As the aging population continues to grow at an unprecedented rate, the need for home care services, naturally, is also expected to drastically increase. As a home care agency owner, it stands to reason that your business should be booming; yet with so much competition, consistent growth isn’t a given. To thrive in the aging care industry requires a multi-step approach, which includes:
- A strategic sales plan
- A strong online presence
What Sets You Apart?
With so many options available, those in need of in-home care services are likely overwhelmed and unsure where to turn. It’s crucial for your agency to stand apart from the crowd. A good first step is to take a look at your top competitors, and determine:
- What are their strengths and weaknesses?
- How is your agency different from or better than theirs?
Sharing your story is key to letting consumers, referral sources, and potential care staff know the “why” behind your agency, to highlight your integrity, and to show that you offer more than a cookie-cutter approach to the care you provide. This brand messaging and your care philosophy should shine through in all of your marketing efforts: your website, blog, social media platforms, brochures, etc.
Determine and accentuate the areas in which your agency excels, such as through:
- Customer and caregiver satisfaction/online reviews
- Caregiver training
- Caregiver hiring/screening process
- Specialty services
- Nurse management/oversight
- Reduced rehospitalization rates (for home health care)
- Low caregiver turnover rates
- Longevity of clients engaging your services
- Community involvement
- Technologies used
You Need a Roadmap
Development and execution of a strategic sales and marketing plan is crucial, and should include the following steps:
- Assess where your agency is now, before developing new goals:
- Sales experiences
- Marketing experiences
- Market share
- Create and implement a strategic plan
- Track your efforts
- Benchmark your results against the industry
- Stay the course!
Bear in mind that the sales process begins from the first moment the phone is answered; so be sure all staff are fully trained in the consistent, efficient, professional skills needed to assist inquirers at the first contact and through an appropriate follow-up process.
While we all want instant results, it’s important to allow time – often, 6 months to a year – before you can truly gauge the effectiveness of your plan. Commit to sticking to your plan without jumping to conclusions, while continually monitoring results and tracking measurable data.
Can They Find You?
It takes more than handing out business cards in today’s digital world. Having an online presence is paramount to ensuring that those in need of care can find you, but also to ensure that they have access to online reviews. We know that 97% of consumers read local business reviews, and 93% of them are impacted to make purchasing decisions based on those reviews. Not only that, but 31% of consumers are willing to spend more with a business that has excellent reviews.
Your online presence needs to include:
- A professional looking website
- Ongoing SEO for maximized site visibility
- Great site user experience and viewer engagement with clear calls to action
- A social media presence
- Claimed and maximized Caring.com, Google My Business and Yelp listings, along with keeping other online directory listings updated
- Online reviews
- Promotion of positive reviews
- Management of negative reviews
As with your strategic sales and marketing plan, your online presence strategy needs to be long-term, keeping the big picture in mind. Trying one strategy and moving on to the next after a few short months (or weeks) does not produce results.
While it may seem daunting, it’s important to cover all the bases; cutting corners in your differentiation, sales, or online presence only opens up the opportunity for your competitors to grow. Turn to the aging care marketing experts at corecubed for the experienced, professional partner you need to extend your agency’s reach, and to obtain the sustainable growth you want for your agency.
This blog post is related to a Digital Marketing Webinar focused on the topic of home care growth. Available in the webinar archive as: