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What makes people buy a care service – Results from poll

I was curious to find out why people buy something that has an emotional purchase point.  To establish this, I ran a survey on what the main reason why people bought the house they live in now.  When you buy a house, it is probably the biggest purchase you will make in terms of price but often there are emotional reasons that sit behind buying a home. 

The survey was run over several social media platforms. It showed that location is everything and was the number one factor why people bought their house.  This could be to do with family, work, aspirational etc. Whatever the reason, it is essential.  The second was how the house felt when you walked in.  This is intuition and gut feel. Intuition and gut feel, however, is an accumulation of many factors that get you to that point.  The third reason for buying was the garden. Again, this is about well-being and experience of sitting in a garden, how it looks, where the sun is etc.  The last reason why was style.  Style has the least emotion attached to it.

So what does buying a house have in common with buying a care service?

If you are looking to attract private clients their expectations are much higher than those who are being provided by social services.  This means care businesses need to work harder to attract them.

When people buy a care service from you it is also an emotional purchase.  I would argue that it is probably the most emotional purchase a person can make.  If a person is buying this for themselves then they are likely to feel vulnerable, nervous or unsure.  If a family are buying it for their loved one they are likely to feel guarded, cautious, sceptical, vulnerable or suspicious.

Why is this important?

The reason why this is so important is because it means every care business needs to connect with people looking for care services to reassure them they are coming to the right place.

I have set this out in the graph within this post.  There is some text to explain each level but I have also included some additional comments below.

Location – People initially look at location.  Potential clients and their families are looking for a local care business that can support them or their loved ones. They are also going to note where your offices are. If they are in a good location and look professional it will be noted positively by them.

Trust – The more you can do to build the level of trust initially, the more likely those intuitive people will buy from you.  This is a long-term strategy and takes time to build.  Having a presence on homecare.co.uk will help with this and also your CQC rating will inform potential clients that you are an organisation that can be trusted.

Brand experience – when people visit your website they want to know how you will make them feel not what tasks you can do for them.  Far too many care businesses list tasks e.g. showering, personal care, toileting, catheter care.  That will not sell it to people.  What they want to know is how your service can make their lives better. How you can help them increase their independence. How you can enhance their quality of life.  Also have an area with your team on there. They want to see you and please make them look professional.  It will make all the difference and worth any investment it may take.

Relationships – We know the old saying “People buy People”.  We know it’s true.  When we meet someone, we make a decision very quickly as to whether we can trust the other person or not.  Care consultations are your opportunity to do that.  Tracking your conversion rates will tell you how you are doing.  (Just a little bit on price here – if no clients are turning you away based on price then you are likely to not be charging enough for your services.  Ideally you should be aiming at a minimum of 10 per cent of clients turning you away based on price but ideally 20 per cent).

Really listening is so important.  Actively listening is a hard skill to acquire.  Are you really hearing what the potential client is saying?  Do you summarise what you’ve heard them say to check?  How much are you assuming and are you susceptible to unconscious bias?  These questions are all worthy of some thought.

Intuition – The final reason is intuition.  From the survey regarding buying a house, I was surprised to see that some people did not have a feel about a house and didn’t buy for that reason.  With the exception of my first house, which was a new build, I have always felt something as soon as I’ve walked in the door and thought “I like this house”, even before I’ve walked round.  Other people feel like this too but not all.  This is the reason why connecting with potential clients at every stage of their prospect journey is essential.  We are all individuals and sense things differently. 

If you would like to find out more on what makes people buy a care service and how I can help you attract private clients then book in a discovery call here or call 01492 550401.