As a home care provider, your number one goal is to provide a safe and consistent support system for clients that improves their quality of life. And if you can snag a referral from them in the process, well, that’s just icing on the cake.
Providing helpful, compassionate care is the single best way to get more referrals from your clientele. But if that isn’t pushing your business as far as you’d like, you can take some deliberate steps to up your home care agency’s chances of getting a good referral.
1. Ask for specific feedback and learn from it.
This one’s so simple you’d think every home care provider would do it, but in truth, most don’t reach out for feedback unless there’s a specific problem. Even when things are fine, speak with your charges and their family members about your performance. There might be small issues they’ve felt embarrassed to bring up, or larger problems they’ve put off mentioning. Use this feedback to improve your performance—both for your client, and for your own experience overall. This important first step will put you in good stead for your future referral efforts.
2. Contact your happiest clients.
In your home care career, you’ve probably had a few specific clients who have absolutely loved you. They were thrilled with your services and trust you as much as their own family. These are the clients you want to contact.
Reach out to these clients and ask them if they have any friends or relations who might need similar services. They should be happy to advocate on your behalf and likely have access to plenty of others in similar situations who may need the help of a trusted caregiver. When done correctly, these advocates become de facto members of your marketing strategy—solicit their help and watch the referrals roll in.
3. Use referral cards.
Give your clients some extra incentive to refer others. Consider sending out referral cards every 3-4 months that offer a service discount when friends are referred to your agency. This is a relatively low-cost and simple way to stay front-of-mind with your clients and encourage them to take the steps to securing a referral.
4. Work with outside agencies.
Of course, your referral efforts shouldn’t be limited to your existing clients. Look outside your agency to other local organizations that may benefit from your services:
· Doctor’s offices and medical clinics
· Community organizations
· Senior centers
You get the idea. Your community is full of aging individuals who could use the help of qualified caregivers, but may not know where to look. Have your management team network with these agencies to get your name out there.
5. Take advantage of online marketing.
While your primary clients may not be big into the online world, their families certainly are. Get active on social media and start building your brand. Facebook is a great place to start—use your company page to send out digital referral bonuses, information, and requests for feedback.
Focus on Your Relationships
Don’t underestimate the importance of working on your referral strategies. One of the most significant reasons consumers choose home care agencies is because the agency was recommended to them by family or friends.
But don’t get so caught up in marketing that you forget your main goal: Providing great care. Referrals come from great relationships. And if you’ve made this concept a core part of your home care philosophy, you should have no problem getting people on board.