Take a minute and conduct a quick audit of online reviews about your organization. How many people have shared their thoughts? Are there reviews on all the major review sites? What’s the overall sentiment and average star rating for each review site?
Want to learn how you stack up versus the rest of the industry and how you can surpass your competition?
At GlynnDevins, we’ve been tracking more than 1,400 online reviews for senior living communities over the past 5 years, and we’ve found that more reviews are positive than not. In fact, the average rating for all reviews for the 60+ communities we manage is 4.2.
After conducting an initial audit, how does your community compare?
Here are two compelling and advantageous reasons why you should continue to increase volume and overall sentiment of online reviews for your community.
Google rewards organizations that have more and better online reviews than their competitors with higher SEO rankings. Therefore, generating a higher quantity of positive online reviews is important for local search programs. Want to show up more prominent in local listings than your competitor? Focus on generating more positive reviews.
According to recent research by Caring.com, community listings with 15 or more reviews convert leads about 5x better than those with 1-2 reviews. The listings with higher volume of reviews also generated 7x more tours and 8x more move-ins.
Follow these tips, and you’ll be sure to increase online reviews for your community in no time:
1. Ask people to leave an honest review.
Use email, social media, letters, direct conversations and texts. Annual surveys are one way to identify promoters of your community who are most likely to leave positive reviews for your community.
Automate your requests for online reviews during the sales journey. For example, send an email follow-up from the sales counselor following a tour of your community, or email an adult child asking for feedback a week after their loved has moved in.
2. Tell people how their feedback will help out others who are making one of the biggest decisions of their lives.
Educate residents and family members on why you’re asking them to leave a review. Their personal feedback is valuable to those researching their own senior living options.
Simply put: You want prospective residents and family members to have access to candid testimonials and honest feedback about communities as they determine which senior living option is the best fit for them.
3. Empower your staff to help build and refine your online reputation.
Incentivize your entire staff to think of ways to generate more online reviews about your community. Then empower them to identify and petition individuals who can sing your praises.
Offer monthly prizes (gift cards, concert tickets, etc.) to the employee who generates the most positive reviews.
4. Give consumers an experience worth talking about.
Have an amazing chef? Make dining a focus during a tour or event. Do you have an engaging health services team? Introduce them to families touring your community. Put your hospitality cap on, get creative, and consistently strive for the “wow” factor.
Every experience matters. Make sure all employees understand the importance of hospitality when it comes to senior living, and have training opportunities to help them along the way.
5. Make it as easy as possible to leave a review.
If someone has a positive experience at your community, send a follow-up email asking them to share their experience online. Within the email copy, provide them with links to Facebook, Yelp, and Caring.com, so they can easily access these sites and leave a review for your community.
You might even show them how they can get started. While you can’t leave a review for them, you can be sure they know where they should go to leave a review and how the process works.
6. Encourage people to share their own experience at your community on social media.
Ask people to share their experience on social (photos, videos, testimonials – you name it). You could even create a custom hashtag (such as #CommunityXCares), to track and encourage reviews. Whether it’s an event, eating dinner with residents, taking a tour or staying the night in your guest suite, remind people to share their experience on social. And when they do, don’t forget to engage with them online.
Capture and post weekly testimonials on social. Positive feedback that is shared is often validated by others.
7. Create a review station within your community.
Why not set up a review station that contains a tablet or computer where people can submit their feedback on the spot about your community during their visit? Think of it as an online comment card and great way to capture real-time input.
As you continue to build your online reputation, we’d love to hear other helpful ideas that you’ve discovered to be successful in increasing reviews.
Now back to tip #1. Here’s our request:
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