Keeping clients happy and satisfied is essential to the success of any business, and home care agencies are no different. In some industries satisfaction can be straightforward to achieve, such as a coffee shop simply remaking a drink until a customer is happy with it. In home care, however, client satisfaction can be more complicated to both define and measure. Is this something your agency regularly tracks today? If not, you could be missing out on valuable insights from your clients or their family, which could be helping your agency discover new ways to improve and more rapidly grow your client base.
Why Measure Client Satisfaction?
Understanding how satisfied your clients are, as well as why they feel that way, can be invaluable for helping you understand where your agency can focus on improving and enhancing services. Proactively tracking client satisfaction can have agency-wide benefits, including:
Identify what your clients love- and do more of it!: Learning what your most satisfied clients love about working with you can highlight what you already do well. This can let you find ways to ensure more of your clients experience that level of service. For example, if you have multiple repeat clients saying they like that their standard caregiver calls them a few minutes before a visit, this could be something to consider implementing as an agency-wide policy.
Find areas to improve: If clients are not satisfied with your service, their feedback can be useful for finding ways your agency can improve, to hopefully ensure a better experience for them and other clients in the future. While some clients vocally complain when there is a problem, measuring satisfaction regularly can provide additional insights for small problems that impact a large number of clients.
Internal resource planning: When clients have complaints, it can lead to operational challenges if staff need to assist with responding to complaints instead of running your agency. In general tracking client satisfaction can help proactively identify areas to fix in advance of them becoming large problems, and allow for more smooth operations day-to-day.
How to Measure Client Satisfaction
Client satisfaction measurement is a hot topic in nearly all industries, and there are numerous methods for collecting and measuring this. Some best practices to follow for tracking client satisfaction in homecare can be:
Provide post-visit or post-assignment surveys. Many agencies provide clients with surveys after visits or assignments, and ask questions pertaining to their service. This is a natural time to ask, as your client will have just experienced services. Surveys are most frequently conducted by mail or email, depending on what your clients prefer. There are a variety of online services, such as survey monkey which will allow you to create free and fast online surveys. There are also more advanced paid survey options, which may be worth investing in depending on your agency goals.
Create easy-to-use internal reporting systems and processes. Developing internal systems which are easy for staff to use can make it easy to capture client feedback from your staff and caregivers. Define how feedback should be reported, and make sure your team knows how and when to submit feedback. It can also be helpful to regularly review feedback with staff, to ensure they are incorporating learnings into the service they provide.
Establish client feedback channels. Let clients know how they can provide you with feedback, and encourage it! Letting clients know you want to hear from them can be a great way to establish a good rapport with them, and this can help you learn about many small ways to improve. A client who provides critical, yet constructive feedback can give you insights that you may not otherwise hear, and you are more likely to get those insights if you let clients know their thoughts are welcome and taken seriously.
Involve family members in feedback collection. In homecare, you may often be speaking with a client’s family member to coordinate care. While family members are not directly receiving care services, they still regularly interact with your staff and caregivers. These interactions can be critical to ensuring it is easy to work with your agency, and involving family members in your feedback process can be a great way to gather feedback which could help your agency improve areas like communication, scheduling, and other things that may not always be handled by the client.
Client satisfaction is very important to many businesses. But how to go about defining and measuring it can be challenging for agencies, especially in homecare. But this is still a topic to always focus on because you could be missing out on some valuable insight, which could help your agency implement new ways to improve and more rapidly grow your client base.