Letter From the CEO: The Power of Data

Home Care Office Staff Hiring Tips

Everybody likes believing that they can make the best decisions based on gut and what they see with their own eyes, but appearances often fail to deliver the whole picture.

It’s been another great month. With the launch of the new BestofHomeCare.com in May, we’re excited about the ongoing changes happening at Home Care Pulse and throughout the industry.

One major highlight this month is our webinar “Turning Client Feedback Into Increased Revenue” by Kire Madsen, Director of Customer Success. Kire will be sharing powerful case studies of real agencies who leveraged client feedback to drive growth, including one agency who more than tripled their client base within a year by mastering the art of turning their clients into their top promoters.

Despite the proven advantages of relying on data, most home care agency owners continue to undervalue its importance in making decisions. I’d like to take a step back to address a fundamental question: How does data benefit home care agencies?

A Canary in a Coal Mine

Until the mid-1900s, coal miners brought canaries into the mine shafts with them as an early warning signal for toxic gases such as carbon monoxide. In the event of a buildup of poisonous gases, the canary would be affected before the miners would, and the miners would know to leave before it became deadly for them.

canary-importance-of-data (image source: bestvpn.com)

Data can be your canary in a coal mine by revealing unseen problems or highlighting areas of focus that may be difficult for you to detect on your own.

How does data do this for you?

First, it gives you specific, concrete facts so you don’t have to rely on gut feeling, assumptions, or surface-level observations.

Second, it highlights the low-hanging fruit—where to focus your improvement efforts to get the biggest return on your investment.

Concrete Fact vs. Surface-Level Observations

Everybody likes believing that they can make the best decisions based on gut and what they see with their own eyes, but appearances often fail to deliver the whole picture.

For example, your agency may appear to be thriving, but an analysis of its key metrics might reveal critical problems. You could have terrific cash flow, solid retention, and satisfied clients, but if your sales per full-time employee are low, you are likely losing a substantial portion of your bottom-line to inefficient staffing.

Calculating your sales per full-time employee ratio and comparing it to industry figures in the 2018 Home Care Benchmarking Study would reveal whether you are missing out on potential profits.

Likewise, a dropping Net Promoter Score (a measure of how likely clients are to refer others to you), regardless of the current successes your agency is having, would likely indicate a future decrease in client referrals and revenue growth until you’re able to pull this score up again.

Focusing on the Low-Hanging Fruit

In addition to indicating danger, data can reveal simple solutions to complex problems.

For example, according to our caregiver satisfaction research in 2017, captured by our Caregiver Satisfaction Management program we offer to home care providers, the home care industry’s lowest caregiver satisfaction score is for caregiver recognition. With the current caregiver shortage and turnover crisis, any step to retain more caregivers pays dividends.

Recognition is typically a much simpler problem to handle than other factors like dissatisfaction with pay and can be implemented with little or no increase in costs. Caregiver recognition may not be the end-all to solving the turnover crisis, but for most of the industry it is currently the lowest-hanging fruit to decrease caregiver turnover and cut costs significantly.

It’s important to remember that numbers only give half of the picture that data can paint for you; understanding what your clients and caregivers are saying about you is the other half.

Before starting Home Care Pulse, I ran a successful home care agency in Utah. We had one client who went through nine caregivers in six months. No one seemed to be able to keep her happy and we were unsure what to do.

After investigating the problem, we eventually learned from her family that she had several very specific things (like how she liked her eggs cooked or her sheets ironed) that she was extremely particular about. These were easy things to do, but ones that we wouldn’t have known to do without acquiring and acting on feedback.

After we trained her next caregivers to do these things, this client loved our services so much that she became a major promoter and ended up referring over $500,000 of business to us during her time as a client.

There’s an easy moral to take from this story: are you listening to your clients and asking them for referrals?

The Pulse of Your Business

As competition within the industry continues to grow, success will increasingly follow the agencies that embrace data as a tool to optimize performance and power good decision-making.

At Home Care Pulse, we’re in the business of helping you get the data you need. While there are different ways that agencies might try to gather data and get client feedback, our services (in which we interview your clients and caregivers every month) are the best method we know of to get authentic, unbiased, and consistent data.

Many of you are already our customers, and we are constantly pushing to find better ways to help you make data-driven decisions and grow your businesses. For those who aren’t our customers, I’d invite you to schedule a free consultation with one of our specialists to talk about what you can do with actionable data from your clients and caregivers. Let’s arm you with the information you need to make the best possible decisions.

It’s a great time to be in home care. Let’s improve lives together.

Aaron Marcum

Aaron Marcum
Founder & CEO
Home Care Pulse

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