The Experience in Australia: Where Are We Today?
To help understand where the industry is today in terms of customer experience, KPMG interviewed consumers and their families and explored the topic and made ‘mystery shopper’ style calls to retirement Living, Home Care and Residential Care providers around Australia.
Before I share an insight into some of their findings, I would like to say that my own experience confirms a number of these issues in the 3 specified sectors. It should be highlighted that a number of providers in this industry provide excellent services and keep their residents well informed.
One of many benefits of working in conjunction with an Aged Care Specialist is that we work closely with the aged care providers and often are able to provide up to date factual information on the respective facilities.
Working as a conduit between the resident and the provider, my experience and history with these providers will generally ensure there are no surprises.
There was a general frustration with the lack of relevant information and poor response to enquiries by potential customers. In many cases, where a potential customer was able to speak to a member of staff, they were not able to answer questions.
- 80% of operators did not answer calls
- When customers left messages only 50% of calls were returned
- 60% of providers had out-of-date content on their website.
A lack of transparency about prices and having to give the same information to each provider was a cause of frustration for interviewees. Interviews also revealed that customers value familiar staff, consistent and reliable care and being treated with respect.
Customer service across the segment was highly variable, regardless of the size and location of the provider. For 60 percent of providers in metropolitan locations, the first point of contact was not able to answer questions, forcing case managers, who were often on the road, to call back.
- None of these providers’ websites published information about whether or not they had vacancies.
- 100% of providers requested consumers to go through My Aged Care prior to answering questions
- 30% of operators did not return calls
- 60% of operators could not adequately answer questions
- 60% of Home Care Package providers did not disclose their current prices.
Confusing fee arrangements and a lack of relevant information in response to questions were the main sources of frustration for customers and potential customers.
Providers were often unable to tell customers about the waitlist for specific residential care facilities, including if there was a waitlist and/or the number of people on the waitlist.
As with the other sectors, customer service across all calls was also highly variable in quality and, across the board, providers were reluctant to speak with customers without an assessment through My Aged Care.
- 7% of operators could not confidently answer questions due to a lack of information or a reluctance to talk without an assessment through My Aged Care
- 78% of operators had low or moderate level of knowledge about fees
- 80% of answered calls resulted in an operator sending out information packs and/or suggesting a site visit to answer customer questions.
For an industry so vital to our society and undergoing so much change and increasing competition, the findings reveal a sector still grappling with a shift toward a customer first model. Without positive customer experience at the heart of strategies and operating models, providers will simply not be able to attract and retain customers and control costs. Those that cannot react fast enough will be unable to maintain market share and stay competitive in the medium to long term.
This content was originally published on KPMG’s website with access to the complete report available vial this link.