Welcome back! Let’s continue with Aaron’s next segment on how you can prevent a “business heart attack” by measuring, improving, and leveraging client satisfaction. Last time we discussed the importance of consistent measurement of client satisfaction, so today we’ll continue with the topic of improving and leveraging client satisfaction.

Improve Client Satisfaction

Once you’ve measured client satisfaction, you need to focus on improving areas you’re lacking in.

Two areas that agencies routinely tend to fall short in are: communication from an agency, and the agency’s response to problems.

1.)  Improve communication with clients and their families.

When communicating with clients and their families, ensure the services are mutually understood. For example, make sure there is a clear understanding between “administering medication” and “medication reminders.”

When communicating expectations with your clients and their families, have them repeat back to you what has been said in case there’s a misunderstanding. Another great way to communicate with clients and their families is to conduct “Friendly Friday Calls.” Every Friday, my Staffing Coordinators would call every single client or family member (as well as employees) and review the weekend schedule, issues, upcoming changes, etc. It kept our families in the loop on a weekly basis.

2.)  Respond to client/family problems and issues in a timely and effective manner.

With every new admission, always set the proper expectations. Tell them problems are bound to happen, but you will do everything you can to respond to them quickly and to their satisfaction. This is perhaps the most important expectation you should set at the beginning of services. Of course, it is even more important to follow through with this promise.

Some ways to ensure you respond to problems quickly and to their satisfaction are (1.) Establish a 24-hour on-call service. If you are not already, consider handling this in-house because you and your team members know the situations and can solve the problems immediately. (2.) Implement a same-day policy. If they call with a problem, your team begins working on it that same day. (3.) With every problem you face, write it down and ask yourself what systems, actions, or resources do I need to implement so the problem doesn’t occur again. Then, take these to your “Monthly Satisfaction Accountability Meeting” to discuss with your team.

At the beginning of the meeting, you should come prepared to focus first on the positive feedback you have received and identify high achievers who were mentioned specifically by a client or caregiver. Make sure to discuss how you are going to recognize these high achievers. Them turn your attention to other forms of feedback, trends, benchmarks, and rankings found in your quality assurance reports.

Discuss quality improvement priorities, and make specific assignments as a team to follow-up with at your next meeting. Towards the end of the meeting identify your happy clients based on their feedback scores, and make appropriate assignments to team members to ask for referrals. Referrals are one of the best ways to leverage client satisfaction.

Next time we will finish up our discussion on business resuscitation by leveraging client satisfaction, so be sure to check in and read up!