Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) indicates that roughly 20% of newly established businesses encounter failure within their initial two years of operation, with this rate increasing to 45% within the first five years and reaching 65% within the initial decade.
Only a quarter of new businesses manage to endure beyond the 15-year mark. These figures have demonstrated relative stability over time.
Home health care businesses suffer the same fate. This is not to alarm you but to help you develop strategies to help you grow your home care agency.
To increase your profitability, you should develop a strategy to grow your sales. Here are 3 main home care marketing strategies that you should weave into your home care marketing plan:
Acquiring new customers
Increasing revenue per customer
Increasing the lifetime value of your existing customers
Customer acquisition is the process of getting potential clients to use your home care services. For your customer acquisition strategy to be effective it needs to:
Nurture them until they become ready to sign up
Convert them to clients
The overall cost of these three steps is called the customer acquisition cost (CAC).
Customer acquisition should not be mistaken for marketing. Marketing focuses on building awareness about your services, customer acquisition is focused on what happens once a client has been exposed to your offer.
For example, if you run Facebook ads for your medical home care business, you can use metrics to determine if these ads are working. You can track how many people have viewed your ad, clicked on it, or shared your ad. This is marketing.
Customer acquisition is the action taken after your potential clients have interacted with your marketing effort.
It starts with the customer journey, from the time they are made aware of the home care services you provide, to adding it to the list of options they have, to deciding to become one of your clients.
Here’s a way to visualize the customer acquisition journey.
When it comes to expanding your healthcare agency's reach, a variety of customer acquisition channels are at your disposal. These channels can be grouped into two categories: inbound, and outbound.
Inbound strategies involve attracting potential clients through valuable content, organic search visibility, and engaging online experiences.
These strategies are designed to naturally draw individuals to your home care agency when they are actively seeking information or solutions. Some key inbound customer acquisition channels include:
Organic Search (Website SEO)
By optimizing your agency's website for search engines, you can improve your visibility in search results. This allows potential clients to discover your services when they search for relevant keywords. This in turn generates organic traffic, leads, and your home care client base.
Organic Social Media (Facebook Business Page and Group)
A successful home healthcare agency doesn't underestimate the power of social media marketing. Maintaining active and informative social media profiles creates a platform where potential clients can learn about your agency's services and engage with your content. This organic engagement fosters a sense of community and trust.
Creating valuable content, such as informative blog posts, articles, and educational resources, positions your agency as an industry authority. This content not only attracts potential clients but also establishes credibility and fosters a lasting connection.
Outbound strategies involve proactive efforts to reach potential clients, even if they may not have been actively searching for home care services. Some key outbound customer acquisition channels include:
Paid Search (Google Ads) and Paid Social Media Advertising
Digital marketing activities like paid advertising allow you to reach potential clients with carefully crafted messages based on demographics, interests, and behaviors. This approach puts your agency's services in front of individuals who may not have been actively seeking them.
Sending targeted emails to individuals or senior citizens who have shown interest in your medical home health care agency allows you to proactively communicate and share relevant information. Email campaigns can nurture leads and guide potential clients through the decision-making process.
Events and Traditional Advertising
Participating in events, such as healthcare conferences or hosting community gatherings, allows you to introduce your agency to potential clients in person. Additionally, traditional advertising methods like radio and television commercials can reach a broader audience, including those who might not be digitally active.
In the home care industry, there are two ways to increase revenue per client which are;
Increasing the number of hours provided to the client
Increasing your hourly rate.
Here are 4 growth strategies to maximize billable hours for your home healthcare business :
Provide Immense Value for Clients
This cannot be overstated. You cannot increase billable hours if you aren’t providing the client with added value, maintaining a great relationship with the client, and showing them you care about their well-being.
Focus on what you say you will do for the client and find ways to provide added value that exceeds their expectations. A good business anticipates their needs and goes out of their way to get it done.
For example, if your client has issues picking up his groceries from the store, you can proactively find out the time they go shopping a week and help them get the food delivered through Instacart or ask the caregiver to pick up the groceries. This is how diehard clients are made.
Monetize an Existing Service
You could either monetize an existing service that is usually complimentary but adds enough value to the client that they are willing to pay extra for it, or you can create a new service that you can bill the client for.
An example would be caring for palliative care clients. This is a niche you could market to hospice agencies and hospice discharge planners and charge more than what you usually charge per hour.
Compliment Existing Services
Many times, home care clients are looking for a range of services that they procure from other businesses.
For example, they could use transportation services from another company that you could possibly provide for them. Adding a complimentary service can add a boost to your revenue and also become a significant revenue stream.
Give at least one month's notice to your clients about the price increase.
Thank them for being a loyal client of your home care agency.
Choose a warm writing technique to communicate the price increase.
Give them ample reason to support the price increase.
Inform them that a price increase is done very irregularly, only when necessary, for example, due to inflation, added expenses, etc.
include the percentage of the price increase.
