In Part 1, we discussed how the right software can help your home care agency to reduce operating costs, with a view to increasing profits. Here we look at some of the ways the right technology can also help your agency increase revenue for an even greater impact on your bottom line.
In most types of business, there are three basic ways to increase revenue. In home care, these translate into:
- increasing the number of clients/patients – acquiring new customers
- increasing the average transaction size for existing clients/patients (i.e., adding more hours or specialized services, or raising prices)
- retaining existing clients/patients for longer.
Although every agency will have its own revenue growth strategy, according to its own specific needs, there are key features that should be included across the board. For example, ensuring that your sales, marketing, and client experience teams are aligned, communicating well and working cohesively.
Investing in the right home care software is a cost-effective way to help you streamline this planning, communication, and workflows across teams to guarantee that things run smoothly at your agency, resulting in increased revenue over the short and long term.
More specifically, the right home care software can also support your agency in revenue growth in the following three areas:
Increasing the number of clients/patients – acquiring new customers
An annual study (sponsored by Home Care Pulse and the Home Care Association of America) reveals that a top strategic priority for most home care agencies is ‘to increase the number of clients.’
There are multiple ways that your home care agency can plan for business growth and promote your agency to find new clients, which we looked at in an earlier blog, 6 Great Ways to Build Your Home Care Client Base.
Including the right software tools in your strategy from the outset can make all the difference to your endeavors. From customer service automation, to lead generation software and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software, there are many tools worth investing in to help your agency effectively acquire new clients/patients.
In addition to providing vital data through tracking and analytics – to help guide you in making crucial business decisions – having a complete digital home care platform (like Smartcare) can give you access to powerful CRM and sales/marketing tools too. These not only save time and cost but can significantly help your agency win more clients, build stronger relationships with your referral sources and gain insights into the effectiveness of different channels.
‘Businesses that use CRM, sales, and marketing automation solutions as part of their customer acquisition process grow their businesses 3x as fast as those that don’t, achieving first positions in their markets.’
Scott Zielski, Sales Strategy Instructor, University of Wisconsin School of Business – Madison, Center for Professional and Executive Development.
A CRM, sales, and marketing suite designed specifically for home care enables you to:
- Easily develop your sales pipeline (that can be scaled and improved easily)
- Keep on top of lead generation
- Close with more leads by guaranteeing prompt follow-ups
- Track referrals and leads, logging all communication
- Build relationships and action follow-ups
- Run and track advertising campaigns
- Collect and reference sales and marketing information
- Qualify and rank leads, identifying best channels to invest in
- Nurture top referrals
- Share data and quickly see trends
- Measure your ROI for marketing activities in real-time.
If your agency is looking to increase revenue through acquiring new customers, you will benefit from investing in the right software, like Smartcare’s powerful sales and marketing tools and reporting, to differentiate your agency from the competition and secure the best clients before your competitors.
Increasing the average transaction size for existing clients/patients
Increasing revenue is not just about adding more leads to your sales pipeline but should include looking for opportunities to maximize your current client/patient relationships.
During COVID-19, many agencies have been offering flexible formats for visits (in-person and remote), promoting care service ‘bundles,’ and expanding the basic services they can offer (to include shopping, meal preparation, routine personal care, laundry, transportation, medication management, and so on).
The COVID-19 situation has also opened up opportunities for more specialized care services, as more clients/patients choose to remain in their homes rather than stay in residential care, to reduce the risk of exposure. As a result, agencies training their caregivers – either through training programs, mentoring, or upskilling – are in a strong position to increase revenue by offering additional, specialized care – for example, chronic disease and pain management, specialized senior care (including dementia and Parkinson’s), diabetes, and rehabilitation for surgery patients.
The right software can make these additions easier for your home care agency to facilitate and track, and also provide the tools needed to promote any additional time and services you can offer your clients and their families. Additionally, having a robust client/patient database in place will make it easier to identify which clients to approach with special offers and promotions, and to track uptake.
All-in-one systems, like Smartcare’s complete home care platform, are ideally suited to automate your processes, improve communications, facilitate training opportunities, assist with marketing, and manage customer relations – with the ultimate goal of helping your agency grow and increase revenue.
Retaining existing clients/patients for longer
Although it can be tempting to focus all your attention on acquiring new clients, it’s important to remember the value of balancing this with a solid client retention plan. Most sources show that acquiring new clients/patients costs 4–10 times more than maintaining existing ones. In addition, a study by the Harvard Business School revealed that ‘increasing customer retention rates by 5% increases profits by 25% to 95%.’
As with caregiver retention, top-quality client satisfaction and retention is high impact for your agency and mainly within your control, but it can be an extremely time-consuming and costly affair without the right software in place.
Several strategies are known to work well with client retention in home care, in addition to providing a high quality of care, of course! Many agencies are finding that client retention can be significantly improved by making a few basic additions, such as:
- improving filled-shift rates
- making regular check-in calls
- providing better client-caregiver matching
- making remote visits (to check on medication and other essential needs) where clients are anxious about risk exposure to COVID
- prioritizing feedback from clients and their families to improve services.
All of these additions can be easily facilitated by utilizing the right home care software, allowing your agency to monitor and respond to your clients’ needs more effectively, with minimum extra effort or cost involved.
For example, Smartcare’s family portal helps keep your clients and their families connected and engaged. They can quickly find information about care, schedules, invoices, and important updates. With communication channels open 24/7, through secure messaging, your agency, caregivers, clients, and their families can:
- Review schedules
- Communicate with the care team
- Set medication and other client reminders
- Add and review documentation
- Track spending, billing, invoicing, and payments
- Discuss additional or augmented services
- Build lasting relationships.
Additionally, with Smartcare’s unique machine learning technology and matching algorithms, you can easily match the right caregiver with the right client – tailoring your matching solutions to local market criteria – further cementing the caregiver-client connection and driving robust caregiver and client retention rates.
Once matched, Smartcare’s user-specific mobile point-of-care app provides a unique, easy-to-use connection between your agency, caregivers, clients, and clients’ families. In addition, using Smartcare’s chat, messaging, and family portal communication tools – all HIPAA compliant – means your agency can be better at communicating effectively with your clients, connecting on a deeper level, and building those all-important bonds.
Utilizing the right software to provide outstanding care and ensure your clients’ and their families’ needs are being satisfied not only helps your agency to retain clients/patients but also provides essential data for your agency’s referral sources and can significantly impact new client acquisition.
If you are looking for a more efficient way to run your home care agency, as well as realistic options for expansion and growth, investment in the right software tools could provide the answers you seek.
To learn more about how to choose the right software to meet your agency’s specific needs and achieve peak financial performance, please read our recent blog 6 Steps to Finding the Best Home Care Software System or contact us to find out how we can help you today.