86% of Americans look at online reviews for local businesses. Here’s to get more online reviews for your home care agency so you can stand out from the competition.
In the last few years, online reviews and social media have brought about an interesting phenomenon: what businesses tell consumers to think about them doesn’t matter very much anymore. What matters is what consumers tell each other to think about businesses.
You probably already know this, but potential clients trust each other more than they trust the word of an agency. 86% of consumers read reviews for local businesses, and many read an average of 10 online reviews before feeling able to trust a local business.
So, how can you adapt to this change and use it to your advantage? Let’s talk about how to get more online reviews for your home care agency.
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Get Set Up on the Right Platforms
There’s a variety of online platforms out there that potential clients are using to find home care agencies. It’s important to take advantage of as many of them as possible to get found and establish trust with more potential clients.
Start with the big three: Google, Facebook, and Yelp. Millions of consumers use these platforms every day to research local businesses. Maintaining a Google presence is particularly important because it allows you to appear in local searches. Claim your Google My Business profile to appear in local listings and search results.
In addition, you’ll want to create a listing on senior care-specific sites. Here’s a list of some of the main home and senior care sites:
Note: To help home care agencies get more reviews, Home Care Pulse integrates with Caring.com by surveying your clients and sending their feedback to these sites as client reviews. To learn more, visit our integrations page or request a free consultation.
Once you’ve establishing listing, ensure that your listing on each of these sites is up-to-date. You should include a concise description of your services, contact information, relevant details about your services, and any other information required by the site. Remember that hundreds or thousands of potential clients may see your listings—so make every word count.
Your Caregivers Look at Reviews Too
While we’re mostly referencing clients when we talk about people looking at reviews of your agency, it’s important to consider that all of these principles apply to caregivers as well. To generate more caregiver reviews and stand out as an employer, we recommend maintain active profiles and getting reviews on job finding sites including myCNAjobs.com, Indeed.com, and Glassdoor.com.
Create a Strategic Plan and a Consistent Process to Ask for Reviews
Don’t passively wait to get reviews—ask your clients for reviews consistently and at the right times. Sadly, clients (and consumers in general) tend to make more noise when they’re upset than when they’re satisfied, so you need to be proactive in giving your most satisfied clients a strong voice in reviews.
Here’s a general plan that we recommend:
- Plan with your office staff to periodically ask for reviews on a regular schedule. Identify a set of times to ask them for reviews (for instance, if you make a checkup call to them and talk about how they thrilled they are with a caregiver), and additionally, schedule emails, SMS texts, or other communication to go out every few months specifically asking for reviews.
- Integrate invitations to leave reviews into all your written communications. Include review badges or links in newsletters, emails, and even your email signature.
- Let your clients know how much it helps you for them to leave reviews. While many review sites have policies against providing incentives for leaving reviews, you can still make it clear to clients that one of the best ways for them to thank you for your services is to give you honest, thorough reviews on the Internet.
- Make it as easy as possible to give you reviews. The reason that email is such an effective way to get reviews is because you can include a link directly to a page where they can review you. The simper and faster it is to leave you a review, the more clients will do it.
- Consider the following strategy: when asking for a review, ask if their experience with your agency has been positive or negative. If it’s been positive, invite them to leave a review. If it’s been negative, invite them to call you directly to you on how you can improve. This not only reduces the number of negative reviews you receive but also helps to placate clients who feel dissatisfied in some way.
- Respond promptly to every review. Thank clients for reviews (both positive and negative) and invite negative reviewers to contact you directly to address any problems. An agency that receives a negative review occasionally but responds promptly to all reviews often makes an even better impression than an agency that reviews all good reviews but never responds to them.
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Perception is Reality
Ultimately, you need to realize that perception is reality when it comes to client reviews. You may disagree with a client’s perception of a particular incident, but it doesn’t matter; the way that they perceive your agency, not the way you perceive your agency, determines whether or not they continue using your services. Just as importantly, it dictates what they tell others about your services. Develop a culture within your agency that listens to clients and uses the insights you gain to power change to provide an even better client experience.
What’s your #1 frustration with online reviews? Talk to us in the comments below!
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