Nowadays, individuals searching for senior living are online. According to Pew Research Center data about older adults Internet usage: among Americans age 65+ with an annual income greater than $75K — the folks who are more likely to be able to afford in-home care and/or senior living — 87% are online, with the majority using the Internet daily. Additionally: 81% of them own smartphones, 65% use tablets, and more than half are on social networks. Senior care businesses not paying attention to digital marketing are missing a significant and growing sales opportunity.

Within digital marketing: Online reviews are playing a big role in product/service research and purchase selections in numerous industries — senior care is no exception. On Caring.com, senior care searchers click to the listings with reviews and skip those without them. Our Family Advisors are also reading online reviews to get a general sense of how well the community is serving its customers, bolstering confidence in referring prospective residents and their family members.

We also measure how much influence online reviews are having in senior care, and in multiple studies found that reviews significantly increased leads, tours, and move-ins for our senior living partners. We hear from senior care providers too, that consumers given a senior care business’ name from a doctor or hospital discharge planner are still going online to find information, reading the reviews, and using those insights to follow up on the professional recommendation (or not).

So a senior living operator or community’s online presence and online reputation is now very important to their overall sales and marketing success — and Pacifica Senior Living is demonstrating excellence through their online reputation management and partnership with Caring.com.

    What Pacifica Senior Living’s Online Reputation Management Program Includes:

    • Creating and optimizing listings for its communities on the leading senior care referral and review sites, such as ensuring a high volume of resident and resident family member reviews (with business responses); having quality photos on their business listings; showcasing information that is helpful to prospective residents and their family members, such as rates and answers to commonly-asked questions
      • Asking their residents and residents’ family members to share service feedback through online reviews programs, using submission means matched to the individual reviewer’s needs (such as online forms for those who are tech savvy, and phone or postcard reviews for those who aren’t as comfortable online); and taking advantage of review generation support services offered by Caring.com and others
        • Proactively monitoring for all new reviews, using New Review Alerts from Caring.com, among other tools
          • Carefully crafting thoughtful and meaningful responses to nearly all new reviews within 2 days of being alerted, and also responding to older reviews that were missed before they incorporated online reputation management into their marketing mix; creating public-facing responses from their digital marketing leadership that are conversational, empathetic, caring, and truly demonstrate customer service excellence
            • Actively seeking reviews-related awards for service excellence (to use the recognition in their sales and marketing) — including reaching out to the award program managers months in advance of deadlines to learn detailed info about qualification and taking steps to help ensure their communities qualify ahead of time if possible
              • Promoting reviews and reviews awards on their websites and social profiles, as well as using that praise in their offline PR and marketing — including using award promotional kits from Caring.com
                • How Pacifica Senior Living is a Leader in Digital Marketing

                    Caring.com processes thousands of senior care reviews every month, and has thousands of senior living partners nationwide. We have extensive insights about senior care reviews online and how senior living operators are receiving and responding to reviews. Looking at how various senior living organizations are utilizing reviews as a key sales and marketing strategy: Pacifica Senior Living stands out for excellence.

                    Their digital marketing leadership (Lucie Barry-Punches, director of social media marketing & digital communications) uses the latest best practices and technology to skillfully monitor and respond to the reviews their communities receive. Their executive leadership has encouraged their entire organization to proactively and regularly seek out new reviews from their residents and residents’ family members, and they even host an incentive program among their employees (community vs. community) to engage them in this initiative (such as ‘community with most customer reviews by X date wins a pizza or ice cream party’ or other similar friendly competitions). They also do companywide (positive reinforcement) “shout-outs” or kudos to encourage their staff to seek authentic reviews from residents and residents’ family members.

                    Additionally, Pacifica Senior Living was among the first senior living operators to seize the opportunity of answering prospects’ common questions on community listings when this new feature became available in Caring.com’s Partner Portal — answering an impressive volume of questions within the first two weeks of the feature’s launch, more than any other operator nationwide.

                    Pacifica Senior Living is far ahead of any senior living operators who are still trying to figure out their digital marketing strategies, ignoring online reviews, not actively asking for reviews, and/or under the mistaken belief that “online reputation” isn’t necessary or relevant to their communities’ sales and marketing. Some other less savvy senior living organizations might even think they can effectively respond to a negative consumer review by taking the whole listing/page down — with so many review sites on the web today, that’s an ill-advised approach for responding to critical feedback online and a tactic that Pacifica Senior Living would not take. A leader in our industry, like Pacifica Senior Living, would instead take (has consistently taken) the opportunity to contest the review if it has fact-based errors, or publishes a response encouraging the reviewer to dialogue with them directly about the concerns raised. Pacifica Senior Living’s ultimate goal is to have satisfied families and residents, and that’s reflected in their approach to digital marketing as well.

