Want to grow faster? Invest in your client experience—the best foundation for long-term growth.
There’s a lot to be said for building your home care agency on the right foundation. In home care, the core of your business is the experience you provide to your clients, and a crucial part of perfecting that experience is listening to your clients and measuring satisfaction.
Why is measuring satisfaction so important to listening and improving client experience? It’s simple: that which is measured improves. If you’re looking to grow your revenue sustainably long-term, client experience needs to be your North Star.
A quick disclaimer: In this blog we’ll reference our program a lot because that’s where we have the best statistics on agencies measuring satisfaction. We’re proud of our program and we do believe that it’s the best option to get rich, useful feedback from your clients. However, there are other ways you can measure satisfaction. The point of this blog is to demonstrate that, however you decide to measure satisfaction, you can achieve more sustainable growth and provide much better care by gathering feedback and measuring satisfaction.
Getting down to business: according to the 2018 Home Care Benchmarking Study, home care agencies that have been using the Home Care Pulse Satisfaction Management Program for 12 months or more earn $205,000 more in average annual revenue.
This includes over 1,700 agencies of every size—from mom-and-pop agencies that can count all their clients on one hand to leading national brands with hundreds of locations. And whatever their size, they consistently make more money each year than agencies that don’t measure satisfaction. Let’s talk about why:
Reason #1: Clients and caregivers feel more comfortable approaching them when an issue arises.
Agencies frequently tell us that after they’d been having us survey their clients and caregivers for a while, they found that their clients and caregivers became more confident to approach them directly about problems because the agency had already demonstrated they were willing to listen. Caregivers in particular often feel reluctant to approach management because they worry about their standing or even their job; a management team that demonstrates that they welcome feedback is almost always rewarded with the trust and respect of their caregivers.
Reason #2: It’s easier for them to differentiate themselves.
We all know how competitive the industry is, and it gets more competitive every year. Agencies that measure satisfaction management have an extra toolbox of ways to stand out from competitors For agencies in our program, this includes:
- Satisfaction reports and client testimonials to prove quality
- Eligibility to qualify for Best of Home Care awards that they can use in their marketing
- Trusted Provider certifications that demonstrate quality and earn credibility
As one agency owner recently said on a call with us about satisfaction management, “We all know we need to do something to stand out. If you don’t differentiate, you’ll stagnate.”
We all know we need to do something to stand out. If you don’t differentiate, you’ll stagnate.
Reason #3: They’re aware of their blind spots.
(Yes, every agency has them.) Consider these examples:
A Right at Home franchisee in Texas learned that their after-hours answering procedures were causing angst among their caregivers
An agency in California learned their training, which they thought was one of their strengths, was perceived as ineffective and inadequate by their caregivers
Another agency in Texas who learned that their benefits program was missing key items that caregivers needed: “It’s so easy to not realize what you’re not doing, and it’s so easy to not realize that what you are doing isn’t as helpful as you thought it was,” says the owner.
Reason #4: They save thousands of dollars on caregiver turnover.
Due to a combination of direct and indirect costs, the average cost of replacing one caregiver is estimated at a whopping $2,600. This is factoring in issues like decreased quality, client frustration, and loss of morale in addition to more obvious factors like overtime and hiring costs. (This is our estimate; some other sources have placed the number closer to $3,500.)
Now factor in that agencies engaged in our program experience 10-15% lower caregiver turnover than the industry average. At $2,600 per caregiver retained, the numbers add up quickly. How many caregivers did your agency lose last year?
Reason #5: They’re getting more online reviews.
We give our customers the option to automatically post client feedback as reviews on Caring.com and BestofHomeCare.com. When Caring.com released their most recent list of Caring Star award winners, a high percentage of them attained the volume and quality of reviews necessary by “taking advantage of Caring.com’s partnership and reviews software integration with Home Care Pulse,” according to Caring.com’s press release.
What does more reviews translate into: more visibility, more leads, more clients, and more revenue.
Reason #6: They’re getting more referrals from their clients.
Higher client satisfaction is correlated with more client referrals, and satisfaction scores are much easier to improve when they’re tracked. In addition, tracking satisfaction allows you to identify which clients are promoters and track your Net Promoter Score, a key metric to help you get more referrals.
Agencies that list client referrals as one of their top two sources of referrals average over $300,000 more in annual revenue, spend $9,000 less on marketing expenses every year, and retain clients for 33% longer. Which brings us to the next point:
Reason #7: Their clients stay longer.
Another proven impact of measuring and improving satisfaction is that clients stay with your agency longer. On a recent webinar, our CEO, Erik Madsen, interviewed a SYNERGY franchise owner in Pennsylvania who discussed how she more than tripled her clients’ average length of stay (time spent using their services) over several years of measuring and working on client satisfaction. (And it’s not that they started at a disadvantage—they were a top-rated, award-winning agency for most of the years in question.)
Reason #8: They’re saving time and energy by pinpointing exactly what they can do to improve.
We already mentioned the old saying: “That which is measured, improves.” Agencies that measure satisfaction and collect feedback not only get the improvement that comes from measuring, but they can learn exactly what needs to be done to keep improving without wasting their efforts in the wrong areas. As a home care agency owner, you’re constantly strapped for time. Save yourself time by knowing what matters most to your clients and caregivers.
Reason #9: Their strategy is built on a solid foundation that leads to sustainable growth.
We’re beginning and ending with this article because if you take nothing else from this article, you need to take this lesson: In any service business—especially in a care-oriented business—your marketing can only be as good as the experience you provide.
In other words: nothing is more important to growing your agency than perfecting the core of your business—caring for your clients.
Too many agencies focus on growing without making sure that every aspect of their client experience contributes to, rather than detracts from, their growth. For instance, while there’s nothing wrong with buying leads to help you grow, it’s more effective long-term to invest in a system that will help you generate more referrals from your clients because your agency will be self-sustaining.
The Home Care Growth Playbook:
4 Proven Strategies to Help You Grow Your Home Care Agency
There’s one catch: this success won’t be handed to you as soon as you start measuring satisfaction. Most of these changes (with a few exceptions) don’t come passively. While we provide agencies with the solutions to produce these results, it’s up to the agencies to put them to action. Measuring satisfaction and gathering feedback is a start—but it becomes truly effective when you listen carefully to the feedback, act on it, and continually watch for ways to improve.
At Home Care Pulse, we refer to this process of listening and acting as ‘closing the loop.’ Real growth comes when you listen to your clients and caregivers, track their satisfaction, and close the loop to continually produce a better and better experience.
There’s no shortcut to success and no secret sauce to growing your agency. But there is a strategy that will set your agency on a solid foundation and move it more quickly down the path to success: Focus on producing an incredible experience and growth will quickly follow.
To learn more about how satisfaction management can benefit your agency, request a free demo with one of our specialists. We’ll even discuss other ways you can gather feedback and what the pros and cons might be versus our program.
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