Testimonials are one of the best ways to prove your business is exceptional, but asking clients for a testimonial can be intimidating. And once you decide to ask, how do you know your clients’ feelings are positive enough to warrant a testimonial? Kristi Larson, manager of the Home Care Pulse Senior Research Center (SRC), asked clients how their home care providers could improve and be worthy of a testimonial. Below are some of the examples provided of how to improve your company and make it worthy of extraordinary testimonials.
- Finding Volunteers to Help Out – Having someone come play games with your clients, paint an older woman’s nails, and talk to him or her while your caregiver is busy working can make a huge difference in client satisfaction. You can advertise for volunteers at local churches, colleges or community events. You could even ask your friends if their children would like to help out.
- Storm Preparation – Some climates are constantly being hammered by rain and snow, which can leave a client stranded if road conditions are bad. Clients have complained that they were unable to get medication and were alone for a day or two. If you know a storm is expected, help your clients prepare by ensuring prescriptions are filled, meals are prepared and ready to be reheated in the microwave, and emergency procedures have been discussed. Involve family members of the clients and neighbors so they can be available in case of emergencies.
- Train Caregivers to Provide Exceptional Care – A common complaint among those needing care is that their caregivers will simply do the minimum amount of work they can. For example, a caregiver once refused to shovel the snow from a client’s sidewalk, saying that it wasn’t part of their job. Train your caregivers that if a client asks for something, as long as the request is reasonable and not against company policy, they should do it eagerly, with a smile.
- Make Clients Feel Special – One home care company bakes cookies for their clients on a monthly basis, and sends them birthday cakes. One client told an SRC representative that her caregiver brings freshly baked cookies once a week, and it makes her so happy because no one brings her treats anymore. Some clients don’t have family or friends nearby, or even at all. But by making them feel special you can really brighten their day and they’ll be that much more satisfied with your company.
- Provide Activities – Your agency could have a library of books, movies, and games for clients to check out. Many of the elderly can’t drive or even get around their home very well. But you can provide meaningful entertainment by having family, friends and even caregivers donate old movies or games for your clients.
- Client Get-Togethers – As stated earlier, many clients don’t have family or friends nearby. Throw holiday parties that will allow clients to mingle and make new friends. This can help lower depression in the elderly and give them something to look forward to.
- Caregivers Taking the Clients Out – If a client hasn’t been outside in a long time, have your caregiver take them on outings. They could go to the park, take a short walk, or drive to a favorite restaurant for an ice cream cone. Try allotting your caregivers a modest budget, or incorporate it into the client’s bill so you can spoil them a little.
- Partnering with Local Companies – If you have friends who also happen to be small business owners, talk to them about partnering up. For example, a friend who owns a bakery could give 10 free donuts a day to 10 lucky clients. Or a floweriest who gives all the blooming flowers that won’t sell to your clients. This will make your clients feel special and loved by your company.
- Basic Massage Training – Another idea is spending one day training your caregivers on basic massage techniques. Not every client would feel comfortable receiving a massage, and it won’t always be appropriate. But for someone who is in pain and can’t move much, this could be a great way to stimulate their muscles and get some endorphins pumping.
- Make Ordinary Tasks Special – Instead of a typical dinner on a tray in front of the TV, ask your caregivers to help their client get all dressed up. Set the dinner table nicely and help clients feel special. You could have sets of china and silk napkins that caregivers can check out monthly to provide these special occasions for those they care for.
By making client satisfaction your home care business’s top priority, you can obtain phenomenal testimonials. These suggestions will also increase referrals and improve your reputation. While it may not be realistic to start doing all of these at once, try incorporating one or two, and grow from there. You’ll be amazed at the difference it makes for your clients, and your business.