Marketing is an interesting concept. I remember first getting into business and being thrown into getting the marketing department figured out. There I was, a fish out of water. I didn’t know what marketing was and how it related to sales. Over time, I have done a lot of reading, investigating and listening to the experts. I have come to understand a lot about the sales and marketing funnel as it relates to home care. While we here at Shoshana Technologies sell home care software, you sell home care. The long and short of it is that the basic marketing model is very similar. We need to find customers who want and need a great homecare management system and you need to find clients who can use your amazing home care services.
In March, 2013 the National Association for Home Care &; Hospice conference was held in Washington, DC. I had the privilege of sitting in on a talk given by Bob Roth of Cypress Home Care Solutions in Scottsdale, Arizona. Bob has a great business doing mostly private-duty home care. He has done more government work in the past but the margins as of late have been so small and decreasing that he has found, in order to remain profitable, he must concentrate much of his marketing dollars on attracting more private pay clients. Here are a few tips that Bob recommended and that I know to be potentially helpful. If you want to see how an agency does great business and still manages to have fun, check out his website, cypresshomecare.com. His Christmas videos are a blast!
I threw in a few suggestions of my own from what I know about home care agencies and marketing. Not all of these suggestions are for everyone but you might find a few to be something new and useful. Some of these tips require you to use your software. I have also mentioned the places where Rosemark could be helpful to you.
First impressions are very, very important. The person who answers your agency phone should be happy, upbeat, very helpful, and efficient.
A person, not a machine, should always answer your phones. If people think that they are going to have to listen to a dozen prompts every time they call your agency they may have second thoughts. They probably get enough of that from their healthcare professionals. Seriously, don’t you breathe a sigh of relief when you call a business and you get to a real person right off the bat? It’s reassuring and comforting to be able to get the right information from a really engaging person. That first call can be a really emotional call from a prospective client. This first call should be as stress-free as possible for a prospective client!
Nurture your Referrers
First, you should know who they are and how they came to refer clients to you. If you keep track of these in your software as part of your intake process, then you can pull up a report to help you see where your time and resources could be spent to get the best bang for your buck. You might find that you are spending lots of time and energy on one referrer or referrer type only to find out that most of your business comes from another type. Remember you have to put the data in to get the data out.
Random acts of kindness to your Clients and Client’s families
Take care of your clients, go out of your way to find inexpensive ways to do little good deeds for them like greeting cards or phone calls. Keep track of those in credentials tracking or as actions in Rosemark.
Nurture your Home Care & Hospice Evangelists
Bob used the word evangelist, and I just loved the use of it. Your evangelists are people that love to shout about how great you are. They might be referrers, they might be clients or clients’ family members, or somebody else. The point is that they need attention. Give them attention. They will love you more and keep talking you up around the community.
It seems to me that it comes down to finding ways of being kind to people. But it does take time, so it’s all about priorities. Happy Caring!
This is Part 1 of a two-part Blog from our visit to the National Association for Home Care & Hospice conference. Check out more helpful tips here.