Avoiding Bad Reviews Starts with You
Thanks to the proliferation of online user review sites, consumers can quickly and easily share their experiences with others. When those experiences are positive, consumer reviews can help convert prospects into customers. When they’re negative, they have the opposite effect. Senior living communities can minimize the impact of negative online reviews by monitoring for complaints and responding with appropriate resolutions.
But, what if there was a way to reduce or even prevent bad online reviews from appearing in the first place? One available option is to invest in an expensive reputation management solution from a company that specializes in helping brands improve and protect their images. However, while sometimes effective, this approach may not do anything at all to address the root cause of your bad reviews.
In this post, we’ll offer our suggestions for how senior living communities can avoid negative online reviews through old-fashioned customer service.
4 Tips for Preventing Negative Online Reviews
While it is impossible to completely prevent someone from posting a negative review about your senior living community, you can reduce the quantity of these reviews by giving residents and family members an offline outlet for voicing concerns and getting the solutions they seek. A few options include:
1. Don’t be shy about asking for complaints: Residents and their families want to be reassured that they’ve made the right choice. Show your customers that you care about their opinions by regularly soliciting feedback. Comment boxes, surveys and simple face-to-face communication all can help you identify problem areas and make improvements – before customers resort to using the Internet as an outlet to vent their complaints and criticism.
Remember, an online review is visible to everyone and has the potential to negatively impact the decision-making process of many of your prospects. An email survey or a direct conversation with customers, on the other hand, is relatively private. This gives you the opportunity to resolve complaints discretely and on your own terms.
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2. Keep track of your feedback: Once you’ve identified easily fixable problems, you’ll want to compile and organize the complaints in a shareable document for your team. Not only will this help ensure swift resolutions, but it will also prevent future residents and their families from having similar negative experiences, as you can hold internal meetings with your staff to discuss possible solutions.
3. Focus on customer service: Customers who perceive they’ve been treated poorly or unfairly by your staff are a major source of online complaints. Make sure every member of your team has the skills to resolve conflicts before they escalate. Encourage your community’s caregivers and staff to regularly talk to residents, and to be courteous and respectful with every interaction.
4. Make customer satisfaction a competition: If your senior living community consists of multiple locations, a little friendly competition to see who can improve resident satisfaction the most could be a fun way to improve your online reputation. Consider awarding “trophies” or other incentives for the most improved location, fewest number of complaints or the most innovative resolutions.
Bonus tip – Fight negativity with positivity: Unfortunately, dissatisfied customers tend to be the most vocal online. To help counteract this, encourage satisfied customers to share their positive experiences by including instructions for leaving reviews in your email communications to residents and families. You may also want to consider adding a section to your website that highlights your positive reviews and success stories.
Master the Essentials of Senior Living Marketing
For more than 30 years, our solutions have powered the long-term care continuum. So, we understand how challenging it can be to effectively market your senior living community. Now, with MatrixCare Marketing Essentials, you can get everything you need to increase residency and manage prospects in one convenient, affordable CRM package. Ready to learn more? Contact us today.