Getting new inquiries is the number one goal of successful home care businesses. Next up comes making a good impression during initial calls. It feels great to secure an in-home consultation right away. But that’s not always possible.
Many people researching care for a loved one aren’t sure what they’re looking for or what their loved one needs. They might also need time to help a loved one get used to the idea of home care. They might not sign up for service on the first call for those reasons. That’s why agencies need to perfect the art of the follow-up.
What happens after the initial call is essential to the sales process. Following up with prospects is a critical step that often gets missed or mishandled, which could mean your agency is leaving opportunity and revenue on the table.
Why Is Follow-Up So Important for Home Care Sales?
- It gives leads a second chance to try out your service. The fact is that home care is expensive. It’s worth it, of course, but sticker shock is real for family caregivers when it comes to home care, especially when considering how much care Mom or Dad will need for an indefinite period. It’s understandable that, at the beginning of their care planning journey, they may try other options before committing to paying an agency out-of-pocket. So, if a lead doesn’t commit to completing the service agreement after your first several follow-ups, that’s okay. Give them time to try depending on a helpful neighbor or a private hire they were connected with. For many, it takes exploring other options before understanding the value of customized, dependable care at home managed by a reputable home care company. Follow up with them up to 6 months later to check in on how they are doing and to see if their experiences have changed their perspective.
- It allows you to defend your brand’s messaging. Your agency’s brand inspires those initial calls. A prospect may see your website, brochure, or perhaps some favorable online reviews and like what they see enough to make that first call. Now it’s time to prove you stand behind that inspiring brand message, even if they don’t say yes immediately. Just as the inquiry call is your first opportunity to prove that your brand’s message is genuine, the follow-up proves your team’s commitment to care. If you lose track of the lead and quickly stop checking in, what does that say about your level of care? Taking notes during your initial call will enable you to follow up with a personal touch that proves your agency stands by its word. Infuse your messaging with details from that first call. For example, “How is Ms. Smith doing these days? How has her recovery been from that fall back in March?” That seemingly small touch shows that you listened and cared enough to learn more.
- It improves your ROI with more conversions. The simple fact is that following up gets conversions. By the time the potential customer has made it to this place on the map of their customer journey, you have already invested quite a bit in getting them here. Your marketing investment got their attention, your team handled the inquiry precisely, and you logged it in your CRM. So, if investing just a little bit more time nurturing this lead may convert to a client, even if it’s only a handful of times, it’s worth it. When you look at the big picture, you’re not chasing sunken costs; you are converting more clients.
Perfecting the Art of the Follow-Up
Following up is more than just a call or email a few days or weeks after a prospect’s initial outreach. There are several steps agencies should take to follow up in a way that reflects your company’s values and builds trust with the lead.
- Plan your follow-up on the initial call. The very first step you should take is to send the caller an email with your brochure or flyer that can be circulated within the family so they can learn more about your company. Then, ask the caller when would be a good time for you to follow up with them and then set the date for the follow-up.
- Use a CRM. A standard error is not recording notes about a lead in a CRM. These notes can help you follow up with a warm, more personal tone because you can easily recall the information from the initial call. Take notes about the details of your call (names, personal issues the senior faces, etc.) and refer to them in your follow-up. Remember, these aren’t just leads; they are human beings with real stories that you care about. Make your follow-up personal.
- Spot-check your staff. To ensure follow-through and recognize training opportunities, check how your staff manages calls. Do older inquiries in your CRM have documented follow-ups? What information is being documented? Is it enough for a follow-up that feels warm and personal? Is the follow-up process ending after one or two check-ins?
- Show value. Use follow-ups to solve problems and show the value of working with your agency. Did the caller mention that their father needs care after having a stroke? Share your recent blog post about stroke recovery during your follow-up. It provides the caller with a helpful resource and shows them you were listening and that you care.
- Customize your process. When should you follow up? It’s all about the customer’s needs. The sales process is not one-size-fits-all and should reflect the customization that comes naturally with home care. To be true to their unique needs, determine when they need to hear from you and in what format based on their unique needs and circumstances. For example, if the caller says they won’t be able to share your information with their family members until Friday, don’t call them back on Thursday.
Let Our Care Marketing Team Help.
If you need help mastering the art of the follow-up, corecubed can help. We can provide you with a wide range of sales services designed to educate home care sales staff, provide professional development and training, develop winning sales strategies that meet your agency’s unique needs, and learn sales tactics that bring results. Contact us at 800.370.6580 to learn how we can help your agency grow!