Imagine having to deal with scheduling matters, client inquiries and caregiver requests on top of trying to run your business. Now, imagine a proven system where this is handled for you.
We interviewed our Care Services Team Lead & Trainer, Ivy Ilano, to get some insight into the Care Services Center and how it supports Franchise Partners.
What is the Care Services Center and what do you assist Franchise Partners with?
The Care Services Center is a centralized scheduling center that alleviates Franchise Partners of scheduling duties and other daily tasks so that they can focus on growing the business without day-to-day stress. In fact, the majority of Franchise Partners even choose to hire their own Care Designer who oversees care and works collaboratively with the Care Services Center in regards to scheduling matters. We handle a variety of functions and requests that involve potential clients, existing clients and client contacts.
Here are some of the main functions of the Care Services Center:
Intakes – A Franchise Partner’s marketing and sales efforts ultimately lead to their goal of driving continuous intakes. Intakes are calls and e-mails that are received from potential clients or contacts looking for service. We understand that Senior Care Franchise Owners are busy people and that sometimes they are with clients, driving on the road or picking up their children from school. That’s why we give them the option to have the Care Services Center handle their intakes. Our specialized Intakes Team are experts at describing our services, explaining our Happier Aging® promise and their conversion rates are exceptional.
Answering Calls – As of November 2015, more than 800 calls come in to the Care Services Center daily! Not only do we answer all these calls but we try to answer them within 30 seconds. It would be impossible for Franchise Partners to answer calls while they are focusing on sales or meeting with potential referral sources. Our service is able to guarantee clients that there will be a live person to answer their call 24/7.
Filling Visits – A huge portion of a Care Services Specialist’s day is working on calling caregivers and nurses for visits 14 days in advance. Getting ahead on the schedule, or planner as we call it, creates logistical efficiency so we can deal with urgent visits and uphold the reputation of a Franchise Partner’s business.
CallMe! Investigations – This tool was developed to ensure that a caregiver has arrived at their visit. In order to safeguard the integrity of a Franchise Partner’s business, we call any caregiver who does not sign in to their visit, email a detailed explanation of what action is required to a franchise partner and follow-up with an immediate callout if necessary. A callout consists of our Care Services Specialists phoning and texting a franchise’s staff list to find a caregiver who is able to visit with the client. CallMe! Is not only beneficial for scheduling matters but it guarantees the safety of clients and caregivers.
How directly do you work with Franchise Partners?
Care Services Specialists work closely with Franchise Partners and build relationships with them despite being remote. A Franchise Partner’s Care Services Center single point of contact (SPOC) acts as a member of their team even though they work out of the HeartQuarters office. The SPOC gets to know the specifics of a franchise and work closely with its Care Designers, caregivers and clients to the point where we could tell you a client’s schedule and what caregiver is with them without even looking.
As a result of this connection, Franchise Partners have the choice to be as involved in the scheduling process as they like. I find that some Franchise Partners like to advise or give recommendations here and there but because of the close relationship with their SPOC’s, they generally trust them to make those decisions on their behalf.
I have become close with the Franchise Partners I scheduled for over my years in the Care Services Center. Knowing that I am part of their team makes me feel very proud of their achievements and I have built close relationships with their clients and caregivers despite only conversing with them over the phone and email.
What is the planner and how do Franchise Partners know who is handling it?
A planner is like a franchise’s to-do list with unfilled visits and tasks such as updating a client which caregiver is coming. Generally, Franchise Partners receive consistent SPOC’s so that they know who is handling the needs of their clients and caregivers. The SPOC system ensures that a franchise is designated a day and evening scheduler who will focus on calling out to caregivers for their open visits and reducing the number of tasks for the next few days.
From my experience and observations, SPOC’s develop great rapport with their locations and this is largely due to the communication process. Every morning, one of the Care Services Team Leaders will email Franchise Partners their SPOC coverage for the day so they are aware of who is handling their planner and who they can directly communicate with for any questions or suggestions. The transition between the day and evening SPOC is smooth as the day SPOC will update an evening SPOC on what he or she was working on and what needs to be done.
