Home Care Franchise Tips for Long-Term Client Relationships
When you own and operate a home care franchise, you need to think long-term about your client relationships. It’s not enough to win clients over in the short-term alone. Relationships need to be cultivated in order to retain your clients’ trust. This is important both because it helps you retain existing business and because it helps you earn word-of-mouth referrals.
So how should home care franchise owners approach their long-term relationships with clients? Below are a few tips from the experts at Visiting Angels® to help you build healthy client relationships and keep those relationships healthy for years to come.
Build a Foundation of Trust for Your Home Care Franchise
We’ve already touched on some of the ways that you can build trust as a home care franchise. Any successful relationship starts with a foundation of trust. As a franchise owner, you should have that foundation already in place before meeting with potential clients. Your reputation and your image within the community will put potential clients at ease and help you earn their confidence.
During your initial consultations with new clients, you should be reinforcing that foundation of trust and building on it. Listen to the concerns of seniors and their families, show respect through your body language and your answers, and be completely honest and upfront in your initial conversations.
Focus on the Relationships Between Caregivers and Clients
After your initial consultation with a new client, your caregivers will be responsible for managing the care. Given this, it’s important to find the right fit between each client and his or her caregiver. Meanwhile, it’s just as important that you provide your caregivers with the support they need to perform their best work.
Among Visiting Angels home care franchise owners, our franchisees use a wide range of strategies to ensure strong caregiver-client relationships. Our Select Your Caregiver® policy ensures that every client is matched with a caregiver whose skills and personality align with the client’s needs. While finding the right caregiver can increase the upfront costs of a new client, the long-term savings are more than worth it. In home care, there are few things more expensive than a revolving door of caregivers.
Meanwhile, our franchisees know that in order to maintain strong relationships with clients, they need to maintain strong relationships with their caregivers. This can be accomplished in a number of ways. Many of our home care franchise owners conduct routine face-to-face meetings with all of their caregivers. Others carefully manage caregiver schedules and workloads to avoid caregiver burnout. In some cases, franchisees have found that competitive pay is the easiest way to keep caregivers happy. Whatever methods you choose, remember that your relationships with clients will likely only be as healthy as your relationships with your staff.
Reinforce Relationships with Regular Client Outreach
When it comes to long-term client relationships, your caregivers might be on the front lines but that doesn’t mean they can get by without back-up. Successful home care franchises maintain direct relationships between their office staff and their clientele. At Visiting Angels, many of our most successful franchisees perform this outreach themselves, maintaining personal contact with seniors and their families.
Some of the strategies our home care franchise owners use include:
- Short, routine phone calls to touch base with clients and families.
- Calling clients during weather emergencies to ensure their well-being.
- Personalized birthday and holiday greetings for clients.
- Quarterly, biannual, or annual face-to-face meetings with clients and their families.
- Client satisfaction surveys to measure performance.
While keeping in contact with clients can be a time-intensive job, the return on investment is well worth it. Seniors and their families value the personal touch of these efforts, strengthening the bond of trust between your franchise and your clients. At the same time, direct conversations allow for first-hand feedback, as opposed to second-hand feedback passed along by caregivers, making your agency more responsive to client concerns.
Thinking about purchasing your own home care franchise? Learn more about the Visiting Angels franchise opportunity today and get detailed information on available territories. Call 800-365-4189 or request franchise information online.