Our CEO, Aaron Marcum, was a successful home care business owner, and he’s often asked for advice on how to re-charge home care businesses. How can you make sure your business is going in the right direction? Aaron helps answer that question here in this blog post (part 1 of 3).

Part 1: Re-charge Your Home Care Business by Measuring Satisfaction

Your clients and their families make up the heart of your private duty business – keep them satisfied and you’ll gain a competitive edge and your business will thrive.

I know this is easier said than done.

Think about this for a moment. What would happen to your business if you lost the confidence of your clients or families? Perhaps the term “business heart attack” comes to mind. Let’s explore four ways you can avoid a “business heart attack” while resuscitating your business if necessary.

Consistently Measure Client Satisfaction

The key to improving is to set a standard you want to meet, measure your current performance and compare it to the benchmark you’ve set, and then work with your staff to bridge the gap between the two. Measuring client satisfaction is an important step towards improvement and understanding where your weaknesses are. There are a variety of ways to measure client satisfaction. Here are two:

1.)  Send out “Caregiver Appraisals” by email or mail to the responsible parties of your clients.

Have them rate each caregiver based on a mix of attributes, including politeness, driving skill, integrity, and neat personal appearance.

The results of the appraisals should be worked into caregivers’ bi-annual or annual performance evaluations. When caregivers are routinely praised by families, consider giving them raises, and if you receive a particularly strong appraisal, reward the caregiver with a $20 gift card.

When the appraisal is negative, talk about it with your caregiver as well as with the family to get further clarification.

2.)  Conduct a separate survey that rates clients’ satisfaction with the agency overall.

Every month Home Care Pulse interviews, via the phone, 10% of our customers’ clients and employee caregivers, and we ask them a mix of rating questions related to specific areas, such as their knowledge of agency management, communication from their agency, the agency’s response to problems, did they receive the service as promised and would they recommend the agency to others. The interview also includes open-ended questions such as: What do you appreciate most about the services you receive? What recommended improvements would you suggest?

Once we complete these interviews for an agency each month, they receive comprehensive quality assurance reports that include in-depth feedback from their clients/families and employed caregivers, how their performance stacks up against the industry, quality care trends specific to them, and quality areas that need their undivided attention.

Whether or not you choose to use our quality assurance program, the point is to be able to capture and measure satisfaction in an unbiased and effective way that allows you to benchmark your performance on a consistent basis. Another great reason for accurately measuring satisfaction is that it can provide PROOF of quality care set you apart from your competition.

Next time, Aaron will tell how you can improve client satisfaction. Until then, try new ways to measure satisfaction, both “informally” and “formally.” Good luck!