4 Mistakes New Home Care Franchise Owners Make with Clients
Great home care agencies distinguish themselves by how they handle client relationships. In a business as personal as elderly home care, these relationships take on a completely different dynamic than they do in other industries. This can make it easy for new home care franchise owners to make mistakes with their first clients.
At Visiting Angels®, we’ve seen how new franchisees sometimes run into trouble attracting and serving their first clients. We’re also familiar with how to steer clear of these issues. Below are four mistakes that new home care franchisees sometimes run into with clients, plus our advice for new franchise owners on how to manage client relationships.
1. Not Actively Listening
Initial consultations lay the foundation for a successful care relationship between home care agencies and their clients. While established agencies will often hire care directors to manage these consultations, new franchisees usually handle this responsibility in the first few months.
Some franchisees find themselves unprepared in these situations. They want to sell themselves and their business, so they over-focus on projecting a confident image. As a result, they talk too much, listen too little, and fail to ask the right questions. In the end, they don’t have the information they need to deliver high-quality, personalized care. At Visiting Angels, we combine initial training with ongoing support from our home office to help new franchisees as they launch their business.
2. Poor Care Planning
At Visiting Angels, customization is one of our brand’s main distinction points. Over the past 20+ years, we’ve seen the positive impact of personalized care. We’ve also heard far too many stories of what happens when agencies fail to tailor their services to each client’s needs.
Care planning is particularly important for new home care franchisees who are dealing with their very first clients. When you’re just starting out, you should expect to hit speed bumps and potholes in the early going. If you have a detailed map in place, you’ll be able to correct course. But if you’re traveling through uncharted territory, you’ll get lost in a hurry.
Establishing a home care franchise with Visiting Angels, allows you to take advantage of the knowledge and experience we’ve gained over 20+ years in business. From training with our home office to support from fellow franchisees, you’ll hit the ground running!
3. Mismatching Clients & Caregivers
If you’re a new home care franchisee, you might take on caregiving duties for your first clients. But as your client base builds, you’ll need to hire new staff to handle caring for your clients. Who you hire will have a huge impact on your agency, but it will also matter how you match clients and caregivers together.
Home care services have a significant emotional component. Quality of care often rests on the bond that clients and their families develop with their caregiver. It also rests on caregivers having the skills, qualifications, and experience needed to meet each client’s unique care needs. If you’re not paying close attention to client/caregiver compatibility, your agency will struggle with long-term client relationships.
Visiting Angels franchisees can turn to our home office for help in understanding how best to screen potential caregivers for their team. Leaning what’s worked for others, and what hasn’t worked, will help you to build a top-quality caregiving team.
4. Failing to Keep in Touch
You’ve listened to your client’s needs. You’ve created a personalized care plan. You’ve matched them with a great caregiver. All set, right? Not so fast. In the home care industry, taking a “set it and forget it” approach to client relationships can be disastrous for all parties involved: your agency, your caregivers, and your clients.
As the owner of a home care franchise, your client relationships should always be active. You should have regular phone contact with clients and their families, and you should check in regularly with each of your caregivers for a status update on each care recipient they work with. This way, you’ll maintain a rapport with each of your clients, and you’ll be able to adapt as their health or circumstances change.
Looking for a home care franchise opportunity near you? Call Visiting Angels today at 800-365-4189 or request information online to learn more about our home care franchise opportunities and franchise availability.