You’ve likely heard the saying, “If these walls could talk.” For marketers at senior living communities, getting your residents and their families to talk about you can do wonders for your brand. Here, we’ve put together a brief guide for marketers who are looking to secure vivid testimonials and praise-filled reviews from those who know your community best.
Let’s hear it (from residents and their families)!
According to a 2017 study, 93% of consumers say online reviews impact their purchasing decisions. Testimonials and reviews from your current residents and families are one of your best marketing assets because of the credibility they lend your brand. Plus, reading about other people’s experiences allows potential customers to see themselves in the same situation.
One of the most important parts of your prospects’ buyer’s journey is to create circumstances, using creative collateral that incorporate firsthand examples. That way, they can picture themselves living in your community. This is especially important right now, when your community doesn’t have the opportunity to offer in-person tours.
The art of the ask: Soliciting testimonials and reviews
If you don’t have experience asking your residents and their families for reviews, it’s common to worry that this might seem like burden on them to do so. But, in fact, the opposite is the case. Most people feel valued when they are asked to share their opinion, and, if you ask, often you’ll find people who are itching to share their positive experience with you.
So, how exactly do you ask? Keep it simple. Your staff engages with residents and their family members all day long, so train them to listen and notice those compliments and note when someone shares a positive experience. Then have them ask that person or if they could write down and share their comment, or whether they would be willing to go online themselves to post a review.
Other approaches include sending out an email to your residents’ families prompting them to write a review, giving out note cards residents can complete with details about life in your community, or starting a social media campaign in which you ask your followers for reviews. Make sure to tell them where they can submit their writeup!
Here, there and everywhere: Getting your reviews read
Now that you understand why reviews and testimonials are important — and how to get them — the big question is how to get them seen. Strategies for this include adding a testimonial page to your website and updating it often, and weaving testimonials into the layout on multiple pages on your website.
Communities can also insert testimonials into their collateral or add an insert to their sales packet that features a collection of positive statements from residents and family members. Your social media platforms are another great way to disseminate testimonials and reviews as well. And remember to keep your community’s pages updated on online review sites such as Yelp, Google Business and Caring.com.
Hopefully by now you’ve got some encouragement to get your review and testimonial campaign off the ground, but remember, once you start bringing in customer feedback and online reviews, you’ll also need a strategy to manage them. Check out our blog post “Got Reviews? 5 Essentials of Online Reputation Management” to get tips for staying on top of managing online reviews.