5 Ways Home Healthcare Providers Grow by Texting Clients, Employees
It takes a lot of communication to run a home healthcare service. You’ve got to coordinate with caregivers and families to make sure everything’s running smoothly and that everyone is on the same page. The problem is emails and phone calls aren’t cutting it.
So what can you do?
I’m going to show you how in-home care providers across the U.S. and Canada text with staff, family members, and more to improve operations (and ultimately revenue). Ready?
Why do home care providers text?
The bottom line is you reach more people more quickly and easily when you text compared to when you call and email.
The average text is read within five seconds of being sent, and 99% of texts sent are read. Plus, you can text as many people as you want at a time (I’ll cover that more later). Now compare that to emails and phone calls.
Less than 20% of emails are opened, and the average response time for those that are is about six hours.
Phone calls are less reliable, because the person has to be available at that exact moment. Only 20% or so of people are willing to answer a call if they’re available, and many businesses report answer rates as low as 5%.
That’s not going to cut it. These days, it’s often more effective to text, and here’s how your in-home care team can take advantage of it.
1. Coordinate with caregivers for hours and locations.
You have a lot of nurses and caregivers, and they’re all working with different people in different places at different times. It’s difficult to coordinate with everyone, and you’d love an easier way to manage it.
With Text Request you’ll get a central dashboard where office staff can communicate with everyone, whether it’s one person at a time or dozens. You’ll mostly use this for scheduling. Example:
“Good morning, Stacy! We need you to sit with Raymond Wright from 10am to 6pm today. His address is 423 Oak St. I’ll email you his file. Thanks! - Cynthia”
There’s a lot packed into that short message - who, when, where, and a heads up to look for his file. Nurses can even click on the address to open up GPS directions.
You might also text to fill a last minute need by sending one message to all (or a large group of) your caregivers. E.g.:
“Hi! We need someone to cover a 7 to 7 shift tomorrow. Please let me know if you’re willing and able!”
You’ll get responses in minutes (or less), and can give the work to the first to respond. Any replies you get will come directly back to you, not to the group you sent the message to.
Caregivers can also text your office for any questions, or to share their hours the day or week. Texting’s an easy way to get everything you need quickly and keep it all in one place.
2. Share the information families want.
Family members of your patients always want to know what’s going on. They have questions, they want updates, and sometimes they need to share new information with you, too.
Texting makes all this easy.
Let’s say a child wants to know how their parent is doing that day. They text your office and say, “How’s Dad doing today?” Then your staff member can share. “Today’s a good day for him. Mobility is okay, he’s eating some. Still sleeping at the moment.”
Or parents can share new information with you. E.g.:
“Hi Team, Mom fell this morning, we’re taking her to the hospital now. I don’t think we’ll need someone to sit with her today, but I’ll keep you posted. Thanks.”
There are hundreds of instances like these - quick questions and other communications that need quick responses - that come up every month. A central texting system is going to help you handle all of these communications better.
3. Get more online reviews.
Trust is a critical component to working with any home care service, and people need to be able to trust you before they start working with you. That’s why online reviews are so important.
86% of people look at online reviews before making a purchase decision, and 88% of people value online reviews as much as personal recommendations. The more reviews you get, the more comfortable people will feel about working with you, and the more clients you’ll get.
So how does texting help you get more online reviews?
After you’ve worked with a client, text their family members who were involved and ask them to leave you a review on your favorite platform (Google, Facebook, wherever potential clients are most likely to find you) sharing their experience. Here’s an example:
“Hi Kevin, we’ve been honored to work with your family during this difficult time. Would you please let us know how we’ve done, and share your experience on [Google]? It would help us a lot. Here’s the link: [bitly.com/companyurl] Thank you!”
Text message conversion rates are about 18-25X higher than email, so you’ll inevitably earn more reviews (especially if you use texts to complement your email requests).
4. Bring in more new clients.
70% of all online traffic comes from mobile devices (smartphones and tablets), and most of those people say they’d rather text you than call (89%). So why not let them text your office from your website?
SMS Chat makes this possible. Check out the quick video below to see how it works.
SMS Chat works like a live chat option, except the messages come into your business as texts, and your replies go to that contact’s cell phone. That starts a back-and-forth text conversation that's more convenient for you and clients.
This helps you (a) start more sales related conversations, because SMS Chat is highly engaging and people would often rather text than call, and (b) bring in more new clients, because you’re able to easily continue the conversation once that person has left your website.
5. Text from your office phone lines.
You probably have one main office number that you’ve used in all your marketing and promotions. It’s what people know, and it's probably what saved in their phones already. Did you know you can text from that same number?
Whether it’s a landline, VOIP, or toll-free number, you can add Text Request to as many of your office lines as you’d like. You can then send texts and pictures to one person at a time or hundreds, while maintaining professional oversight and accountability.
To see if you can text using your office number, visit our landline texting page.
How can your homecare service start texting?
First you need to know what you want to accomplish through texting. Which one of these five points is most valuable to you (or do you see another use case)? Once you know, find a service to help you accomplish it most effectively.
Want to see how Text Request can help your business? Grab a time for a product to demo. You’ll get to talk to a real person one-on-one, bounce all your questions off them, and see how Text Request fits your needs.
Or, if you know what you want and you’re ready to start now, go to our pricing page to set up your Text Request account.
Got questions? Use the SMS Chat in the bottom right corner, or visit our Contact page.