

Plus, the person receiving your care might not be the only person footing the bill. Family members often contribute when the cost of home care is not covered by insurance, so the resources of family members are relevant as well.

They’re fans of your home care agency

Satisfied clients are the best evangelists for your company. You want to pursue clients who are going to speak well of your agency and tell their friends, family, and communities about you. Word-of-mouth marketing and client referral programs are the most successful marketing methods: 88% of people have the highest level of trust in brands that are recommended by someone they know.

They’re long-term clients

The clients that stick with your agency the longest possess the characteristics you want to pursue in new clients. Not only do they represent predictable revenue, they can tell you a lot about what you do well that wins their loyalty.

How to identify your home care agency’s ideal client

Mine your past marketing campaign data

Your marketing automation platform and your past digital marketing campaigns are a treasure trove of information about your ideal client. Who ends up in your customer pipeline, and what type of person is most, and least, likely to make all the way through the customer journey to the point of purchase?

Client leads that get stuck in the funnel and never make it to the purchase decision are not your ideal clients.

Talk to your current clients

To improve sales, understand what your customer values, writes business professor Robert Simons for the Harvard Business Review. Some will value the affordability of your services, some will value your ability to form relationships, and others, like the son who needs a caregiver for his mother six hours away, are likely to value clear and consistent communication.

Identify client values with customer surveys — ask them what they like about working with your agency and where there is room for improvement.

Just as important as knowing what they value is knowing what they fear. “People often make a purchase for one of two reasons: They have a desire they would like to be fulfilled or they have a problem that they need to be solved,” writes Rebecca Patterson for Forbes. “If you can identify a challenge your ideal client currently faces and ‘bridge the gap’ from their problem to a solution, it's likely you will find yourself in high demand.”

Ask your regular referral sources

Long-term insurance carriers, hospital discharge coordinators, and veteran aid organizations that regularly recommend your agency know a lot about the kinds of people who need the services you provide. Ask your contacts about the people who ask for recommendations and compare that with the leads that actually make it to your agency from those sources.

Get help identifying your ideal home care client

Home Care Marketing Pros' marketing automation tools can track valuable info about clients and help you to get a picture of who your ideal client is. Find out more about what we can do for your agency by booking a call!

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