In our article Understanding the Value of Ratings & Reviews, we explored why seniors and caregivers who are researching senior living communities find ratings and reviews extremely beneficial. While reviews are a critical component of a family’s research, it is important to remember that reviews also play a dynamic role after this research is complete. Reviews are especially important after the family has chosen a community and the resident has started or completed their move.
We encourage seniors and caregivers to provide feedback about their senior living journey, which is why continuing communication is important. Asking residents and their families who have had a positive experience to provide a review for your community can make all the difference for your next potential family.
Collecting Reviews to Improve Brand Trust
Reviews from families, residents and those who have toured your community all contribute to your online reputation. There are many ways to collect these reviews, including through SeniorAdvisor.com postcards, the A Place for Mom or SeniorAdvisor.com website, through a review widget on your website, or through email campaigns. You may also wish to conduct a personal campaign in which key community team members personally invite families to submit a review. You can also encourage families to go to SeniorAdvisor.com or A Place for Mom, and leave a review right on your community page. Be sure to find and claim your SernioAdvisor.com page so you have access to current reviews.
Best Practices for Maintaining Positive Impressions
Once you have collected the reviews, the next step is to manage them to see what is being said about your community. This gives you the opportunity to address any issues, which is key for customer satisfaction and reputation management.
Understanding your brand’s current reputation in the market can help you better manage how you’re being compared to other communities that may offer additional amenities or enhanced customer service. Addressing your brand’s reputation is a positive step towards improving your own offerings and increasing satisfaction for the seniors and families you serve.
Learning when and how to respond to all reviews, not simply the ones that are favorable, is also integral to the transparency of your brand. Providing honest answers to potential families reinforces trust and credibility. Engaging with dissatisfied customers in online review forums is also important and can lead to repeat business. In fact, customers who left negative feedback will re-engage with a business if they feel their concerns have been resolved.
Here are some additional tips and best practices from the SeniorAdvisor.com team for monitoring and responding to reviews:
- Maintain a balance. Don’t only focus on negative reviews. You should respond to positive reviews too.
- Express gratitude. Sincerely thank your reviewers – both positive and negative for the feedback they’ve provided.
- Look for specific details. Caregivers who offer specific details in their review are providing you with critical information that will help you contextualize their experience and better address any issues, giving you an opportunity to make specific improvements.
- Apologize and sympathize. Saying “sorry” shows that you care about your customers and that you’re not too proud to own up to your mistakes. Even if it’s not your fault, apologizing for the unintended impact is powerful. Keep your apology short and sweet. Other consumers will also see your engagement and will appreciate your willingness to listen and take action.
- Evaluate all complaints objectively. You need to take a step back and objectively evaluate what is being said. Is there something you could do better?
- Remember your audience. When responding to a review, it’s easy to fall into the trap of having a one-on-one conversation when you should be writing for all the families who will eventually read the review and your response.
- Take the issue offline. It’s best to talk directly about the problem they had and take the issue offline. For this reason, brands will provide direct contact information for their customers in their review response.
- Be personal, yet professional. It can be a good idea to respond by using the reviewer’s name (if known). You are leaving a semi-permanent statement that will continue to reflect on your company long after the original issue has been forgotten. Maintaining professionalism is key.
- Don’t post the same responses. If you get many reviews, it can be tempting to respond to them with canned responses. Posting the same thank you note over and over doesn’t feel good to the original reviewer.
- Make it right if you can. It’s important to show the reviewer as well as the wider audience that you care and that you’ll go out of your way to make it right, if you can.
There’s no better time than now to start collecting reviews; their value can be measured in so many ways but most importantly in the satisfied experiences of your current residents and families who are already talking about your brand online and offline. It’s up to you to curate the conversation and harness the power of reviews for the betterment of your community.
The first step is to claim you community on SeniorAdvisor.com. If you have not claimed your community, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re looking for help with SeniorAdvisor.com, including claiming your SeniorAdvisor.com page or responding to reviews.