LASA Fusion Winter 2021

Page 34


WHY DO ALL AGE SERVICES LOOK ALIKE? “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.” —Henry Ford, Founder, Ford Motor Company


ne of the aims of the Aged Care (Living Longer Living Better) Act, passed in 2013, was to bring about more consumer choice and greater control. This in turn led to the Australian Government introducing marketoriented sector reforms that promote consumer choice and competition.

This is an interesting phenomenon. At a time when organisations have access to more customer data (and insights) than ever before, organisations want to know their customers even more—but if the Melbourne Institute’s findings are correct, elders and their families have less knowledge about providers.

Over the last four years, we’ve seen an upsurge in the consumer or customer as the focal point. This isn’t a phenomenon unique to age services, and providers are using digital tools with the potential to generate granular customer insights.

To quote Steve Jobs:

This new found obsession with the customer has been thoroughly embraced with concepts and methodologies like human-centred design, customer experience, customer journey mapping, and the like. We are told that we need to get closer to the customer, understand them better, and be in-tune to their wants. Yet, a recent study by the Melbourne Institute, noted that such reforms have led to less quality choices, and that elders and their families find it hard to choose a provider. Taking the Institute’s findings as a whole, ideas such as ‘market failure’ have been suggested. innovAGEING was one of the first in the sector to call for a focus on consumers. During this time, we’ve been on the public record suggesting that aged care providers should perhaps consider the elders we care for as the experts of the services they receive. Yet, in light of this focus on the customer, could it be that sector providers are now finding themselves too reliant on other people’s opinions, at the expense of not having a clear vision and point of differentiation? In a complex sector like ours, where decisions are comprised of sub-optimal options, where it’s hard to be confident about our present operating landscape—perhaps listening to consumers is a ‘safe bet’. However, is this mindset inadvertently leading us down a path of sector homogenisation?


“This is a very complicated world, it’s a very noisy world. And we’re not going to get the chance to get people to remember much about us. No company is. So we have to be really clear about what we want them to know about us?” Add to this, a Forrester report on the cost of losing creativity, noted that the focus on the customer through initiatives like customer experience (CX) has led to brand homogenisation. This makes sense, for example, think of when you use a mobile app, book a flight online, or buy something online, your experience is pretty much the same. The decision-making playbook goes as such: • A prospective consumer passively considers what they might need in the future. • Circumstances trigger a need/want, which spotlights services in a particular sector category. • The consumer (and their family) actively consider their options. • A decision is made, and reconsideration of that decision occurs. In this regard, as an organisation, you fail to define and stakeout a unique positing in your consumer’s mind when a trigger motivates them to seek age services. What’s important to note here is, if providers understand their customers, they will invariably end up competing in the same market category, and essentially in the same way. Progressive innovators when faced with such a landscape would create a new category for themselves.

Articles inside

Redefining aged care and

pages 86-87

Fresh Ideas

pages 88-90

From little things big things grow

pages 84-85

Revolutionary virtual reality

page 83

Find your passion for a happy life

page 82

Unique industry awards for

pages 77-78

How uniforms help unit remote teams and promote your brand

page 76

Technology successfully supporting home care

page 75

Is your ICT up to scratch?

pages 70-71

A ‘tonic’ for the times Collaborative, social (group) practice

pages 72-74

Victorian council adopts client facing technology to improve

pages 68-69

Further restrictions of antipsychotics in residential aged care

pages 60-61

Thinking green

pages 62-64

Country wise supports aged care in regional Australia

pages 56-59

Support for building workforce capacity

pages 54-55

A gateway to providing quality palliative care

pages 52-53

Older Australians deserve good oral care

pages 49-51

Young aged care leaders and the federal budget

pages 36-38

Embracing innovation and technology

pages 44-46

Why do all age services look alike?

pages 34-35

The new age of director skill requirements

page 43

Our mob, our health, our way

pages 39-40

The measure of our industry

pages 30-31

CEO’s Column

pages 7-9

Key insights for future policy directions

pages 22-24

Royal Commission wrapped-up

pages 17-21

Minister’s Column

pages 10-11

Thanks for caring

pages 27-29

Guest Column: Grattan Institute

pages 15-16

Vaccination is essential to our COVID-19 recovery

pages 25-26
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