Send more than one email notification to prevent this from coming off as an unpleasant surprise to your clients.
Download our free price increase letter template.
Let’s be honest, It’s more exciting to sign up new clients than it's to retain them, but home care businesses are built for profitability and not excitement. It's important to dedicate just as many resources to retaining existing customers as to getting new clients for your home care agency.
The Lifetime Value or LTV is an estimate of the average revenue that a client will generate throughout their lifespan as a client in your home care agency. The longer you have them, the higher the LTV number is and that is why it's important to keep your clients for as long as possible and to keep churn down.
The customer retention rate is calculated using the following formula:
[(# Customers at End of Period — # Customers Acquired During Period)] x 100
# Customers at Start of Period]
Before you consider a client retention strategy you need to determine how many times a year you want to measure this metric, for example, do you want to measure quarterly or annually?
For example, you have 20 home care clients at the beginning of the year and you add 5 more by the end of the first quarter, but lose 1 during the quarter.
24-5/20 x 100 =95%
This is a very good retention rate, the average retention rate in-home care ranges from 50-68% annually. If you can keep your churn rate above 80% you are doing a good job.
Let's explore various ways to increase your client retention rates.
Communicating with the client about what they should expect from your home care agency is paramount. They should fully understand the services you will provide for them, who the caregiver is and their responsibilities, and the time the caregiver will clock in and out from their premises.
They should also be informed of who to contact in case of a complaint, the customer satisfaction process, and other things that are important for them to know. This will keep them abreast of what to expect and will keep them happy with the relationship.
One of the best ways to stand out in the home care market is to wow your clients. At our company Quire Caregiver Training we try to provide a "wow" experience for our clients. We prick one agency a month to buy the whole staff lunch at a restaurant of their choice. A "wow" experience can be many things but the basics of experience are:
Stick to your word.
Give them more than originally expected.
Make things easy for them.
Do regular check-ins for no reason.
Get to know them.
This is important. You can’t prevent your home care patients from canceling services without first understanding why they leave your company in the first place.
Once you have gathered this data you are able to fix the issues. To start, call them up and ask for feedback on the services rendered, the professionalism of the staff, the timeliness of issues solved, to name a few. Document this information in a customer feedback software to track their responses over time.
The ability to track and fix these issues quickly will lead to the viability of your agency and increase the LTV of your client.
Customer loyalty programs are popular with airlines, restaurants, hotels, and e-commerce websites. For home health care agencies, loyalty programs are a smart way to build loyalty and retain clients for a long time.
An example of a customer loyalty program that you can adopt is that after the client has been with the company for six months you can offer them a 10% discount on their monthly subscription.
This starts with leadership and company culture. You create a process that makes it easy for your clients to reach out to you and your staff members including their caregivers. Encourage your staff to check in with the client from time to time to see how they are doing.
Organize and make it easy for your staff to reach the clients and to document the experience with the clients so that anyone in the company. This can be done using a CRM or a home care software. With the CRM, staff can see the last time the client was called, the response from the client, and any follow-ups that have been done to ensure the client is satisfied.
KPIs, or Key Performance Indicators, are measurable metrics that provide insights into the performance and health of your business. These indicators are used to track progress toward specific goals and objectives, enabling businesses to assess their success and make informed decisions.
Here are the primary KPIs that agencies monitor on a monthly basis:
The conversion rate gauges the engagement level of individuals with your marketing efforts. For instance, you track the number of referrals gained from a discharge planner based on your interactions with them.
If the time and resources invested don't yield satisfactory outcomes on a monthly basis, it might be prudent to explore alternative marketing avenues that offer a higher conversion rate.
This metric quantifies the financial investment needed to acquire a new client. For instance, setting up Google Ads and paying per click could be part of your strategy. By assessing the number of clicks that translate into actual leads, you gain insights into how to allocate your budget effectively, ensuring the advertisement's worth.
Optimizing your website for search engines increases its visibility to your audience. Understanding the nuances of search engine optimization and utilizing keywords can gradually elevate your website's ranking.
Engaging with your community through events and captivating booths can yield fruitful results in attracting new business. Tracking the number of attendees and subsequent sign-ups from these events provides valuable data to determine the return on investment, guiding your strategic decisions.
The growth of your email subscriber list holds significance as these subscribers are potential future clients or individuals who can refer others to your services. A stagnant or decreasing subscriber count necessitates adjustments in your email marketing approach to improve results.
The NPS evaluates customer loyalty and the likelihood of them referring your home health care services to others. Consistently measuring this metric on a monthly basis allows you to identify any decline in client satisfaction. Enhancing the NPS score can amplify word-of-mouth referrals and ultimately contribute to increased clientele.
Growing a home health care agency demands a strategic approach to customer acquisition, revenue enhancement, and client retention. Mastering these approaches by adding to your business plan and diligently tracking KPIs, your agency can not only navigate the challenges but also flourish.