The home health industry faces unprecedented pressures when it comes to competition, payments, regulations, and consumer expectations. In short, even well-established agencies are continually expected to do more with less — and to do it better.
While there are any number of initiatives that your agency can undertake to differentiate itself from the competition while still meeting the demands of ever-changing regulations and expectations, one of the first steps to success is to find your agency’s unique selling point. What is it that sets your company apart from others? What makes you the best choice for a particular patient, or a particular group of patients? Why should other providers have you at the top of their referral list? When you can answer those questions — and more importantly, communicate your unique selling point to referrers and potential clients — then you have a better chance of reaching your goals.
What Is a Unique Selling Point?
All too often, when you ask an agency owner or marketing team to share the organization’s unique selling point, they rattle off a list of reasons that clients should choose them. And usually, they are very good reasons: They have a caring, compassionate, and experienced staff; they use the most state-of-the-art software to manage patient records; they have a stellar record of patient satisfaction; etc. These are all legitimate reasons that a client should “buy” from the agency, but they aren’t really a unique selling point, or value proposition.
An effective value proposition isn’t about you. It isn’t about what you can do for clients, or the services you have to offer. A value proposition is about your customers. In other words, what can you do for them? What do they gain by working with your agency as opposed to another, which in all likelihood is offering a similar product and experience? By focusing your marketing on what you offer that benefits your clients, and how that sets you apart, you are more likely to attract new clients.
Finding Your Selling Point
Since finding your unique selling point isn’t about listing all of your services and touting your excellence, how can you find it?
1. Start with your brand. What do people think of when they think of your agency? What do you want people to think of? Consider what your brand says about your agency, and how you can turn that into a key message that carries though all of your marketing. For example, if you have worked to establish a brand built around your use of technology and the efficiencies that it allows, focus your marketing messages on the value that your advanced technology can bring to your clients.
2. Uncover your strengths. By uncovering your agency’s strengths, you can pinpoint the value that you bring your clients. Look for those areas where you do things better than your competitors, or where you are consistently best-in-class. Focus on those areas that would make a customer choose your agency over another; what do you do better than anyone else? Look at your business from the perspective of an outsider, and what they would be looking for in a home health agency, and evaluate how you best meet those expectations.
3. Turn to the experts. Perhaps no one is better qualified to evaluate your agency’s value than those who have actually used your services. Turn to your clients for feedback that can help you determine your value proposition. What types of comments do you receive? Where do your clients rate you highly? Are there themes hidden within your testimonials?
Your clients know better than anyone what it is like to work with you, and they may identify some strengths or selling points that you may not otherwise have considered. For example, you might consider being available 24/7 or having a live person answer the phone every time it rings to simply be good business, but your clients may see it as the personal touch that is lacking from other agencies. Don’t overlook the little things that your clients notice, as they could be just what you need to set yourself apart.
Talking with your customers also allows you to use the language that they use. You don’t want to use the language of every other agency in your marketing – you want to use the words that your customers use. Look at their comments and their feedback, and use the same words and phrases that they use in your materials. When customers see their own unique pain points addressed in your marketing, they are more likely to respond.
Setting yourself apart from your competition doesn’t have to mean changing your entire business model or embarking on yet another initiative. By working with information that you already have and putting it to better use, you can find the selling point that gets clients’ attention and spurs them to call your agency.
And once they do call, you can better manage your patient caseload — and collect much needed data while improving efficiency — with Complia Health’s advanced home health management tools. To learn more about this revolutionary software, check out one of our resources page.