3 reasons private duty agencies should rethink inquiry referral management
Here’s why private duty agencies need to rethink referral management and start tracking every lead and inquiry if they want to stay competitive.
Referral management — or actively participating in the process of converting inquiries — is much more important for private duty agencies than many of them may realize.
Many agencies continue to rely on manual processes for managing inquiries such as Excel spreadsheets, sticky notes on the wall, and no master plan or document. This makes it impossible to accomplish the most important aspect of referral management: tracking key inquiries and data.
Why is this so critical? There are three major benefits referral management and tracking offers agencies.
1. Better follow-up for word-of-mouth referrals.
In private duty, referrals are any call you take coming in. These aren’t typically as formal as with certified agencies, where an official referral from a hospital or doctor’s group may be the norm. While you may get those in private duty, too, there will be many more informal calls — from area residents and family members, from former or current patients.
Rooted in the community as they are, private duty agencies are more likely to get calls from their neighbors. In fact, as the Home Care Pulse Private Duty Benchmarking Study for 2021 showed, the top generator for inquiry leads is former clients and former patients. The second was caregivers.
These are all word-of-mouth referrals. And too often, they’re not tracked in a consistent or effective manner.
Every call is an inquiry lead, whether it comes from a hospital, senior center, or a doctor’s group you work with, through your marketing efforts or via a word-of-mouth referral. The latter is every bit as important as the first two items — and studies have shown that agencies that track them tend to get more conversions.
2. A more accurate measurement of the value of your sales and marketing ROI.
Many agencies spend money on marketing but don’t accurately measure the results. Whether you’re putting out brochures or flyers in the community, holding an exercise program at the local hospital or senior center, sending targeted emails, or using another method of outreach, it’s important to know how effective your efforts are.
This isn’t just about measuring value. It’s also about giving yourself the information you need to improve your efforts in the future, and where to focus them more effectively. After all, the more you understand about each inquiry, the better prepared you will be to improve conversions.
This means keeping track of the inquiries that fail to convert, too. If you keep seeing that a certain type of client doesn’t convert, then you can refine your processes accordingly. Are you not offering services that these people are looking for? If not, should you reconsider?
By more fully tracking the referral process, you have a more exact idea of what’s working and what isn’t. You’ll not only be setting yourself up to turn more inquiries into conversions, but you’ll also have a better chance to compete in a difficult marketplace.
3. A means to grow your sales pipeline.
Word-of-mouth referrals are often a one-time opportunity. Say you receive an offhand call from someone with a family member who needs care services. If you miss that call, you may not get a second chance to speak to that person.
A simple system to track each call and its essential info can go far toward shoring up this oversight. Who called, when, and what for, and, ultimately, whether or not they converted — these are the metrics recommended by the Home Care Pulse Survey (and they’re exactly the metrics you can track with MatrixCare).
The good news is that there’s software built specifically to track this type of information. With MatrixCare’s Agency Management System (AMS), you can capture the essential info for each inquiry using MatrixCare’s inquiry scripting process. You can also use MatrixCare’s FHIR API to seamlessly import leads to your AMS, reducing data entry time.
MatrixCare’s conversion dashboards make tracking your conversion rates easy, providing valuable data to ensure you are focusing your efforts effectively. And it’s all kept safe and organized in a single, easy-to-use system so you and your team can readily manage all your inquiry leads.
When you start tracking inquiries with MatrixCare, you’ll be starting a referral management process that actually works to grow your business — not just today, but well into the future.
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