If you’re a marketing executive at a senior living community, you know how challenging your job can be. When you aren’t busy managing a complex lead flow process – often spanning multiple locations, countless sales representatives and executive directors – you’re probably feeling pressure from the C-suite to maintain a consistently high census.
As if this wasn’t already enough, the internet now gives consumers unprecedented power to help or hinder any senior living community’s success. In this post, we’ll explore the impact of consumer reviews (both good and bad) on your best laid plans for success. We’ll also offer actionable tips for turning negative reviews into positive brand experiences that might actually help you convert more leads into residents.
The Numbers Are in: Online Reviews Matter
According to Moz, a leading authority in the digital marketing industry, 67% of consumers are influenced by online reviews. This includes consumers who may be viable prospects for your senior living community. If just one negative review is displayed on the results page of a search for your brand, you risk losing up to 22% of these potential prospects. Three unflattering reviews? You could be saying goodbye to nearly 60% of your leads.
Tune into the Conversation Around Your Brand
If you aren’t paying attention to what people are saying about your senior living community, you could be missing out on valuable public-facing marketing opportunities. But, with so many digital outlets available for consumers to share online reviews, it’s impossible to see the entire conversation. As a first step, focus on monitoring prominent, highly visible review sites like Google, Yelp and others.
Alternatively, you could consider investing in social monitoring tools for your senior living community. These tools make it easier to track and respond to mentions of your brand across many different channels including social media, blogs and consumer review sites.
Other Tips for Monitoring Online Reviews
Assign a designated team: Your staff members have many responsibilities, and they may not have the bandwidth necessary to consistently monitor online reviews. But if you can distribute the social listening workload across a team of individuals, you may be able to prevent it from dominating any one employee’s time.
Set a review monitoring schedule: A social listening schedule can help you and your employees keep track of who is assigned to monitor for online reviews, as well as when they are assigned to monitor and how often.
Establish a process for responding or escalating: If an online review needs a quick response or attention from another department, a review response protocol can help your marketing team quickly take the appropriate action.
Responding to Negative Reviews of Your Senior Living Community
Once you’ve tuned into what customers are saying, you can decide whether or not a public response is necessary or if you should attempt to take the conversation offline. Just remember this: Even negative online reviews provide an opportunity to strengthen your brand by showing other prospects that you are dedicated to customer satisfaction at all costs. For most minor mistakes, follow this 4-step process for responding to dissatisfied customers:
- Respond in a timely manner: As a general rule of thumb, negative reviews and complaints should be responded to ASAP.
- Explain but don’t excuse: Residents and families need to be reassured that you understand why the mistake happened and how to prevent it from happening again.
- Offer a resolution: While you can’t remove the review from the Internet, you can at least show everyone watching that you are dedicated to improving your senior living community, as well as your residents’ and their families’ experiences.
- Put your name on the line: Consumers want to know they’re interacting with a real person. Your response should come from the person who is ultimately responsible for resolving the complaint.
Are Online Reviews Part of Your Marketing Plan?
While you can’t directly control what your customers are saying about your senior living community on the Internet, you still have a voice in the conversation. Make sure it comes through loud and clear by following the above tips to incorporate online reviews into your marketing plan.
Senior Living Marketing – Streamlined
At MatrixCare, we are dedicated to helping senior living communities simplify and enhance their marketing efforts. From our affordable new MatrixCare Marketing Essentials starter solution to articles like this one, we’ll continue to offer innovative products and thought leadership to help your community thrive. Stay tuned for more.