We either embrace them or avoid them, but whatever we think about New Year’s resolutions, January provides home care businesses with an opportunity to learn from mistakes made in the previous year and plan for improvements in the year ahead. In particular, it’s the perfect opportunity to ensure your agency is handling the influx of home care inquiry calls typically received in the weeks after the holiday season in the most efficient and professional manner possible.
First impressions mean everything, especially in home care, when callers are often in a state of crisis and are trusting your team to provide the listening skills and guidance they desperately need. And if the first impression they receive from your agency is a negative or disinterested one, it’s likely they’ll move on to the next option on their list.
To determine the effectiveness of your home care inquiry management process, ask yourself these questions:
- Who answers the phone? Do you have designated intake people who have been properly trained? Or are inquiry calls a team effort, in which anyone who is available takes the call?
- How are calls being answered? Do you utilize a professional greeting, such as, “Good morning; thank you for calling Home Care Agency. My name is Sally. How can I help you today?” Is the tone upbeat and positive? Are inquirers being hurried through the call as quickly as possible?
- Are you truly listening? Does the person answering the phone listen for clues regarding the types of assistance needed? Or is a canned response being given to each caller? Active listening is a crucial part of a positive inquiry experience, and it’s something all staff who could potentially answer the phone should master.
- Are you coming across as an expert? Regardless of whether you have a designated intake person answering calls or not, each member of your staff should be trained to address questions about your agency and its services. Those in need of home care services are seeking experts to help them overcome their challenges. Equip your staff to truly serve as home care experts!
One great way to gauge the effectiveness of your agency’s inquiry management process is through our professional mystery shopping services to find out, unobjectively, your intake staff’s strengths and where improvements can be made. corecubed’s home care marketing professionals are highly skilled in gathering priceless information for agency owners through mystery shopping. Here’s how it works:
- A list of specific questions is created and approved by the client to ensure the information being captured is relevant to what they want to evaluate.
- Multiple calls are made by different mystery shoppers, including after-hours calls, each of which are assessed on a variety of qualities: warmth, friendliness, industry knowledge, follow-up, and more.
- Our home care sales consultants then analyze each call (which can be recorded) and prepare an in-depth report for the client.
- The end result outlines trends, strengths, weaknesses, recommendations, and in some cases, uncovers deficits that are severe and urgent.
We’d love to help your agency achieve productive results to determine where and how to best direct your focus in 2020 to grow your agency and increase your ROI. Call us at 800.370.6580, x1, to learn how to market home health care services and more!