What is a Consumer Persona and Why Does it Matter to Your Home Care Agency?

Do you know what a consumer or customer persona is or how to develop one for your home care agency?

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Home Care Persona

A persona is similar to understanding your target market. It’s one of the most important things you can do to sell more home care services.

What information should be included in a persona?

Here is the template of the persona I use that includes the following information:

  • What is the Inquirer’s Relationship to the Senior Needing Care (daughter, son, wife, etc)
  • Current Elder Care Issue/Problem/Challenge (mom fell and broke her hip, discharging from hospital in 2 days)
  • Current worries/stressors related to their loved one’s situation.
  • Does the Inquirer work full time/ part-time, kids at home, busy family?
  • Responsibilities of the caller.
  • Responsibilities of other family members.
  • Frustrations
  • Pressures
  • Concerns
  • Needs
  • Role the home care decision making process
  • Decision making stage – tire kicker, ready now, etc

To help your staff relate to your personas, add images and give names to your consumer profiles.  Assigning a name to the persona helps everyone on the team think of this consumer as a real person, not just a piece of business.

How many personas do I need?

In home care, most decisions are made by one or two family members, so you need to develop a persona for each member of the decision making process. For many home care agencies, this means there will be several distinct personas:

  • Primary Caregiver/Initiator of Contact/Final Decision Maker
  • Secondary Caregiver/Back Seat Driver
  • The Senior Who Needs Care (not always, but most of the time they have to be involved on some level)
  • Gatekeeper- Social Worker, Discharge Planner, Admissions Coordinator etc (Think Professional Referral Sources!)

Specific personas are needed for each of these people because you want to engage with them differently. Different personas enter the decision making/buying process at different times, and they care about different things.

I don’t have time to create all of these personas. What do I do?

While it’s ideal to have specific personas for every person involved in the home care decision making/buying process, if you have limited time or are getting started, just do a few.

Once you have those core personas, move onto the others such as the “gate keeper” or “referral sources”. Ultimately it depends on your goals, but the important step to go through is the exercise to really get to know your target market.

Who in my company should be aware of my personas?

While developing personas is primarily a home care marketing exercise, it’s important to share this with everyone. The person who answers the phone should have those personas in his or her memory at all times.

  • In the age of social media, anyone in your home care agency could engage with prospects, so you want everyone to be using the same information.
  • Personas are a great educational tool for new hires.

Again, making your personas as personal as possible with images and names will help others in your home care agency relate to these people.

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Valerie VanBooven RN BSN

Co-Owner, Author at LTC Expert Publications
Valerie VanBooven, Managing Partner/ Co-Owner of LTC Expert Publications
Valerie’s motto and favorite saying is: “Impact is not created by big budgets, impact is created by innovative marketing ideas!”
Valerie is a Registered Nurse and the author of three books, Aging Answers (2003), The Senior Solution (2007) and Priceless Caregiving (2009). Her adventure in internet marketing began as a self-promotion experiment and ended up becoming a full time marketing consulting business for the elder care market.

Valerie has appeared on national television (Today Show), has hosted her own local radio show, and has been interviewed for dozens of publications and radio shows across the country regarding her business and the business of elder care.
She fast became the foremost authority in driving sales via the internet, seminars, and e-mail for senior service providers and elder care entrepreneurs.While Valerie’s best known for her expertise in marketing, her students share that her biggest impact comes from her ability to make things happen quickly, even on a small budget.
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