And no, it’s not the food. You cynics!
Quite simply, they are both highly emotional investments where cost is rarely the deciding factor. It is the placing of a loved one into qualified care for a period of time. You want to know that they are being looked after physically, emotionally and if your loved one is a Tibetan Monk or even a Tibetan Mastiff, perhaps you want them cared for spiritually as well.
You want qualified carers who are are able to administer medication, ensure they bathed, fed, taken outside, socially engaged and who will be proactive about intervening if something isn’t working. You want healthy environments, fresh air and stimulating surroundings. You want to be regularly updated on how they are doing, perhaps you like to be able to Skype daily and you want to make sure that above all else, they are safe.
Of course you do your research. You might request a brochure, check out their website. But ultimately, it’s going to be personal recommendations, word of mouth that will carry the most weight. And you will look for these not just from people but online. And this is where social media plays such a strong role in demonstrating how your brand promise aligns with people’s actual experience! I’ve said it before and I’ve said it again – social media is word of mouth on steroids!
Potential customers will look to see what content is on your social media channels, how you have responded to people asking questions, how engaged you are with fans and/or partners. They will look for a tone and personality that resonates with them. They’ll be looking for caring, they’ll be looking for integrated, they’ll be looking for professional, they’ll be looking for happy. They will read the comments. Sometimes they might even reach out to somebody via direct messaging to ask more questions about their experience of your offering.
Customers are driving innovation and behavioural change in organisations. They are no longer passive players in the service industry. They don’t just take what you give them because you’re ‘big’ or ‘well known’. They are looking for connection.
All service industries are only as good as the way they make people feel. These include companies like health care, aged care, pet care, child care, nannies, disability workers, social workers, support agencies and so on. You can have all the bells and whistles but if people don’t feel valued, if they don’t feel you care, they’ll go elsewhere next time. It’s time to stop worrying that social media is going to shine a light on your imperfections and rather throw all the glorious things you do to care for their loved ones into the spotlight.
Be your own brand champion at every single touch point at your disposal.
And you’ll be way ahead of the game. I promise you.