Consumers today rely on online reviews to make educated purchase decisions, not just for products, but also for services – like where to stay, where to eat, and where to go. But what about where to spend one’s golden years?
It’s a useful question to ask: when it comes to life’s most important decisions – such as those relating to healthcare – will online reviews be just as useful? For example: will seniors and their loved ones use the information found in online reviews in order to decide where to receive senior care and find assisted living facilities?
Software research firm Software Advice set out to explore this question and recently released the results of a survey called, “Online Review Use in Assisted Living Facility Selection.” Taking into account over 2,700 responses from a random selection of respondents in the US, Software Advice found that:
- 82 percent of people looking for assisted living facilities read online reviews as part of their research process.
- 73 percent said that they would pay more for an assisted living facility with a positive reputation and favorable reviews.
- 42 percent explained that they would seek out online reviews of assisted living facilities as the first method of their research and planning process.
- The top sources for assisted living facility reviews are (in order): Google+ Local, Senior Advisor, Yelp, and com.
“Our data shows online reviews are a very significant part of the selection process when it comes to assisted living facilities,” said Software Advice market research associate Gaby Loria. “Reviews-based rankings are often the first impression people get of a facility, rated equally as important by respondents as knowing what kind of services and amenities are offered. This is valuable insight for assisted living communities, especially as retiring baby boomers begin joining the pool of potential residents.”
If you’re managing an assisted living facility – or any kind of healthcare facility, for that matter – the data from Software Advice should serve as a call for you to take on a more proactive role in managing your online presence. Here are some strategies that can help you make a positive first impression on potential clients and customers:
- Claim your business profile on all review sites relevant to your industry
- Track and respond to online reviews (both negative and positive) posted by customers
- Update your local data and add important business information like address, phone number, website URL, map location, list of amenities and services, etc.
- Generate positive reviews by engaging with existing satisfied customers
Here are other highlights from Software Advice’s research:
(Image credit: Software Advice)