Blog | Angela Gifford

Providing Care in a Market Place - The Basics

To provide a care service, either in the home or in an aged care facility, you first of all have to attract the potential customer to your organisation. This is only the first stage the second one is convincing the potential customer that the care you are offering to provide solves their problem and will make them happy. Happier than the other organisations they will invite to tender for their custom.

Marketing to attract the new customers is not just a process of designing an attractive advertisement. The 'Rule of Severn' says that a potential customer needs to hear a marketing message at least seven times before they take any action.

Many care organisations will advertise in the same media as their competitors, immediately diluting the value of their message. Value may be there if a couple of your competitors are in the same media but numbers beyond that is likely to be money wasted.

To attract the new customers you need to have innovative ideas on how to reach people, who not necessarily need you today but will remember you in the future when they have the need to purchase care either for themselves or a family member.

You need to become memorable and your marketing processes have to make this happen today and into the future. Marketing your care provision should be a daily activity and it needs to be targeted. Pick the audience whose problems you can solve.

Stage two is when the first contact is made, now the work is around convincing the potential customer you are the best organisation to solve their problem. Look at your staff members who answer your phone, how will they represent you as the first contact? Who responds to the email enquiries (a growing trend) and when do they respond? Are they answered over the weekend or will you miss out to an organisation that does respond at weekends and evenings?

How quickly can you meet with the person and the family who need care, have you a brochure if they request one, your terms and conditions to hand, your policies and procedures book, how soon can you give them comprehensive details of the quality organisation you are and begin to build the trust which takes them to the decision to buy your services?

Marketing in the care sector is complex. You are selling a 'grudge' purchase until you can redress the balance so that your customer is proud they made the decision to buy from you and not from another organisation.

As new entrants come into the market, as competition gets stiffer, the need to be proactive rather than reactive is the key. The above basics are only the beginning.

By:  Angela E Gifford
Posted:  5 Jun 2014

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