How to Be An Award-Winning Senior Living Community
Since we announced the SeniorAdvisor 2013/14 Excellence Awards a few weeks ago, many communities have asked us what they can do to win next year. Take a tip from our winners with these best practices.
Be an Outstanding Community
The first step, of course, is having a great community that your families love. If people love your community, they’ll want to tell everyone they know about it, and they’ll be happy to write online reviews to help spread the word about how great your community is. Last week, we blogged about what these award-winning senior living communities had in common. Read the post to learn what matters most to families choosing senior care.
Get Good Reviews
In order to be considered for the Excellence Awards, communities had to have met a minimum number of reviews, and their average overall rating must have been 4.5 stars or above. One surefire way to improve your community’s online reputation, as well as increase your visibility in the search engines, is to amass a large number of positive reviews. Several of the winning communities have embraced online reputation management and invited their residents to review. SeniorAdvisor offers free tools for our communities to use to invite reviews – you can directly invite reviewers via email, or you can print out a personalized flyer to share with reviewers in person.
Many of our winning communities got creative about encouraging people to write reviews. Here are some of their ideas:
- Go around the tables at mealtime with an iPad and ask your residents if they would like to leave a review.
- Include a link to your reviews page in your newsletter, blog, or email announcements.
- Offer a computer class for your residents and walk them through the process of writing a review.
- Each month, hold a drawing where you draw out the name of a resident or their family member who wrote a review, and award them with a private dinner.
- Bring your Resident Ambassadors into the mix. Read the story of a passionate resident who did all he could to get reviews for his Portland assisted living community.
Respond to Reviews
Hand in hand with getting good reviews is responding to the reviews you get on your page. By regularly responding to your reviews, you show reviewers that you appreciate and pay attention to their feedback. This affirms for them that writing a review for your community is a worthwhile endeavor, which will make them more likely to encourage their friends and family who also have experience with your community to write a review. Furthermore, new visitors to your community page will see that you take reviews to heart, which will paint a positive picture of your community in their mind as one that is responsive to concerns, and will encourage them to either visit your community if they haven’t already, or write their own review if they already have. In this way, you create a positive feedback loop that encourages others to review your page because they know their thoughts will not go unheard.
Need some help when it comes to writing a response? Check out our blog post Responding to Online Reviews of Your Senior Living Business, or see how these award-winners do it:
- Victory Centre of Bartlett, IL
- The Brookside Assisted Living in Freehold, NJ
- The Manor at Midvale in Tucson, AZ
We hope these best practices help you throughout 2014 as you manage your online reviews! What has worked best for your community? Share your tips in the comments!