Welcome to Private Duty Today, the bi-weekly electronic newsletter for Private Duty Home Care Leaders from Leading Home Care... a Tweed Jeffries company. I'm Jason Tweed, Director of Business Development for Leading Home Care and Editor of Private Duty Today.
Private Duty Today is published every other Wednesday, and currently goes to over 8000 subscribers.
Private Duty Today is a permission-based newsletter.
- Customer Letters
- Private Duty Today - Upcoming Academies
- Introducing... The Advanced Academy
- Marketing to Die For...Without Killing Your Budget
My wife and I have never been big Valentine's Day people. Both of us recognize the importance of expressing affection and love the other 364 days. Frankly, it's cheaper. Have you seen the price of roses this week?
In my experience, many home care companies receive Valentines all year round. Those little notes from family members of the people for whom we provide care are like miniature "I love you's". Whether you are a direct caregiver, a scheduler, a salesperson or a CEO, it's nice to get those little recognitions from your customers that express thanks for a job well done.
It's my belief, however, that a good company can put these little paper hearts to better use.
There are three opportunities every time you receive a note from a client or family member; customer service, marketing, and employee retention. I teach frequently about the Three Pillars of Private Duty Home Care; People, Promotion and Profitability.
Customer Service: Starting with the Profitability Pillar, we know that generally speaking, happy customers are also the most profitable. Happy customers tend not to make demands and happy customers are the result of high quality, consistent care.
When you receive a thank you note from a client, ask yourself "What can we learn from this experience?" Use these thank you notes as more than a pat on the back. Make sure that you're developing processes that replicate the behavior that led to this thank you. Remember, for every 'Thank You' that you receive, several other customers may have had the same experience and not taken the time to say thank you. Read it carefully. Are there specific items in the note that you can apply to other customer experiences? If not, use this note as an invitation to follow up.
Following up after a thank you is received is something that few of us do. But a well-constructed telephone call can be a valuable customer service tool. If the thank you note isn't clear, or is just a general "we appreciate you", follow up with the client's family. Tell them you want to learn more, because you want to serve other clients equally well.
Marketing: The Promotion Pillar comes into play in two ways. First, a great testimonial is always a selling point. I recommend that you contact the person who wrote it originally and get their permission.
Unfortunately, very few times can you use a testimonial verbatim. Often they are fragmented sentences or have some context that's important to the meaning. Rewrite the testimonial and then contact the original writer for permission to use it. Read it to them and say, "Is this what you meant when you said...". Your client will be glad that you updated their testimonial. As long as you stick to the spirit of the original, they won't mind that you edited their comment.
Secondly, when someone goes out of their way to thank you, there's a good chance that their praise is also a good selling point to other potential customers. Collect these testimonials and when it comes time to update your marketing materials or your website, use words that your customers use to describe your services. More often than not, your customers will create a better "word skeleton" than a great outside copywriter. Crafting your marketing language around vernacular will ultimately lead to more sales.
Staff Retention: Your caregivers and your office staff both need and deserve a pat on the back once in awhile. "Atta-girl's" from mangement only go so far. Many managers use customer comments to reinforce good behavior or make corrections to poor behavior. If you aren't, you should be.
Take this a step further, however. Make and date a copy of specific comments and drop them into your employee's file. Pull them out when it comes time for performance reviews. Sit down with the employee, and use them as an opportunity for praise and constructive criticism.
Generally, I'm not a fan of rewarding employees for receiving a praise letter from their clients. Some clients will never put their comments in writing, even when the employee is doing a great job. Furthermore, if there is a reward system attached to this praise some of your employees may ask clients directly for positive feedback. When this happens, it has the potential of causing a client or their family discomfort. Plus a testimonial that is coerced will never be as valuable as one that occurs naturally.
However, basing a merit raise on positive customer feedback is certainly a great way to make an employee feel valuable. Point out that "happy customers are profitable customers" and make sure that your employee recognizes that the raise isn't based on the praise. It's based on the fact that their clients are more profitable.
Reinforcing good behavior and recognizing value is a great way to capture good caregivers and keep them forever, a critical component to your utlimate success.
"Love Notes" from your clients and their families make you feel warm and fuzzy inside and they can be valuable business tools.
2011 Academy for Private Duty Home CareTM
In 2010, we conducted this program in eight different cities across the country. In 2011, we've ramped up that program and we'll be offering it in even more locations. We have reviewed the results of our research and surveys and developed significant new content for you to grow your business and get ready for the future.
Here's a list of upcoming dates and locations:
February 23, 2011: New Orleans, LA - hosted by Home Care Association of LA
March 17, 2011: Tempe, AZ - Hosted by the Arizona Association for Home Care and the NPDA Arizona Chapter.
May 3, 2011: Raleigh, NC - Hosted by the Association for Home Care & Hospice of North Carolina. (Registration opening soon!)
May 17 2011: Indianapolis, IN - Hosted by the Indiana Association for Home & Hospice Care.
May 25 2011: Newton, MA - Hosted by The New England Home Care Conference. (Registration opening soon!)
June 14, 2011: Philadelphia, PA - Hosted by the VNAs of America specifically for VNAs and other not-for-profit home health agencies with private duty home care. (Registration opening soon!)
Don't delay. Register today for the Academy nearest you or one that fits your schedule.
Introducing.... The Advanced Academy
Many of our nearly 1,000 graduates of The Academy for Private Duty Home CareTM have asked, "What's next? What else do you have to help me grow my private duty business?"
The answer - The Advanced Academy. If you are a graduate of the Academy for Private Duty Home CareTM, or you are a seasoned owner looking for new strategies and insights to grow your business, you'll want to consider attending the Advanced Academy either onApril 6 & 7, 2011 in Orlando, Florida (co-hosted by the Home Care Association of Florida) or on June 20 & 21, 2011 in Santa Ana/Orange County, CA. This 1 1/2 day interactive workshop is designed for the advanced business owner who wants to develop a strategy to blast through that glass ceiling and become one of the top 10% of home care companies in the country.
If you are in that category, or you want to be in that category, click on the link and look at the details of The Advanced Academy.
Then register today to join us in either Orlando, FL on April 6 & 7, 2011 or in Santa Ana/Orange County, CA on August 20 & 21, 2011 for the latest and greatest interactive workshop on Private Duty Home Care.
We regularly get requests from clients, customers and readers asking our opinion about scheduling software for private duty home care. It's a difficult process to sort through all of the choices to make the best decision about software for your company
Over the past two years, we have gotten to know the major software providers, and have selected three programs that we are confident recommending to you when you ask. One of them, of course, is AppointMate by Delta Health Technologies.
We recommend AppointMate for two reasons...first because we like the people and the company. We've known the folks at Delta Health Technologies for many years. We've also known the folks at AppointMate. When the two came together, we knew they had to be a winning combination.
Second, we like the product. It's web based, which means you can schedule from any computer with an internet connection. It's flexible, allowing you to adapt the process to the needs of your clients, and to the size of your company. The flexible pricing structure allows you to start small and grow into the system as your company grows.
To get a better picture of how AppointMate can work for you, take a few minutes to watch this demonstration video.
|Marketing to Die For...Without Killing Your Budget|
Let us help you!
In this marketing focused e-Book, a mother-daughter team, Angela Landmesser and Patricia Menoni share withyou how they grew their Private Duty business from zero to $3.5 million in less then four years.
Learn how to use their success to create your own.
Marketing to Die For...Without Killing Your Budget - by Patricia Mennoni and Angela Landmesser