How to Build an Online Reputation That Attracts Clients and Caregivers

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To successfully grow your home care agency, you need to be proactively managing your online reputation. Here’s how to grow your presence. 

Like it the old fashioned way?

It’s almost 2021. We need to embrace technology for what it’s worth.

With the internet at the ends of our fingertips, a majority of the population has become dependent on technology to provide its fair share of information about businesses and home care agencies alike.

In fact, even the aging population that isn’t as predisposed to up-and-coming technologies is starting to adapt.  With the increased usage of technology and more people browsing the internet, the need for home care providers to embrace reputation management is greater than ever.

Here’s why your home care agency needs an online reputation and how it can help define who you are.

Why you need to establish an online presence if you haven’t already

Having (or not having) an online reputation can be the make-or-break factor that determines the success of your agency.

It goes without saying that good reputations help bring in new customers and keep current ones, whereas a bad reputation can hurt your chances of expanding and even cause current clients and caregivers to leave – and while we know that you’re probably taking every step possible to provide exceptional service, it’s important to make sure you’re keeping a close eye on your online reputation to see where you can do better.

Since you’re going to develop an online reputation whether you like it or not, even a few scattered issues can lead to people getting the wrong impressions about your agency if you’re not proactively managing your reputation.

For any home care agency, the main goal is to first and foremost provide exceptional care but also to win new customers. New customers are the bread and butter of your organization, and without them, you can’t grow your business effectively. One thing we’ve found is that you can’t do that if you’re not targeting them where they’re most active – which is online.

Having and building an online presence can take time and effort, which we’ll get into shortly, but it’s important to first address why you need one.

For starters, an online reputation can take many forms, including social media, career sites, review sites, your home care agency website, or other industry-related sites.

In the 2020 Home Care Benchmarking Study, we evaluated the top consumer marketing sources across the industry and ultimately found that a majority of those being used were online review platforms. For example, Facebook and Google+ both incorporate reviews into their offerings, and internet lead sites such as caring.com provide quick access to ratings and reviews about home care agencies in your local area.

The point we’re trying to make here is that consumers trust each other more than they will trust you as a business.

All harsh feelings aside, it’s more so about the fact that they want insight, advice, and evidence from those who aren’t just trying to sell a service. They know you believe your home care agency is the best, but the question is: does everyone else?

The benefits of having an online reputation

An online reputation can help set your home care agency up for success. Here are some of the ways that we’ve seen online reputations benefit home care agencies if done right.

  • Increases brand recognition and brings in more clients and caregivers.

  • A good online reputation can give you an edge over competitors.

  • Sets your agency up for future growth.

  • Marketing comes naturally. Referral marketing and word-of-mouth referrals can come from having an online reputation.

How to build and maintain your online reputation

To build and maintain and online reputation, you must have a clear vision for what you want and how you’re looking to expand.

We know of many ways to get recognized online, but it ultimately comes down to knowing your agency and what will work best for you.

Here are a few ideas to keep in mind and ways you can optimize each so that you can reap their full benefits.

Social media

If you’re not already established on social media, now’s the time start.

First, you’ll want to make sure your business profiles are fully completed and optimized for engagement. There are many different options for where you can create social media profiles, but your biggest priority should be focusing on a couple that you can really nail down.

Depending on the site, you should aim to be posting at least a few times a week. It doesn’t have to be anything extensive but keeping low-key engagement on these platforms can be enough to grab someone’s attention. Social media can help give a face to the name. Social media is also a beneficial way to get reviews on sites like Facebook.

Career websites

Career websites are going to be the main driver in finding new caregivers.

To build your online presence here, you should be creating company profiles and posting/updating new jobs frequently. Some sites like Indeed.com even provide the option to have a company snapshot, “why join us” bio, reviews, salaries, benefits, photos, interview highlights, and a Q&A section.

You’ll want to start by filling out these profiles for your business, but also encourage current employees to go in and add information based on their hiring experience with your agency – especially leaving you reviews on Indeed.com You could even incentivize them for doing so with gift cards, extra PTO, etc.

Home care agency website

A website doesn’t take a lot of maintenance, but can give a clearer picture of your offerings, FAQ’s, contact information, and more. It’s the source where all of your clients questions will be answered, and if not they can go to you next. It saves you time in the long run, but also helps to establish your presence.

After your website is created, spend some time getting the word out. You can claim your agency on “Google My Business,” which will help drive engagement with local clients.

Industry-related websites

Once you’ve established a listing on the industry sites, make sure they’re always 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.

Some of these websites include:

Building an online reputation isn’t going to happen overnight. Between getting your profiles set up to actually getting reviews and recognition, there is a lot of maintenance that needs to happen.

A large part of having an online reputation is review management. Whether you’re just starting out or have been established for years, there are a few things you can do to get more reviews and effectively respond to them.

You can ask caregivers and clients directly for reviews, run an email campaign, use verbal reviews from clients and caregivers on your website, and even post on social media.

Once the reviews are rolling in, you should be responding to them by first saying “thank you” for the feedback no matter if it is good or bad, and then addressing the situation.

If it was a positive review, you can express gratitude about their experience, and if it was a negative review, acknowledge what happened, express concern, and try to take the situation offline. No matter what, you want your clients and caregivers to have the best experience possible. Reviews, and how you respond to them, say a lot about your company.

If you need a little extra help with this area of your business, one option that Home Care Pulse offers is review management. It’s our time-saving tool to monitor, respond to, and generate reviews from across the web on a single platform. You can find more information here.

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