According to social media expert and thought leader Brian Solis, “Welcome to a new era of marketing and service in which your brand is defined by those who experience it.”
For mid-sized operators of senior care communities, this is especially true when it comes to online reviews.
Don’t think that because you’re serving an audience that didn’t grow up in the digital age, you don’t need a strategic plan regarding your online ratings.
If you want the adult daughter or son searching the web to read about the stellar care your Senior Living community provides, you need to encourage the ones who experience your services—residents and their families—to spread the word for you.
In other words, you need to garner positive online reviews.
If you want to encourage positive talk about your brand on the web, here are 7 steps you can take:
#1 Choose review sites.
Set up profiles on review sites that make sense to you. Here are some review sites you could choose from:
- Google’s review options
After you set up your profile and claim your business, implement a system to monitor these reviews regularly.
You must plan to take advantage of the data the reviews provide.
#2 Invite people to leave reviews.
If someone has sought out your Senior Living community to leave a review, he or she may more than likely be disgruntled.
Your happier residents and their families may never even think to leave a review.
That’s why you need to remind them.
When you are interacting with tech-savvy residents and their children, ask them to help you by reviewing your community.
If you send follow-up emails, be sure to ask there, too.
#3 Make it as easy as possible to leave a review.
And if you are going to ask for a review, let me remind you that it is your responsibility to make this process as easy as possible for your stakeholders.
Don’t simply write in your email “Please leave us a review!”
You might as well as not ask for one at all.
The key is to get specific.
Give them the url in the email. Let them know how long leaving a review will take.
The last thing you want is for your client to have to Google your business and become frustrated at having the process take longer than expected.
#4 Indicate the information you need.
Your reviews lose their value if they don’t answer potential prospects’ questions, concerns, and desires.
When you ask, tell residents exactly what you want them to comment on.
If you don’t, they may write about the friendliness of the staff, the quality of the food, the coziness of their apartments.
And all the while, your ideal customer is looking for answer to their sales objections:
Will mom and dad be happy? Will the care be worth the expense?
Define the topics you want your reviewers to comment on, and have your sales team give their input on what concerns prospects the most.
#5 Share good reviews with residents and their families.
Positivity can spark positivity.
Share positive reviews with your residents and the ones who have helped them make their decisions.
In turn, they may be inspired to leave a review themselves.
If you’re looking for some way to share the news, here are some ideas for you:
- Put the reviews on a bulletin board.
- Share them through email.
- Post them on your website.
- Include them in your monthly newsletter.
#6 Incorporate reviews into the marketing and sales process.
When it comes to reviews, you need to make sure it is part of your brand’s consistent voice.
Your sales team needs to recognize that the relationship doesn’t end when they make a sale. Be sure they follow through by asking clients for reviews.
Your marketing team should understand that the best way to promote brand awareness is through word of mouth. Have them incorporate asking for reviews into their messaging.
#7 If you receive a negative review, respond quickly.
By quickly, I mean within a few days.
According to some research, 50% of customers will give only one week for a company to respond before they cut their ties with the business.
But don’t just write them an email.
Call them, and if possible, sit down with them in person to hear their complaints.
If the review was caused by miscommunication, ask the person to go back and leave another review about how the misunderstanding was resolved.
If the review was the result of your mistake, respond publicly with an apology.
A negative review can actually be a golden opportunity.
After you’ve corrected the mistakes that caused the unfavorable review, you can use your actions as a case study to demonstrate your sensitivity to your stakeholders.
You don’t have to wait for a negative review to pinpoint your mistakes.
Mystery shop your Senior Living community! Just send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or text 813-390-3349 with your name and number, and I’ll help you start the process.