Who should answer the call? On today’s episode of A Drink With The Hurricane, Steve discusses part 2 of the biggest challenge home care businesses face and the key strategy to overcome it!
Last week I talked about the 20% of people do it wrong, 60% of people do it incomplete and 20% do it right. Now today, what I wanna talk about is answering the call and more importantly, who should answer the call? Because a lot of people don’t get this right. And this is where there’s a big disconnect in most of the offices out there. Who should answer the call?
A lot of times people think it should be a scheduler. A lot of times people think it should be a recruiter, especially if it’s an inquiry for employment. A lot of people think it should be the marketing person if it’s an inquiry for services, but the correct answer in your organization is who should answer the phone?
Every single person in your organization should know how to handle an inquiry for a caregiver looking for work and an inquiry for a prospective client. Because you don’t know when someone’s going to call, or who they’re going to be, you don’t know if it’s either or and you never know when someone’s gonna be out of work because they’re sick or they call out. You never know if you have one person who does it and then that person’s on the phone or that person’s in the bathroom, these are normal things that happen every single day.
And what happens when you have one person who’s trained on handling an inquiry, an inquiry calls in, that person is busy, preoccupied, doing something else, the person who answers the phone is not trained on how to do this, so they don’t know what to say so they say something like, can I get your name and your phone number and I’m gonna have so and so call you back or can you call back in 15 minutes when so and so is ready, they’re just on the other line or whatever. And then they hang up the phone.
And now, you may think to yourself, that sounds good, that’s fine, and that is a common response. Some of you probably do this right now and you’re probably shaking your head, yeah, this is what we do, that is what we would do. But here’s the problem, this is a caregiver market, it’s not a home care market, meaning caregivers, there’s not enough of them, we can’t get enough of them, so if they hang up the phone, yeah, they could call back in 15, 20 minutes, but more likely, they’re gonna go to the next job opening they see, call that person, speak to somebody, get an interview set up and that’s it. Caregivers, they don’t go on five or 10 interviews, they get one appointment and that’s it.
If it’s an inquiry for services, it’s the same exact thing. They’re gonna say, oh sure, I can call back. They’re gonna hang up the phone, they’re gonna look at their Google list or they’re gonna look at whatever sheet is given to them from a social worker or the brochures, they’re gonna call the next company. And if the next company handles it correctly and they get an appointment to discuss services, they’re not gonna call back. And then, and you’ve probably had this happen to you, the one person who’s trained to do it calls back and then the person goes, oh no, it’s okay, I got an appointment with somebody else, we don’t need it, or I already got an interview somewhere else, if it doesn’t work out, I’ll call you back. And then you never hear from that person again.
And you know what that is folks? That is opportunity lost, wah wah. You just lost out, you lost that caregiver, you lost that client and these are things that cause me to just scream because that’s money that’s wasted. Whatever revenue could have come from that client, your marketing effort, your marketing dollars, your marketing training, your SEO, your pay per click, whatever generated that lead, wasted. For your caregivers, your job postings, your ads, your time of your recruiter spent to get the ad out there and all of that, wasted. So, don’t waste it.
Now, how do you get everybody up to speed? You gotta have inquiry training, that’s the solution. I do this all the time with people, you gotta have a couple things, and I’ll give you some take aways. Number one, you gotta have a process. What is your process, how do you answer the phone? That’s super important, I actually booked a massage yesterday, swear to God as my witness, I came back from Houston on Sunday, real late, we’re filming on a Tuesday, I took Monday off and I was like, you know, before I get on a plane tomorrow and go to Dallas, let me just get a massage and take care of myself, do some self care because I don’t wanna run myself into the ground, I travel every week, all the time.
So, I called the massage parlor, now I know the massage parlor, but when I called the massage parlor, they didn’t answer the phone, oh, thank you for calling Ping’s Spa, they answered, hello? At first I actually thought I called the wrong number because they said hello, there was no professional greeting. So you’ve got to have a professional greeting and it should sound like I’m calling a legitimate company, not just answer, hello, how can I help you? Make it professional, this is Hurricane Marketing Enterprises, thank you for calling, I’m Steve, how can I help you? Something of that nature, that goes to your process, all right?
Second thing is, you should have some kind of sheet or form to be able to take notes, to be able to ask questions of both the caregiver and the prospective client. You should have some kind of flow, there should be some kind of order or information gathering to help to determine if this is the right person for you or you’re the right person or right company for them, that’s super important. And then, number three, you should know what you’re talking about, right?
And this one is real easy. I’m not sales person, I don’t know that. Everybody in your company is your sales person. If you work at a company, you know what you do, you know what home care is and you understand how you do it. You understand what a customer looks like, you understand what their needs are and you understand that we place caregivers in the home to help somebody with their activities of daily living to prevent them from going to the hospital, that’s about as basic as it gets. You know your job, you know your business.
The only person who I would give an exception to everyone in your company being able to answer the phone is a new hire, like, in their first two weeks, somebody who’s brand new should not answer the phone, but after three weeks being there, they should know enough to be able to handle an inquiry, especially if you have a process, you have some kind of inquiry sheet and then you know what you’re talkin’ about. They should know enough to be able to answer the phone and talk somebody through it.
An inquiry, whether it’s a caregiver or a prospective client, is somebody inquiring about something, they’re contacting you to inquire about a job, they’re contacting you to inquire about services, they’re calling to find out more information. It’s a request for information and answering it correctly is customer service, it’s not sales.
The goal of the phone call should be to schedule an appointment, that is your sale, whether it’s a sale to interview somebody for work or a sale to sign somebody up as a customer, that’s your goals, that’s your process. Now if you don’t have a process, if you don’t have a sheet, if you don’t know how to do this and create this and train people on it, this is what we do at Hurricane Marketing Enterprises.
Actually, it’s a piece of what we do. Our clients are converting at 40% or better. If you’re not converting at 40% or better, maybe you should pick up the phone, give us a call and let us help you BLOW AWAY THE COMPETITION!
If you liked this content, then you will love our free course, Initiate: Master Your Home Care Business.
President and Owner of Hurricane Marketing Enterprises
Steve Weiss has been in Marketing and Sales his entire life. At age 14, he owned “Neighborhood Kids Landscaping Services” where he cared for lawns around his school schedule. While in College, he sold Cutco Knives, and his honors received then were “Top Sales Rep” in 2000, he helped the Middlesex office have its first Million Dollar year in 2001, and ran the number 1 branch in productivity in the company (out of 400 locations) in 2002.
In 2005 Steve joined Care Choice (A Private Pay Home Care Company) and grew it from 16 active clients to maintaining a census of over 100, growing annual revenues from $750,000 to nearly $5 Million in just 4 short years. Eventually, he became Vice President and partner before selling the company to Senior Bridge. During his time there, Steve was recognized 14 for 14 months straight as a Top Sales Person in Inquiries, Starts, and New Revenue.
In June of 2012, Steve founded and became the President of Hurricane Marketing Enterprises where he currently is a Motivational Speaker, Business Seminar Leader, and Consultant/Coach to clients across the country.
Steve is happily married to his beloved wife Susan, and is the proud father of Steven, Sydney and Sienna who are the light of his life. Lastly, Steve went to school to be a Minister and aspires to accomplish that mission as a second career by age 45.