If you’re part of the home care industry today, you know the industry is gearing up for huge growth in demand as the baby boomer generation ages. This could be great news if you’re a home care agency owner. Having a large population of people in need of your services is good, but even with increasing demand, you’ll still need to work hard to market your agency to make sure potential clients know about your services and the great quality of work you provide.
With that in mind, now is the time to be perfecting your marketing efforts and developing a strategy with tactics that really work to bring in new clients. Shoshana Technologies has served the home care industry for more than 25 years and we’ve worked closely with hundreds of clients to help them better manage their businesses. We’ve seen firsthand what types of marketing efforts are just okay and what practices really translate into new clients choosing your agency.
Engage Current Clients for Home Care Agency Referrals
One of the most effective methods we’ve seen for securing new clients is when past and current clients and their families share the good news about your business to other people that they know may be in need of your great home care services. For this reason, your agency staff should have a clear plan in place that guarantees that they “make the asks” and get referrals from these really important sources.
Professionals are a Critical Referral Source for Your Home Care Agency
Beyond your own clients, other powerful relationships can be made with professionals and organizations that have a stake in the health of individuals who need care at home. Home health agencies are a great source if you are a private duty agency. Many home health agencies (government programs) don’t provide private pay services but may be looking for partners to help provide all-around great care for their clients when the need arises. Home health agencies may be extra interested in partnering with you if your agency is able to refer care that would be covered by government programs like Medicaid and Medicare that your agency does not provide. You can see how this can be a win-win situation for both parties.
Other great professional sources might be family physicians where a reciprocal relationship can be established by referring clients to each other. Referrals can also come from a variety of other people and places like clergy, hospices, hospitals (discharge planners), florists, and cleaning services. Think of people or businesses that may serve your target market in other ways. Use your imagination, then consider approaching these potential sources with a conversation that might lead to a partnership.
Nurture your Personal and Professional Referral Sources
Be sure to maintain a database of these people and professionals that you have identified as referral sources. Then refer to this list on a regular basis and continually update it with what you have learned. You will start to see who your best referral sources are and who aren’t.
Note: if you are just starting with marketing efforts, make sure to prioritize your efforts. These contacts need nurturing and you cannot effectively nurture too many people at once. Identify the low-hanging fruit and work with those sources first. Once you have established a really strong relationship(s) then you can move on to add others to your efforts. Keep the database growing for the future.
Additional Resources to Establish Your Home Care Agency’s Client Referral Process
So, you’ve identified your best referral sources and have a database established? Preparing these referral sources to accept your partnership is the next step. For more information on how to do this, check out our white paper, Securing Referrals for Your Home Care Agency: A Step-by-Step Guide, where we offer you useful information to help you get over the hump of asking for and getting referrals.
Join the Discussion:
What do you think? What types of activities have helped you build a database of great referral sources?