Tips for Communicating Change with your Clients, Staff, and Caregivers

The only constant is change.  However, the only consistent thing about change is that it can be hard!  Getting a new technology (or any type of new process) for you business means a lot of change for everyone- your staff, your caregivers, and your clients.  The best way to address the change is head-on.   You’ll want to explain the unique value it provides to each stakeholder (i.e. what’s in it for me?!), choose the best channel for communication, and make sure they know what to do next.

We’ve outlined a few ideas for communicating the change of transitioning to the Sitter Pro platform below, but the same process holds true for any change your business is going through.

Communicating with Staff

You and your office staff will be most impacted by the change in software platforms.  They will have a lot questions and may be hesitant to change because they are comfortable with “how we’ve done it in the past.”  When communicating with them, you’ll want to touch on these key elements:

What’s in it for Me?

The new software will:

  • simplify their everyday activities so they can focus on recruitment, client engagement, and marketing,
  • eliminate the need to manually text, email, or call caregivers to find someone to fill a job,
  • reduce phone calls and emails from clients because they will be able to book on their own.

What’s next?

Depending on your team structure, your staff may be highly involved in the set-up (defining the services, reviewing bios, etc.) or more hands-off until it is ready to launch.  In either situation, they will need to be trained on how to create and manage bookings and user profiles.

Best Channel(s) for Communication

Live communication will be best as this team will be working with the system daily.  They will likely have a lot of questions and it is a great opportunity to discuss them with the entire staff team to ensure everyone has the same understanding.

When to Communicate

Soon and often will be key for these stakeholders.  You’ll want to give them as much notice as possible about the change so they can start to learn about the system as they may be helping you in the set-up process.

Communicating with Caregivers

Your caregivers will also be highly impacted by the change.  This will either be a new system if it’s replacing a different scheduling platform or it will be a completely new experience if everything is currently done manually.  They’ll be most interested in the “how” and “what” questions:  How do I use it?  What does this mean to our current processes?

What’s in it for Me?

Your caregivers will now have a simplified way of:

  • receiving and reviewing job requests,
  • accepting jobs that work for their schedule,
  • maintaining important client information, and
  • getting paid.

They can also use the app wherever they are and have the added benefit of a single system, instead of relying on multiple notification channels, calendars, and time cards.

What’s next?

For the new system, your caregivers will need to be further trained to learn how to use the app.  It’s an intuitive system, but they’ll still want to take the training as they will also be the frontline and clients may ask them questions about it.  Once they complete the self-paced training created by Sitter they can download the app, create their profile, and set their preferences.  They’ll also need to be notified once the system is ‘live’ so they know when to start fully using it. If you have other systems in place, you’ll also want to communicate how those will be sunset and if there is any overlap in timelines for the different systems.

Best Channel(s) for Communication

Depending on the size of your business, the best communication channel may vary.  If you’re a smaller organization and are able to have an in person or virtual meeting with all of your caregivers, that would be the best approach.  Similar to your staff, caregivers will have a lot of questions and it’s helpful to answer them all at once.  However, if that isn’t feasible an email introducing the change and next steps would be best.

When to Communicate

Caregivers will need to know about the change early in the process, however they don’t need all of the details until they can actually access the system.  You may want to send an initial email introducing the change and then a follow-up email with specific next steps on getting set up and taking the training once you have access to the system.

Communicating with Clients

Your clients may not have as much day-to-day impact from the change, but you are providing a new booking channel for them so it’s important they know about it.  They’ll want to know when they can start using, how to use it, and if they still have other options available to them.

What’s in it for Me?

Your clients now have an easy tool to:

  • book their caregivers whenever is convenient for them- even outside of office hours,
  • simplify payments by automatically calculating how much they owe and paying for everything on in a single credit card payment (depending on your business configurations),
  • store important household information (emergency contacts, bedtime routines, etc.) in their profile so they don’t need to write it down every time they get a new caregiver.

What’s next?

In order for clients to start using the app, they’ll need to download it and create a password- it’s as easy as that!  They can start using the app to book immediately and will want to fill in their profile so their household’s information is available to the caregivers.  Additionally, you’ll want to make sure they know that they can still call/email the office if they don’t want to use the app.

Best Channel(s) for Communication

For clients, email is likely your best bet to share new information with them.  Additionally, you can use other touch points to continue to share the information.  For example, if a family is calling to make a booking, you can set it up for them and also let them know in the future that they can do it through the app.  Or if you have a monthly newsletter, you can add a reminder note to help promote usage of the app.

When to Communicate

You’ll want to notify clients of the change once the app is available to them and they are loaded into your system.  If you communicate before they are properly set up, they may try to download the app and have a negative experience because they aren’t linked to your business and it may turn them off of using it in the future.

As a part of the Basic and Advanced Start-Up packages, the Sitter team will create email templates for your caregivers and staff, deliver live training to your staff, and host a 1:1 consultation to help set up your services.  If you haven’t signed up for a start-up package and are interested in learning more, please contact the Sitter team at [email protected]