Branding is a composite of your clients’ impressions and experiences with your company. These perceptions are often formed early, after the first phone call or the first home visit. Though these initial impressions can be changed with time, bad impressions are hard to erase. For this reason, it’s important that the entire spectrum of your clients’ experience is built on quality experiences, not only with the caregiver in the client’s home, but also through supplementary interactions between office staff and the client.
Though caregivers may have the most intimate relationship with your clients, they’re not necessarily the most influential contributors to client satisfaction. As we reviewed the data from thousands of client satisfaction interviews, we found that clients’ satisfaction with office staff (not caregivers) was most closely correlated with a client’s likelihood to recommend a provider. The office staff is the front line in forming the client’s first impressions your company, as well as shaping important future impressions through the onboarding process, billing, scheduling, and regular check-ins. When the office staff acts professionally, it reflects on the company as a whole. When office staff are curt or sloppy, this also reflects on the entire company.
Fortunately, if your office staff ratings are down, there are simple ways to improve. Providers can start by reading feedback and taking action to improve on their clients’ specific complaints. They can also set clear schedules and expectations for office staff communication. Though a caregiver may be entering the home each day, clients and their family members expect and desire regular updates and check-ins with your company. As you work closely with staff to meet these needs, you’re communication will be more consistent and your staff will be more effective at meeting your clients’ needs.
Jeff Bezos, Amazon CEO, once said, “We see our customers as invited guests to a party, and we are the hosts. It’s our job every day to make every important aspect of the customer experience a little better.” As you refine the details of your client experience, you’ll find that your clients are happy guests. You can start that process by improving your office staff communication and then by expanding to other aspects of your client care. To gain more insight into how you can improve your client experience, I encourage you to attend my webinar with PDI this May 17th for more tips on how to grow your company through a client focus.
Aaron Marcum, Founder & CEO