Mary Johnson sat on her favorite old rocking chair; head bowed with tears pouring down her cheeks, as she recalled her recent visit to the hospital. “It was awful, just awful,” said Johnson, 81, who was diagnosed with osteoporosis last year. Lately, her condition got worse, leaving her dependant on family members to get around. Overwhelmed with the additional responsibility of caring for an aging senior, they hired an in-home caregiver that could assist her with daily living tasks.
There are currently 12 million people in the U.S. like Mary Johnson who receive home health care services. Despite the demand for professional caregivers being at a constant rise, most care agencies struggle to get clients. After all, selling something that most people either do not want or are not ready to buy brings forth many challenges. From a marketing stand-point, there are a few things agencies can do to succeed.
Target All Potential Referral Sources:
Brainstorm. Who do you think can give you referrals other than your existing clients? How about sources, such as churches, the Chamber of Commerce, senior centers, clubs, or organizations that work with seniors? These sources may be able to connect you with the home care prospects that may be looking for what you offer. Reaching the right people at the right time is the first step to a successful marketing strategy.
See Through the Customers’ Eyes:
No one wants to see themselves as a frail, elderly person in need of care. As most people (seniors and their families) are so disconnected from the world of home care, they often see ‘home care’ as something only meant for those who can’t thrive on their own. As a home care agency, you need to see through their eyes and assure them that home care doesn’t imply to loss of independence, but is an enhancement of independence.
Focus on Creating Great Customer Experiences:
Knowing what the whole research and buying experience is like for a senior and their family gives valuable insights to a home care agency owner. Take this journey yourself to learn what being in the shoes of a potential client feels like. Start by mystery shopping your competitors. See if the experience impresses you as a potential client or intimidates you. This will help you twofold. First, by get better understanding of the approach your competitors’ take and second, allowing you to tailor your operations to meet clients’ actual needs.
With a strategic marketing plan in place and keeping in mind these tips, you much more likely to be successful.