You’re likely familiar with concierge services as they relate to the hospitality industry. But, concierge services for private duty agencies? What are those? Concierge is a French word that means caretaker or guardian, so private pay concierge service implies a comprehensive plan that takes care of everything for the client.
A good example of a concierge program would be a day surgery service. The service can be designed any way the agency chooses, but must address all the needs that the client may have before, during and immediately after the surgery. Usually the best source of information when setting up this service is the client. Additional sources of information would be a brief survey in a surgeon’s office or you or someone in your family may have experienced day surgery yourselves and know what is needed. In my research, I’ve found the biggest issue for clients having day surgery is the need to have all the details attended to so all they have to deal with is the surgery itself. This may mean the agency picks up the client at her home or the airport, transports her to the surgery suite, and arranges for after care, which would include picking up all the medications, arranging a place to stay, if necessary, and providing 24-hour care until she can manage for herself. However you gather your information, it is critical to develop a program customers perceive as valuable and are willing to pay for.
How do you determine the ideal specialty service for your agency? It begins with the most important factor for success – demand for the service. Although it’s tempting to duplicate a great product or program from another company elsewhere in the country, it may not be right for you or for your area. Are there sufficient buyers in your marketplace to justify the expense of time and materials to develop the program? Have you assessed your marketplace for demand for the service being considered? You must do your due diligence. This can be done with a demographic search, surveys of potential buyers, key informant interviews, or all three.
Once you have decided that you have sufficient buyers for the identified program, the next big step is designing it. The program must be comprehensive and quality driven. Be sure to cover all the areas considered valueable by the buyer. To be customer service focused, it must not only meet, but exceed the customer’s expectations. You want to wow the clients! A specialty program design can be as big as you can visualize. No matter the size, the question you must always ask and answer is: will the customers buy it and does it add value to the program?
Before developing a specialty service, do your home work! If you are struggling with developing the right concierge service program for your agency, entertain the idea of using a home care consultant. The investment will save you thousands of dollars and ensure a successful program.
Kenyon HomeCare Consulting is expert at helping agencies develop creative and innovative programs. For assistance in determining if this is for you, contact us.