Mystery shopping, that marketing checker that staff hate and management love. In this case management wouldn’t love it either. Consultancy firm KPMG did a mystery shopping survey of the aged care sector and found that 70% of them couldn’t confidently answer questions. If you are enquiring about home care you will be asked to go through the My Aged Care website first before any questions are answered 100% of the time. If you query is about retirement living 80% of calls won’t be answered and if you’re enquiring about fees you’ll find that 78% of residential operators had a low or moderate knowledge of fees on your first call.
Not great customer service in anyone’s book. Customer interviews were also conducted and KPMG found that there was a widespread level of frustration amongst both existing and potential clients. KPMG Aged Care Director Nicki Doyle said that people expected good customer service and they had found that customers were switching providers after poor handling of enquiries.
“Many providers are overlooking the most critical stage in their customer’s journey – the moment they initially engage with them. It’s worrying the sector still appears to be grappling with a key aspect of the move to a customer-first model,” Ms Doyle said.
Other survey findings included:
• 60 per cent of retirement living providers had out-of-date website information
• 60 per cent of home care package providers did not disclose their current prices
• 30 per cent of home care operators did not call back after messages had been left
• 60 per cent of home care providers could not adequately answer questions.
The study found that larger providers and for-profit retirement villages generally answered queries better due to using call centres, whilst smaller providers relied on frontline staff taking calls. As staff in call centres simply follow a script, surely adequate scripts with correct information could be provided to all staff handling queries.
Fortunately I know many of the Managers of aged care facilities so I am able to go to the source to obtain up to date and correct information, making my role as an Aged Care Placement Consultant much easier. This is one of the reasons I am able to help my clients and their families find a suitable placement quicker and easier than when they try on their own. Finding out correct information, particularly about fees, can be a nightmare in this sector. Good customer service is essential in any business and particularly in this sector, so I hope the KPMG report will help providers to understand how they can improve their services and, as a result, gain more clients.