                    “I don’t wait for reviews to come in. I make an effort to solicit them and share the positive and negative ones, so we are continually becoming a better solution for our families and residents,” says Barry-Punches. “Reviews provide insight into what motivates, impresses or disappoints our families and/or residents. This feeddback allows us to fine-tune their experience for the better.”

                      The Results from Pacifica Senior Living’s Efforts Are In:

                        Pacifica Senior Living is tracking and measuring the impact of its reputation management program on:

                      • The volume of inquiries, tours, and move-ins for its senior living communities, as well as the influence that consumer reviews are having on attracting and converting those prospects for its communities — Word of mouth and pride of doing one’s job well are paramount to Pacifica Senior Living, and they are extremely proud of their teams and communities, while consistently trying to find new innovative ways to improve
                        • Visits to its online profiles and/or website(s), as well as the influence that consumer reviews are having on attracting visitors to their online profiles and/or websites
                        • “Organic traffic can always be improved, and this is an extremely effective way,” says Barry-Punches

                          • Quantity and quality of feedback it receives from its customers
                            • How often and how many of its communities achieve service excellence awards based on reviews
                              • How the program helps Pacifica Senior Living be a high quality senior living service provider, by listening well to its customers and their family members via insights they share in online reviews
                                • Through its reputation management program and listings on Caring.com, Pacifica Senior Living has achieved an increase in the volume of page visits, prospective resident inquiries, community tours, and new resident move-ins:

                                • They have 1200+ customer reviews on Caring.com, as well as review postings on SeniorHomes.com, Pacifica Senior Living’s own website(s), and other reviews sites.
                                  • 100% review response rate for published reviews within the last two years
                                  • “If the review is negative, I do something to alleviate the issue — thus demonstrating our commitment to customer service and hopefully preventing dissatisfied individuals from seeking alternative avenues to be heard,” says Barry-Punches.

                                    • In 2017, Pacifica Senior Living listings in Caring.com’s network with 15+ reviews averaged 33.75% more leads, more than twice as many tours, and 15x more move-ins than their listings with less than 3 reviews.
                                      • Pacifica Senior Living listings on Caring.com with 6+ reviews average about 3x more visits annually than their listings with less than 6 reviews — further demonstrating how effective those reviews are in driving greater brand visibility and prospective resident interest in their communities.
                                        • 22 Pacifica Senior Living community listings have earned the Caring Stars service excellence award (based on reviews) since the program’s launch in 2012
                                          • Among all Caring Stars of 2018 in senior living: Pacifica Senior Living was among the top 5 operators for “most winning listings” (with 9 listings in this year’s recognition — and 4 of those 9 having earned the award in multiple years)
                                            • In a weekly call for its sales and marketing staff, Pacifica Senior Living’s Caring Stars communities are rarely if ever on the list of communities in their portfolio that need increased focus on occupancy — instead, these award-winning communities are consistently meeting or exceeding the organization’s occupancy goals
                                              • From November 2017-January 2018, Pacifica Senior Living’s digital marketing leadership published more than 350 answers to prospects’ Frequently-Asked Questions (across 31 of its Caring.com listings), to help senior care searchers narrow their options by better understanding the Pacific Senior Living community or communities they’re considering for themselves or an elder loved one; 100 of those answers were published within the first two weeks of the two being available — an example of how fast they recognize and seize the latest digital marketing opportunities to support their sales team
                                                • “My goal is to help make the public aware that Pacifica Senior Living is best in digital marketing class, and I use every tool possible,” says Barry-Punches.

                                                  Well done Pacifica Senior Living! You’re a true leader in digital marketing and online reputation management — and reaping the rewards you’ve earned by seizing this opportunity!

                                                  Denise Graab

                                                  Denise Graab

                                                  Director of Industry Marketing at Caring.com
                                                  Denise Graab joined Caring.com in September 2010, and has 20+ years experience in communications, with a focus on social media marketing for the last decade. In her current role at Caring, she helps senior living communities and home care agencies understand how best to harness the opportunities of digital marketing, including getting and responding to online senior care reviews.
                                                  Denise Graab

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