What does effective marketing mean to you? Advertising? Reaching out to potential clients? Getting in touch with those hard to reach referral partners? Coming up first in a Google search? While these are all aspects of a solid marketing plan, you may be leaving out an important group when creating your strategy – your existing clients.
According to some estimates, it can cost a business six to seven times as much in advertising and marketing to attract one new client than it does to market to an existing client. The 2015 Private Duty Benchmarking Survey noted that almost 20% of home care providers surveyed listed past and current clients and their loved ones as their top referral sources.
Your existing clients and their loved ones know your agency, and if you’re doing things right, they like you and want to spread the word about you to others who may need your services. Focus your attention on your biggest marketing cheerleaders and those who have the potential to generate the greatest revenue for your business with the following tips:
- Thank them. In today’s crowded home care market, the choices for quality in-home care are literally endless for your clients. Let them know that you appreciate that they chose your agency. This can be done with something as simple as a thoughtful card or a little something extra like flowers, a gift card, or a discount on services, anything to help your clients feel special.
- Make sure they are happy. Your clients’ happiness should be your number one priority. Check in with them regularly to make sure they are satisfied with both their caregiver and the quality of the care he or she provides. If an issue comes up, handle it quickly and professionally. Give them something great to say when others ask about your customer service!
- Communicate with them regularly. As an agency owner or operator, you may not see your clients on a daily or even weekly basis, but that doesn’t mean that communication should stop. Stay in touch with current and past clients and their families via email, letters, cards, and even notes on their billing statements. Ask what else you can do for them and really listen to any input that comes back.
- Ask for referrals. Have a happy customer? Ask him or her (or his or her family) to tell a friend about your services. Today, many adult children of aging parents are leaning on one another as they struggle to find care and assistance for their older loved ones. Be the agency that others want to recommend. You may also consider offering an incentive for clients who refer a friend or family member to help encourage word-of-mouth marketing.
New clients will always be important for the health and growth of your agency. Make sure your existing and past clients feel empowered to tell others just how great your agency really is. Need help building a solid strategy for marketing to both new and current clients? Contact the aging care marketing experts at corecubed!