Online reviews can greatly affect the health and growth of your home care business. Your home care business has a lot to gain or lose from the type of reviews it receives. So it’s important that you are aware of your online presence and that you take the time to monitor it. Having positive reviews could greatly improve your client base.

According to BrightLocal, 88% of customers trust online reviews just as much as a personal recommendation. While only a small percentage of the population will post online reviews, 84% of customers will read them before making a decision to purchase. Any negative reviews will be viewed by a large portion of your community and may affect future business opportunities. Due to changes in social interactions, people aren’t just going to their neighbors or friends for references but turning also to Google, Yelp, Facebook, and other sources of online review. Online reviews are just as essential as word-of-mouth, if not more important, because they never go away and can be seen by thousands of people.

On average, most customers will read between four and six online reviews about a company before giving them their business. So what does this information mean for your home care business? It means that customer satisfaction is crucial to your growth. If you have unhappy clients or caregivers, their thoughts and feeling will quite possibly find their way to the web in the form of a review. Having a solid satisfaction management program in place will help you gain a deep understanding of your clients’ and caregivers’ perception of your business and improve satisfaction, which in turn leads to positive reviews.

If you’ve received negative online reviews, it is important that you address the concerns as promptly as possible. Sometimes reviews are anonymous, but if you can see who the client is, take the conversation offline and call them personally to discuss their situation. This shows that you’re aware of your clients’ concerns, and that you care about their satisfaction. Following up can go a long way to resolving concerns and regaining trust. Overall, be polite in your response to online reviews. Although there may not be a face in front of you or a voice on the phone, their concerns are just as important and have great influence over the business you receive.

Many businesses recognize the importance of online reviews and are tempted to fabricate and post their own reviews. This is not only unethical, but it is illegal. Stray away from posting your own online reviews and let your excellent service speak for itself. If you have some negative reviews, don’t get too upset. Having a few negative review can actually help those reading your reviews trust that the reviews are legitimate and not fabricated. All great companies have at least some unhappy customers.

Search your business on the web once or twice a week and read through your online reviews. This helps by making you aware of how the community perceives your business and what you can do to improve. If you need more help on how to navigate negative feedback, join Home Care Pulse’s Director of Customer Relations, Kire Madsen, next Wednesday as he discusses “The Positive Impact of Negative Feedback” and how to respond to it.

Satisfaction Management is easier with Home Care Pulse. Learn more today!

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