We live in an information age. People want information – reliable information to guide their decision-making process.
Obtaining information empowers consumers. Without the best information, prospective residents may not feel as comfortable turning to your residential assisted living home for their loved ones.
Why are resident and family reviews vital to the success of your residential assisted living home? People want to see and read what others have taken the time to write about your business. That’s right.
People are actively commenting on your RAL home. Did you know that? This is why word of mouth is essential to your business.
Internet reviews are the new “word of mouth” recommendation morphed into megabytes.
However, these marketing sources, that is your own residents and their families, don’t come cheap. They must be engaged. They must be encouraged. They must be asked to establish and expand your online reviews.
Marketing experts do this by asking residents and their families to:
- Share their positive experiences with your RAL home online.
- Share their move-in experience online as well.
Make sure your staff and management team know how to encourage and solicit reviews from residents and when to do so.
THE PATH TO FIVE STARS
This path begins with a company culture of feedback. Let’s be clear, this is not intended for flattery. When an organization has a culture of feedback the quality of care and the efficiency of the RAL home improves drastically.
People take feedback seriously and it is a great motivator for improvement. However, not all feedback is critical. At times it is complimentary.
When your residents are happy, do the following:
- Get your resident and their families’ email addresses.
- Provide review information via email.
- Make it easy for them to share a review, so include applicable links.
- Your residents and their families become your ambassadors. Ask them to “like” the reviews of their house mates.
- Take all the positive reviews and post them on your RAL home’s social media platforms.
YIKES! WHAT TO DO ABOUT A NEGATIVE REVIEW
In the event you get a negative review, do the following:
- Remain calm and polite. Be open to criticism and evaluate its reliability. It could be an area you need to improve in your RAL home.
- Your response is not just to the reviewer, but to all the prospects who will read it. Remaining positive even in negative situations shows maturity and professionalism to your prospective residents and their families.
- Serve your critic with grace and dignity.
- Avoid divulging any private information.
- Make sure your response is genuine and not a canned one from a template.
- Get more positive reviews to push down the negative reviews and balance out the feedback.
STRATEGIES THAT PROMOTE POSITIVE CUSTOMER REVIEWS FOR YOUR RAL HOME
As stated earlier, customers and prospects are reading, even combing through multiple reviews of your RAL home. It is the way they get recommendations or endorsements. You need to make sure you are leveraging the power of the written review. Remember, your most active, vibrant and effective marketing personnel are your current customers.
Why? Research in customer trust has shown that people retain a great deal of skepticism pertaining to businesses today as opposed to a decade ago. The very same skepticism pervading the political sphere is just as present in commerce.
How are prospects of your RAL home addressing their skepticism? Reviews.
Online reviews are driving more business today than reviews in newspapers ever did in the1980s. Positive reviews drive more purchases to the tune of 73%. People trust the experiences of a collective group of people.
People trust one another. They do not trust you, that is, until they get to know you. How will they ever get to know you or the wonderful staff at your RAL home? Resident and family online reviews. You need to accumulate reviews.
Your RAL home needs online customer reviews to ensure a successful future. What do you need to do to acquire them?
Use the following strategy to drive customer reviews: Ask, Show, Thank. This simple strategy is easily implemented with every member of your RAL staff becoming a significant part of the culture.
HOW TO ASK FOR A REVIEW
Asking a resident for a review must be done at the appropriate time. You want to approach your residents for a review after positive events:
- Fun activities
- A wonderful outing
- After visiting entertainers has finished their performances
- Family Day
Your residents will be overjoyed during these times and will not mind sharing their experience with the big wide world. They may even consider it their duty because they know your staff has gone beyond the norm to make their life better.
You may also approach their family members during these times as well, but there are specific times when family members should be approached for an online review.
- After a successful move-in.
- After an emotional episode is resolved.
- After successful telephone communication pertaining to meaningful topics.
During these instances, family members would enjoy sharing their experience. It is empowering for them to disclose how well your RAL staff is caring for their loved one.
It is the reviews of family members that bear heavily in the marketplace.
While the resident’s experience is significant, it is the reviews of adult children who have to make the decision to find a place for their aging parent that really speaks to other adults who find themselves in the same boat.
SHOW THEM HOW TO PROVIDE A REVIEW
Asking is simple. Getting the review done can be another task altogether. Once the resident of a family member agrees to provide a review, eliminate any barriers that might dissuade them or delay them from acting. Provide them with a simple flier with a QR code or a link to the platform where you want the review posted.
Let’s be specific.
You need to ensure your reviews are visible on your own website and then placed on Facebook. That is a given. However, you also need to make sure you have reviews available on:
- Better Business Bureau
- Agency on Aging
- The local Chamber of Commerce
Now, when you are gathering reviews examine these sites. Does your residential assisted living home have a presence? If so, what is it? Good? Bad? If non-existent, you need to establish a presence.
Therefore, provide your resident or family member with a small flier as mentioned earlier. You may also want to send a text message with a hyperlink enclosed. That way, they can give the review almost immediately.
Whichever method you use, make sure the link is to the platform you are focusing on at that time.
RALNA SUPPORTING SUCCESS BUSINESSES
Guess what? When you make reviews a part of your RAL home culture, the accumulation of them will astound you.
One review leads to another. The number of prospects contacting your home and visiting your home will grow exponentially.
The sharing of reviews is infectious. People like sharing their experiences, giving their reviews and people love reading them.
Remember, your prospects view you with a significant degree of skepticism. Alleviate this uncertainty. Create a culture where reviews are second nature. Empower your staff, residents and families to share their experience.
By doing so, you as the RAL owner will have infinite opportunities to serve your community well by enriching the lives of those who need it most.
RALNA provides professional tips, guidance for legal expertise, continued education, national marketing, group purchasing power and support to members.
We empower owners and operators to administer quality senior care.
Every RAL business must be centered around keeping seniors safe and healthy – this is an evolving task that requires innovative online support – starting with a quality website.
Find the support you need by clicking here.