As adult children visit their aging parent(s) over the holidays and consider needs and options for senior care, most will turn to the Internet for information and guidance. An important tool in their online research is the feedback they’ll read in online reviews from folks just like them. In fact, across industries, 92% of consumers in the U.S. and Canada now read online reviews when considering a purchase. Senior care is not exempt — and if anything, reviews are even more valuable given the nature of the need and that only 41% of adult children researching senior living for an aging parent have knowledge of senior living communities in their area. Online reviews help them find senior care providers for their particular needs and preferences — and lists like Caring Stars help the best senior living and senior care providers stand out (helping to narrow the search to the best providers more quickly).

If you’re among the Caring Stars, this is a great opportunity to write content to spread that awareness. And if you’re not: take the time to educate your happy clients and their family members about online reviews and how their feedback can be very beneficial to others in need.

Content Tips for Any Senior Care Company

  • Share facts about senior care reviews (or online reviews in general) — such as the role they’re playing in helping family caregivers and older adults find the best providers or the most valuable feedback that reviews provide in researching senior living and senior care. Include data from relevant, credible surveys about which review sites are most trustworthy, why people care if a business responds to reviews, how many reviews matter, etc.
  • Highlight reviews of your senior living or senior care organization in your content this month, or how online reviews and customer feedback have helped your organization to know which programs and services are most popular or well received, and (if applicable) make improvements to better serve seniors.
  • Ask questions and tell stories: How did online reviews help your current customers find your organization? Are they willing to share their feedback in an online review to help other families and seniors? Is there a review you’ve received with a broader story the family is willing to share in a blog post?
  • Include quick links to your online profile(s) where you want to get reviews — to help make that process as easy as possible for them and generate reviews for your senior care organization.

Content Tips for Senior Living Communities

  • Have you earned the Caring Stars award? It’s never too late to publicize that fact. It’s not an easy honor to achieve — and if you’ve earned enough praise to be recognized as the best, be sure you spread the word.
  • Consider hosting an event in which you train cognitively healthy residents on how to post online reviews. This was also something we suggested in a prior Content Spark for September 2016, and one of our referral partners in Arizona gave it a try at three of their senior living communities. As a result: 2 of the 3 achieved enough positive reviews that they qualified for the Caring Stars 2017 award: the The Villas at Houghton and The Villas at Green Valley. (Note: If you decide to try an event like this, please email reviews@caring.com in advance to give us a heads up about the related activity on your listing that day — otherwise, those reviews may get flagged for follow up to make sure they weren’t staff posted.)
  • Seize the positive feedback moments as they arise too: For instance, a marketer at Eskaton recently shared with me, “Our most successful community to gather online reviews for Caring.com is The Parkview because of the dedication and enthusiasm of the executive director. Each time a family member compliments the building or staff, she grabs a postcard we made called “Shout it out” and circles Caring.com asking for the review. These postcards are displayed at the reception of every location.” That’s just one such example. The feedback could be shared with you in-person, via email, or via mail, and when it is: follow up with that individual, express gratitude, and ask if they’d be willing to share their positive comments publicly on a senior care review site where others like them will see it and benefit from it.

Content Tips for Home Care Agencies

  • Have you earned the Caring Stars award? 2017 was the very first year in the program’s 6-year history that home care agencies could qualify. So if you’re among those to be honored then or since then, you’ve really stood out as among the best agencies in the nation and should be sure to publicize that fact widely.
  • If you’re a Home Care Pulse client: Are you following up on the customer feedback you receive to publicize the positive comments you’re receiving about your services? While you can’t post that feedback yourself on your Caring.com listing, there will soon be a way for some of that feedback to appear as reviews on Caring.com via a new partnership between our two organizations. In the meantime, use your blog or social media profiles to highlight the positive consumer feedback your agency is receiving and ask for public-facing online reviews (that search engines will see too).

Caring Resources to Support this Spark

  • Caring Stars — Reviews Reveal the Best Senior Living Communities & Home Care Agencies

Additional Resources to Support this Spark

Content Sparks are part of Caring.com’s Content Made Simple program. See all of the Content Sparks.

Denise Graab

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