According to Google, 70% of Americans online say they use reviews before converting to customers. A Harvard Business School Study found something they call The Yelp Effect. According to their study published in 2011, “A one-star increase in Yelp rating leads to a 5-9 percent increase in revenue.”
The senior living industry lags behind most other industries in creating and managing a strong online and social media presence. Online review sites will force an increase in awareness and action in ensuring that their communities are positively represented.
Here are some quick tips to pro-actively manage your online reputation:
- Review & Enhance – check out all of your online profiles for accuracy and utilize all available opportunities to provide content. Photos continue to be the most viewed components and virtual tours are also very effective.
- You can’t manage what you can’t see–get online and read reviews of your community. Check out Senior Advisor at https://www.SeniorAdvisor.com and Caring.com at https://www.caring.com, also Google Maps as well as Google, Yahoo! and Bing Places pages. (Whether you know it or not, your senior living community has a listing on all these sites.)
- Engage & Respond–regardless of the positive or negative content of the review. The more comments and responses that are posted about a community the greater the increase in revenue. Keep your tone positive and conversational, never defensive. A bad review is not the end of the day, as long as there are some positive reviews that put it in perspective and provide balance.
- Respond quickly–If there is a pattern of negative comments, respond quickly to address the issue. One negative review can be neutralized by counter balancing positive reviews, but there will be major damage control needed for unresolved complaints
- Be pro-active–encourage reviews throughout the resident’s stay. After a prospect chooses your community, send a link to review sites and ask them to comment about why they chose your community. After a successful resident and family event, a great state survey or nomination to a local “Best Of” award, reach out an provide links to online review opportunities. Post the best reviews on your website, acknowledge the review site and provide a link back to improve SEO.
The bottom line is that your families and prospects are already talking about you so now is the time to listen, respond, and join the conversation.
The case for online reviews goes stronger by the day. Customers are increasingly searching online and referring to reviews before making a purchasing decision.
Members can download the ‘Why Online Reviews Matter’ tipsheet, or non-members may download the resource by filling out form in the link below: