Why Reputation Management is Important for Nursing Homes
Social media is a powerful tool that has made it easier for businesses to connect with consumers. Likewise, consumers often use social media to make more informed decisions about how they spend their money and whose services they employ. Reading reviews could play a significant role in how people make purchase decisions. In fact, one statistic shows that a staggering 97% of consumers find that reviews from fellow customers can sway their purchasing behaviors. While one negative online review isn’t enough to ruin a business, it can dissuade someone from interacting with them. Failing to address negative reviews can have a negative long-term impact on a business’ reputation.
Why can this be an issue for nursing homes? When people are seeking out reputable, caring facilities for their loved ones in need of care, they may turn to the internet to find facilities that best meet their needs. With that in mind, online reputation management is necessary for your nursing home to connect with people in need of elderly care for their loved ones. Below are some of the most pressing reasons why reputation management matters.
When people search online for a product or service they rarely, if ever, go to the second page of the search results. In fact, it is estimated that just second-page results represent no more than 6% of all website clicks. A website’s search engine performance is influenced by countless variables, some of which change consistently. That said, it’s important to remember that search engines provide a service, too. They prioritize the user’s satisfaction and provide the best possible user experience. How do they do this? By making sure that users find what they need. They pay attention to user habits, and if a website is visited frequently the algorithm assumes people prefer that site.
Likewise, it assumes that websites with fewer visitors are not meeting the user’s needs, so the algorithm places them farther back in the search results. In short, Google rewards good behavior. Low website traffic can both cause or be caused by poor online reputation. Decreased exposure makes it significantly harder for people to find you. With that in mind, you will want to ensure that your facility’s website is optimized for SEO so that it ranks high on web searches, which will better ensure that the people you want to see it do see it.
Negative Feedback, Positive Interactions
Families often see elderly care as a significant investment. After all, they are trusting other people to provide their loved ones with a clean, safe living environment and top-notch personal care. Beyond that, elderly care is a service rather than a tangible product. If someone is looking online for a new pair of shoes and the product they want has 20 negative reviews but 80 positive reviews then there is little risk involved. At the end of the day, they are just shoes.
The same can’t be said for nursing homes. Nursing homes don’t sell a product that is easily replaceable; they provide a service to people in need. If those 20 negative reviews appear to have a common theme, a family may question how well the facility can care for their loved one.
That said, receiving a negative review does not condemn your elderly care facility. Since social media allows businesses to contact consumers directly, many companies have started providing online customer support service through social media. It’s much more convenient than forcing the customer to stay on hold, listening to the same elevator music for 20 minutes until they can finally speak to a customer service representative. Better yet, this is done in a public setting – if potential customers see that a business is trying to help dissatisfied customers, they are left with a better impression than they would have gotten just by reading negative feedback. If someone vents their frustration with your nursing home online, showing your willingness to help through direct communication could help reshape their opinion for the better.
Brand loyalty is the term used to describe how strongly a customer feels about a specific brand when they are considering their options. Brand loyalty is built on retention, and customers are more likely to stick with companies who value them even more than they value the customer’s money.
Direct online interactions are one of the fastest and easiest ways to create a good relationship with clients. In other words, you should not just concern yourself with resolving the problems that dissatisfied customers are sharing with the world. Positive feedback also warrants a reply, even if it’s a simple ‘Thank you!’. In other words, showing how well you handle unhappy customers can attract people to you. How you interact with the individual customer is what makes them stick with you.
Why does this matter to customers so much? Customers don’t want to connect with businesses, they want to connect with other people. Genuine, personalized responses can do wonders for an online reputation because they have an emotional impact that an automated email does not. Now consider the impact that could have for an elderly care facility’s online reputation. People need assurance that your elderly care services will help their loved one, and that you truly care about the people you are helping. What better way to do so than to make an active effort to establish a meaningful relationship with the people who seek out your services?
Online reputation management for your nursing home requires more than replying to every comment you receive on social media. It’s an involved process which helps families find the best place to care for their loved ones. There are only so many nursing homes in the area for families to choose from – you can be the one they settle for, or you can be the one they want. Contact our team today, and we will create strategies to connect your elderly care facility with the people who need you.
If you are looking to bolster the reputation and reach of your facility, we want to help. Learn more about our approach and reach out to us today.