Pro-tips For Your Assisted Living Reputation Management
How to Increase Your Census Through Online Reputation
What is assisted living reputation management?
Assisted living reputation management is the process of monitoring your online assisted living brand, comments on the senior care services you offer, opinions of your senior living community, and the overall perception of your senior care community.
Reputation management is one of the most important assisted living marketing tactics. It’s right up there with your assisted living SEO, your social media marketing, and your senior care website.
In today’s world, reputation management is mostly an online activity. It’s not like in the olden days of traditional marketing. According to a recent study by Search Engine Journal your online reputation and customer reviews are as important as personal recommendations and word of mouth marketing. If your goal is to improve your census then the first senior care reputation management strategies you should do, are these:
- Assign a team member to be your reputation management activist
- Subdue reputational crisis issues
- Use real-time communication to improve your reputation
Assign An Assisted Living Reputation Activist
Implementing strategies that will create a favorable reputation is the most important aspect of managing your reputation. If you’re the business owner of the community and you are without a plan of attack you’ll find your reputation difficult to manage.
This is why it’s important to create a ‘reputation activist’ position at your community. Reputation management is most easily managed with an activist who can stay consistent with the daily tasks. This team member will be responsible for helping to create content by acquiring positive business reviews and using real time software to communicate with current and potential residents and their family members.
The activities of your reputation activist will require a few hours per week. So, it’s important that this job isn’t something that is on the back burner for the team member. This should be a task that is just as important as any other marketing task on their plate.
If you’re the senior care manager or an owner of the community, realize that these tasks will take a few hours a week. Let the team members know that this is a priority and that you’ve allocated for this responsibility.
Once you have your reputation activist assigned you to find that you’ll start receiving more feedback from your resident’s family and friends. Regardless of this feedback is positive or negative you’ll be able to use that information to change processes and improve the resident and family member experiences within your community. Not only will your new reputation activist gather feedback from residents and their relatives but you’ll also see that this position will be a channel for attracting new residents.
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Growing Your Census With New Residents
Of all the activities that your reputation management team member is assigned to do, the most important task is to acquire more Google reviews. This can be done manually or using your Google My Business app. It’s a simple process of asking a resident’s family members and friends to write a review online.
Acquiring more Google reviews is one of the best SEO strategies you can do. To get lots of positive reviews you should set specific goals. Your Google review goals should include the following:
- A minimum of 40 Google reviews
- A minimum star rating of 4.5
- A least as many reviews as your main competitors
- A minimum of 2 new reviews per week
Assign your reputation management activist these review goals and within a short period of time, you’ll start noticing more new resident phone calls coming from your improved rankings in Google maps.
Reputation Management Crises And What To Do
A reputation management crisis is any online negative comment about your community, the residents in the community, or the assisted living team or services that you offer. The most common reputational crisis for assisted living is usually a bad online review. Most residents’ family members who are unhappy will go directly to Google or Facebook to leave a personal recommendation, and these recommendations (reviews) show up in search engines and search results.
A single negative review, a low star rating, or not enough reviews on review sites, are the most common forms of a reputational crisis for an assisted living community. Approximately ⅔ to ¾ of all new potential residents’ family members will check out your community’s online reviews before calling to schedule a tour of your senior care community.
Adult children of potential residents trust online reviews. If you have low star reviews, negative comments in reviews, or a low number of reviews, you’ll end up decreasing the total number of new resident phone calls that your assisted living receives.
To improve your online reputation you should focus first on acquiring more Google reviews. Google reviews are tied to your Google My Business account, which is the listing for your practice in the Google database. Learn more about Google My Business.
Real-Time Communication Improves Assisted Living Reputation
Today’s residents are less likely to pick up the phone and call you. Instead, they are using real-time communication software like Facebook messenger, WhatsApp, texting systems, live chat, and social media to reach out and communicate. In today’s world, these forms of communication are as important as your phone. Imagine running your community without a phone! If you’re not paying attention to real-time communication systems, it’s like trying to run your practice without a telephone.
Here are a few real-time communication systems that you’ll want your new reputation activist to manage.
Facebook Messenger for Assisted Living Practice Reputation
Facebook Messenger is Facebook’s real-time communication app and it’s tied directly into your assisted living’s Facebook page. Communicating with the adult children of your current residents as well as potential residents through Facebook messenger will inspire trust in your brand. People in the USA were surveyed and 69% of them say that being able to message a business helps them feel more confident about the brand.
Messenger will help you to acquire new assisted living residents and schedule more tours simply by being available. It also drives awareness through creating meaningful conversations with the family and friends of your residents. All interactions with your community will open up new opportunities for people to recommend your senior living community.
Online Reviews and Your Practice Response Time
When the adult child or friend leaves a review your reputation activist should respond to that review within 24 hours. Your community’s response time sends a message to Google that you’re concerned about your Google My Business reputation. Your response time has an impact on your assisted living SEO rankings.
Facebook reviews are another hyper-aware reputation management channel. You should respond to reviews, messages, and comments on the day that the comments come in. This means that your activist needs to be checking this channel throughout the day. We recommend checking in the morning, at lunch and just before you leave for the evening.
If your reputation manager is willing, you can set up a notification so that they’ll receive a text every time a review comes in.
Live chat is increasingly becoming a way for the adult children of potential residents to ask questions and schedule tours. Assisted living websites that do not ask customers to leave comments are lacking compared to the competition. There are several companies in the assisted living industry that offer full live chat management. If you don’t have live chat on your website you should seriously consider adding it. In multiple studies live chat on your website will improve website visitor conversions to scheduled tours by more than 100%.
For some reputation managers, managing live chat can be difficult. One of these reasons is because so many people prefer to text rather than calling your community. This creates a problem with staff members who feel overwhelmed with their current tasks.
If you have team members that refuse to manage chat, give another team member the responsibility. If you don’t have live chat on your website you’re missing out on new residents.
Set Up A Chatbot
If you’re an assisted living community that simply cannot manage live chat, implementing a chatbot is a great second option. The artificial intelligence behind chatbot software has been exponentially improving over the last few years. If you don’t have the time to manage live chat, then a chatbot is your answer.
Your Assisted Living Solution to Reputation Management
Managing all of these tasks and channels is a big job for a reputation manager plus, it takes time. But, you’ll find that assigning a team member to this task will increase your community’s census and the profitability of your assisted living community.
When your reputation management is a well oiled machine you’ll find that your senior care SEO will be benefited. Local SEO rankings, especially those in Google maps are tied to your communities response rate.