What is daily communication like with Franchise Partners?
The Care Services Center will always keep you in the loop. The day SPOC will send an email at the beginning and end of his or her shift with updates regarding the planner. After every action that is performed such as a filled visit or added request for service, you’ll receive an email detailing what was done and what action is going to be done.
A SPOC will inform Franchise Partners if there is any trouble filling a visit so they will know if more hiring or training needs to be done with caregivers. This way, they can be involved in higher-level operations without having to deal with the daily administrative or scheduling requests from their clients and caregivers.
What happens if there is an urgent request for service or a caregiver cancels a visit at the last minute?
These situations occur no matter how far in advance we call out for visits or get ahead on the planner. One of the main features of the Care Services Center is that we have around-the-clock coverage guaranteeing that there will always be someone looking after a franchise.
If we receive an urgent request for service or last minute caregiver cancellation, we’ll immediately begin calling out to all caregivers. Franchise Partners won’t have to worry about waking up at 2 A.M. or canceling dinner plans to deal with an urgent situation. The 24/7 Care Services Center gives Franchise Partners the freedom to have a work-life balance and avoid a business owner’s biggest fear: burnout.
In some cases, I have seen situations where Franchise Partners want to be heavily involved in the scheduling process. For situations like that, a Franchise Partner can specify that the Care Services Center wait for input from them before taking action. To ensure that certain caregivers are being called for a specific client, a populated list of recommended caregivers that is based on care needs and personal wants can be created. The Care Services Center is also equipped with resourceful tools such as a matching engine that ranks the order caregivers should be called for a specific client, who shouldn’t be called and if that caregiver has seen the client before.
The Care Services Center has benefited us greatly as it’s a 24/7 service. We can’t possibly work 24/7 because we need sleep. The Care Services Center doesn’t sleep. They’re answering phones, putting out fires and re-scheduling when things need to be done. I cannot say enough about the Care Services Center. I absolutely adore every single person that I’ve ever come in contact with. They are so caring, diligent and experts at everything that they do. Recently, I just had them take over our intakes and as soon as they started doing them, things moved quickly and we’ve gotten more business and consults. – Nancy Huguet (Nurse Next Door Green Bay Owner)
There are over 100 Nurse Next Door locations across North America. How are Franchise Partners guaranteed attentive and specialized service?
As a franchise, you’ll be assigned a team consisting of dedicated SPOC’s who will ensure that your planner is being looked after at all times. Whether it’s an early morning request, mid-day caregiver
cancellation or late-night emergency, the Care Services Center is optimally staffed to guarantee each franchise is covered. This gives Franchise Partners the peace of mind to continue growing their business with the support they require.
The training process is standardized meaning that all Care Services Specialists are trained to deal with procedures the same way to ensure everything is done efficiently. If a regular SPOC is sick or away, a replacement SPOC will be able to take over as the scheduling process will be the same. Since the Care Services Center is centralized, Franchise Partners do not have to worry about spending a few weeks training someone. In my role as Team Trainer, new hires spend three weeks working with myself and the other Team Trainers. During these weeks, they’ll learn the importance of being detail-oriented and methodical so that they are on the same page as Franchise Partners when it comes to communication and procedures.
What is in-house scheduling and which Franchise Partners receive it?
Nurse Next Door understands that as the needs of a Franchise Partner’s business grow, the Care Services Center needs to grow with them. In-house scheduling is an option that Franchise Partners receive when they hit a certain milestone in their business. It’s an opportunity for senior care franchises to house a Care Services Specialist in their local office who will perform the same duties as a remote scheduler but he or she will be accessible in person.
Just like training for all Care Services Specialists, an in-house Care Services Specialist will come to HeartQuarters to receive comprehensive training before they begin in a senior care franchise’s local office. During these weeks, myself and the other Team Trainers will teach them the standard operating procedures, the Nurse Next Door brand, customer service expectations and specifics of the role to ensure they are set-up for success.
If you’re interested in becoming a Nurse Next Door franchisee, please fill out our form or call 1.888.996.1878