Imagine, for a moment, that you are your business, personified. Now take a look in the mirror. What do you see? More importantly, what does your target audience see?
At corecubed, we pride ourselves on helping in-home care agencies define the personality of their businesses through branding, and then project that brand to their intended market, to essentially say, “This is who we are, what we stand for, what we promise to do for you.”
But we’ve been working in home care marketing long enough to see it all, and there are certain marketing no-nos we’ve come across that get under our skin. We’d like to share some of them, with the hope that these examples will help those in the home care industry see themselves as their potential clients see them from the outside looking in. In some cases, it’s not pretty!
Your logo is the first visual representation of your brand that people see. It should reflect both what your company does and the feeling you want clients to experience when interacting with your company. So when a home care agency uses a cartoonish animal in their logo, it can throw up a red flag. Close your eyes for a moment and picture a cartoon animal (any animal, your choice). What feeling does that invoke? If you saw only the animal and nothing else – no slogan, no website, etc. – who would you think the product or service was for?
As the business owner, you may love bears and think that they’re cute and cuddly, but when designing a logo, it’s important to consider your target audience’s feelings. What does a cartoon animal convey to a senior who needs help at home, but still considers himself independent? A sense of being caged in? That the company sees him as child-like? Whatever the intended meaning, your logo needs to be geared more toward your client than your own personal interests.
Another logo trend we’re seeing a lot of in the industry is logos that minimalize later life: halos, angels, afterlife references, etc. There are several issues with this approach. In one sense, it implies that caregivers are “angels,” Heaven-sent to watch over and guide seniors through the aging process. And yet, what’s the number one concern that seniors have about accepting in-home care? Loss of independence! What could make them feel less independent than being told they need an angel to come in and take over for them? Or even worse: could the connotation of angels and halos remind them of the brevity of life they have remaining? Yes, Heaven and angels have positive connotations as well, but they are in fact related to death and dying, and is that the message you want to send to your clients or their families? The individuals receiving home care today are from the Greatest Generation or Baby Boomers, both eras known for strength, ingenuity, tenacity, and independence. It’s important to remember where your clients are coming from when determining how to market to them.
Is Anyone Listening?
Listening is a fundamental skill in any relationship, whether personal or business, which is why we’re shocked to talk to home care agencies that don’t measure client satisfaction, and yet wonder why they’re not getting more referrals from hospitals. Hospitals have been measuring patient satisfaction forever; why wouldn’t they prefer to refer to agencies that do the same?
Online reviews are one of the best ways to gauge client satisfaction and gain more clients and referrals, yet many agencies don’t seize those opportunities. Take a look around you the next time you’re out in public. How many people are thumbing through their phones? And how often do you hear someone say, “Let me Google that?” With such an overwhelming majority of the population online, agencies who neglect collecting online reviews are basically handing new clients over to the competition. We often hear, however, that many agencies find it difficult to get online reviews for their businesses, which is why we developed an innovative solution that not only helps busy home care business owners generate more positive online reviews, but also gives them access to valuable customer feedback that can be used to improve the agency and its reputation. Click here to learn more about our RISE reputation management system and find out how it can help you get more online reviews.
Another way to measure and promote client and caregiver satisfaction is to work with an agency like Home Care Pulse. Home Care Pulse is an industry-renowned satisfaction management firm that allows home care agencies to poll both caregivers and clients to gain a better understanding of what they like about your agency and what resources or services they wish you provided. These powerful insights can help you improve your processes and provide better care to those you serve. And better care leads to more referrals and, in turn, more clients.
Cutting to the Chase
So many of our inquiry calls include statements like this: “I just want to know how to get clients.” Now, of course, we fancy ourselves to be pretty magical when it comes to home care marketing, but even we don’t have the magic word to just make your phones start ringing! We DO have a proven strategic formula though. Through carefully strategized content marketing, social media marketing, and search engine optimization, we help our clients reach their target audiences and engage with them, but it’s a process that takes time, patience, and analysis to ensure results.
Acquiring clients is a multifaceted approach that requires strategy, relationship building, and digital diligence. So if you’re looking for a quick fix on how to get clients, we can’t help (and neither can anyone else). If you’re ready to put in the work to build your agency with a dedicated team of home care marketing pros, however, let’s talk!
But Here’s What DOES Work…
We’d be remiss in sharing our pet peeves without including some accolades! We love nothing more than partnering with agencies who live quality in every facet of their business and understand how quality helps an agency grow.
Agency owners who have taken the time to work through our brand platform development process, in which we ask specific questions to learn the intricate ins and outs of the agency and put together a mission, vision, positioning statement and brand differentiation, along with logo and tagline development or refinement, have a clear direction of where they’re going, and a clear, professional message to send to their target audience.