Home' Community Care Review : CCR May-Jun 2015 Contents that you then take action on. These might include stakeholder
meetings, your annual conference, service evaluation activities.
Customer involvement and feedback can lead to improving
your current offering and better understanding future demands
too. How will you involve your customers in a meaningful and
3. Long-term partnerships. The relationships between you,
your customers and your suppliers should be long-term
partnerships that you nurture continuously. Partnerships entail
a high degree of commitment and mutual trust and partners
should communicate openly and reliably in order to help
customers realize their goals. How will you build and maintain
4. Joint problem solving. When you encounter difficult or
unexpected situations, it's vital to collaborate with clients
and suppliers involved to solve the problem. This sharing of
responsibility enables clients to get the outcome they want and
helps them own and make decisions about their care. How will
you collaborate with your customers?
5. Technology-based CRM. The above are human-centred
processes, but CRM is vastly assisted by computer
technologies (for example a dedicated CRM software system)
to facilitate your various CRM activities. A good CRM system
will give your clients a unique identification number and
capture all the information about them and their care so that
they don't have to keep giving the same information every time
they call. There are many available off-the-shelf. Does your
client data information system have the capacity to manage
your customer relationships?
PUTTING CLIENTS AT THE CENTRE
Using strategies like customer service and CRM isn't about
'commercialising' aged care. It's about making sure that every
client feels cared for and supported, and that they are at the centre
of every interaction we have with them. As one bank advertising
campaign stressed a few years back, people don't want to feel like
they're just numbers in a system.
In the not too distant future, we may see a complete shift
to a client-driven model. Assistant Minister for Social Services
Mitch Fifield has already suggested that funding needs "to follow
the person rather than the provider." At the Transitioning to the
Commonwealth Home Support Program conference in March this
year, he stated that packaged care was the easiest place to start.
Is your organisation ready to be customer-focused?
• Do you have the internal skill mix and abilities to drive the
change to a customer-centric operation?
• Do your people possess the mindset that enables them to
partner with your customers?
Your internal connections
• Do you have a strong level of interconnection between
departments or divisions (such as Finance and Client Services)
unencumbered by bureaucratic hurdles?
• Is your organisation cohesive and cooperative internally, so
that you have the agility to respond to the changing market?
Your external connections
• Are you willing to invest in inter-organisational partnerships
so that you can fully implement CDC services and respond to
• Are your relationships with preferred suppliers of care and
services strong and cooperative?
Your customer focus
• Do you have performance management and measurement
systems in place, systems that encourage client-centeredness
by rewarding and recognising staff for customer care?
• Do your communications points allow you to interact easily
with your customers and to obtain and effectively use the
information they give you?
CRM pitfalls to avoid
Some common reasons why CRM initiatives fail:
Disjointed thinking: initiatives are launched without an
overall customer management /customer engagement
strategy, or without being linked closely to the overall
Lack of client input: systems and techniques are not tailored
to the client's specific requirements, or customer input is not
sought on services offered.
Systems focus: key business processes, clients and staff are
forced to adapt to systems rather than the other way around.
No monitoring: CRM targets are not set, and there is no
adequate measurement and management of progress.
Big bang theory: CRM programs are viewed as a 'big
bang', a one-off purchase or event rather than a program of
Too much, too soon: change is implemented haphazardly,
or too quickly, rather than as a long-term program with
Lack of leadership: change management requires good
leadership, and without it there can be a lack of 'buy-in' from
staff and resistance to implementing a customer-centric culture.
Fifield said: "The next logical step is to give the consumer full
control of their package and let them direct how and with whom
it is spent to meet their assessed needs. Why not let the packages
we currently have -- and the 80,000 new ones coming on line over
the next ten years -- operate this way and move a step closer to the
consumer led market to which we aspire?"
How ready are you for this new, consumer-led chapter? CDC is
both a challenge and an opportunity. It's a challenge because it
means organisations need to be more transparent, more efficient,
and more 'business-like' than ever. It's an opportunity because it
gives us the chance to implement organisational change that will
ensure we are truly client-centred by the time clients are able to
shop around for their aged care the same way they would shop for
any other service. Begin now, and aim to win loyal clients by giving
them the best customer care they've ever experienced. n
Marisa Galiazzo is principal consultant of Green Sea
28 | MAY 2015
Links Archive CCR MAY 2016 Navigation Previous Page Next Page