Last week, our CEO Mary Pat Hinton attended the Home Care Growth Summit put on by Home Care Pulse, and shared her takeaways from this event. As a home care survey and research company, it was no surprise to hear so many speakers share valuable data that will help home care organizations identify ways to improve and grow.
What was refreshing to hear was the data pointed to strong, trusting relationships as the key to success in this highly competitive market.
So, what is it about relationship building, beyond the feel-good message, that makes it so valuable? Why should every home care leader take a closer look at the impact relationships have on their business?
Here are the key takeaways on what you need to consider when defining, supporting, and measuring the value of relationships.
There was a lot of great advice shared on how to become a high growth agency and that the right investments made in sales and marketing will pay dividends. But the data point that reinforced the value of relationships was that over 21% of your leads are sourced based on your reputation. Word of mouth was BY FAR the most effective. No other source even comes close.
What are you doing to get clients and referrers to say that the service you provide is fantastic? How are you using these endorsements to generate more business? Ensure your marketing plan includes a way to collect customer reviews, share testimonials, and ask for referrals. Make the most of these sources before increasing investments in areas with less impact.
Source: Home Care Growth Summit; "Home Care Then vs. Now" presentation.
You got them to say yes with a flexible benefits package and the promise of training, but how are you earning trust once they choose you? Emilie Bartolucci, Executive Director of Private Duty Home Care at NAHC shared highlights of her research on understanding caregivers. Emilie confirmed that caregivers truly value relationships with clients and families, the office, and the team. Yet only 16% of caregivers report that they feel connected to their team.
Some advice to foster a culture where relationships are valued include:
- Make a new hires first day and weeks to follow count. Caregivers who have an outstanding first day are 60% more likely to be working for you 3 years from now.
- Provide opportunities for caregivers to connect with one another, if only virtually, until in-person coffee or lunch meetings are an option.
- Make it a requirement that schedulers check in regularly and get to know the caregivers.
- Assign new caregivers an experienced mentor.
- Ask for feedback. Start simple by asking them why they like working at your agency and if they have suggestions to do things better.
- Recognize a caregiver's value in ways that are meaningful and share feedback from their peers and family members.
Partnerships represent a significant growth opportunity, but getting these partnerships is incredibly challenging. You need to earn their trust and define how you are different so you can stand out from the rest.
Have you learned about their areas of expertise and found ways to make collaboration, communication, and transitions easier for them? Can you ensure that you have skilled people ready to respond to their urgent requests? For example, Steve Weiss, CEO of Hurricane Marketing, shared that home health providers are looking for home care agencies who can guarantee a 1-hour turnaround time to fulfill those first 48 hours of care needed for post-surgery clients.
Steve also spoke to the importance of measuring your value to referral partners and one of the key data points to measure is readmission rates. The national average is 3% for home care providers vs. 17% for home health care. This becomes a significant differentiator if you can prove your services result in lower rates.
Source: Home Care Growth Summit; "Marketing When you Can't" presentation.
At the end of the day, you need to build confidence and trust by demonstrating that you are the right-fit partner for their interdisciplinary team. Your dependability, your responsiveness, and your ability to contribute value are the reasons they will choose you over your competition.
Measure What Matters
In summary, you need to think of relationships as a strategic asset to your business. You need to understand their value and this can only be done when you measure it. The right data tells a story. It provides the evidence that helps you pinpoint the value of the great work your team is doing and it helps you identify what needs to be improved. It brings credibility to your claims, and it holds you accountable.
We understand that relationships take time and effort and need to be earned. Our SparxConnect platform was purpose-built to help home care organizations define, support, and measure those valuable relationships formed between clients, families, caregivers, and the office staff.
About the author: Renée Gibbons
Renée is a Sales and Marketing Manager at Emmetros with experience in both digital and traditional marketing methods. Before working at Emmetros, she helped organizations in the private and public sector understand and deepen relationships with their clients. Renée is passionate about helping make the lives of those receiving care just a little bit easier and more enjoyable.