Since then, more senior care review sites have been launched and families have posted tens of thousands of new reviews. If you are a senior care provider who hasn't yet tapped into this growing trend, you're missing an opportunity to connect with families and to manage your online reputation.
“The consumer voice is very loud especially when it comes to online reputation. When adult children are looking for a senior living facility, they will take into consideration your existing reviews.”
Bel Aire Senior Living website allows customers as well as visitors leave reviews here.
Visitor behavior on Caring.com, which has nearly two million visitors per month, supports that assertion:
- Online reviews are changing the search process. Family caregivers used to click on search results in Caring.com's Senior Care Directory from the top of the page to the bottom. Now they click on the senior care listings that have reviews, skipping those without. Note that reviews are also helping with ranking and click-through on search engines like Google.
- Assisted living and memory care listings with reviews – both negative and positive ones – are five times more likely to earn a prospective family inquiry than those without reviews.
Provider engagement with consumer reviews
The Gilbert Guide, the first senior care directory listing site, first added reviews in 2006. Founder Jill Gilbert believes reviews contribute to the larger picture in making the senior care decision. But she cautions “Visiting a community on a few occasions, getting feedback from other residents and doing some good research will never be completely replaced by consumer reviews.”
Whether reviews are the primary factor in the family's decision process or just one component, providers ignoring them do so at their brand's peril. With more sites and more reviews being completed by families, your brand is likely being talked about online. Providers who have embraced reviews believe they help engage families, drive decisions, and present an opportunity for service enhancements.
How can senior care providers best take advantage of this opportunity?
Even if you recognize the importance of online reviews, you may not know how to get started or where to direct your resources. These tips should help:
- Monitor and respond to reviews, particularly on sites where Google is crawling the reviews and exposing them to prospective families.
- Focus on sites with the most traffic, highest volume of reviews, and resources to pull in families. Ask your residents and their family members to share their feedback in reviews on these sites.
- Circulate and utilize reviews feedback within your organization. Leverage these consumer insights to reinforce your commitment to high quality senior care.