Siebel Ad once said, “Good service is good business.” This is particularly true in home care where customer service is the lifeblood of success. An investment in improving customer service, or the client experience, is really an investment in improving your business. To take your customer service to the next level, start with these steps:
1. Hire for Personality
Caregiving requires a specific skillset and personality, and while you can teach skills, you cannot teach personality. If you want caregivers and staff who are going to provide quality care, you need to find ones who have the right qualities. They need to love what they do. The best veterinarians love animals. The best film producers love movies. And the best caregivers love caring for seniors. Hiring staff and caregivers with the right traits will help you build a dependable team, which will drive down turnover and drive up satisfaction.
For more details on reducing caregiver turnover, watch Aaron Marcum’s CORE Webinar, “Recruiting Caregivers Who Will Stay for the Long Term.”
2. Make It Personal
When you’re a busy business owner, it’s easy to get caught up in your day-to-day tasks and to miss out on opportunities to connect directly with your clients. However, getting to know your clients, not only by name but also by face, is key to understanding their needs and building their trust. When you visit the home of a client and sit down to talk, you build rapport with them, and prove to them that they’re important to your business. Explain your story to them and ask them about themselves. The more invested you are with individuals, the more invested those individuals will be with you.
3. Map Your Client Journey
Though it’s easy to view your client’s care solely through the lens of the client-caregiver relationship, the client experience is much broader than that. As you determine clients’ needs, you need to start by outlining each of their touch points with your company, including easy-to-overlook areas, like billing or phone calls. Each of these connections is part of the overall client experience, and each is important for delivering quality care. To view the complete picture of your client experience, create a Client Journey Map. List each of the significant milestones in a client’s journey with your company (e.g. initial sales call, first day of service, etc.), and then list each point of contact the client will have during and between these milestones. As you better understand your client’s complete journey through your services, you’ll have a more complete picture of which touch points need to be added or improved.
For more details on creating a Client Journey Map, watch JC Weber’s CORE Webinar, “Creating a Client Journey Map to Improve Client Satisfaction.”
4. Measure Satisfaction
Satisfaction management is not a new concept, especially for Home Care Pulse, but its importance stands repeating. In order to really know where your company is lacking in service, you need to ask your clients directly. Your clients can tell you better than anyone what frustrates them about your services and which of your contact points aren’t working for them. As you ask them what they think and act on that feedback, you’ll not only improve your client experience, you’ll also save time and money. You’ll know exactly where to focus your energy and resources (e.g. on improving billing rather than increasing training, etc.), which will ultimately improve your efficiency and grow your company.
There’s no silver bullet when it comes to customer service, you need to take an inclusive approach and work to improve the little things. You can best do this as you take action to identify clients’ specific needs and address them individually. As your clients see your business’s commitment to them, they’ll reciprocate by committing their business to you.
Visit our Resource Library for dozens of free tools, templates, webinars, and resources to help you reduce caregiver turnover, market to referral sources, increase client satisfaction, and manage your home care business.