Does your homecare agency encourage clients to utilize review sites? We sure hope so, because case studies show that the more reviews you have, the more likely you are to get qualified leads that result in client growth.
Online leads are critical for your home care agency, especially when you consider recent studies show more than 40% of caregiving families who hire outside assistance wind up hiring independently-contracted caregivers – largely because the families don’t understand their local caregiver agency options.
Those of us familiar with the healthcare and homecare industries know homecare agencies provide higher-quality, more thoroughly background-checked, trained and all-around better care than independent homecare providers. However, your prospective clients won’t know that unless your brand is visible online, shows up in local searches and has a respectable amount of reviews from current and former clients.
Aim for 15+ reviews per listing to garner more leads
A recent case study performed by caring.com found caregiving agency listings that have at least 15 reviews garner 1.5 times the leads that listings with only one or two reviews receive.
That’s important information for small, locally owned homecare agencies. While the “big guys,” like Home Instead, have dozens and dozens of reviews for their listings, your agency may not have that target 15+ number of reviews unless you actively seek them.
The importance of reviews when it comes to qualified leads
The good news for you is that the idea of shopping local and supporting small “mom and pop” businesses is trendy. However, consumers want to know they can trust you. If they aren’t referred to you via word-of-mouth, and they can’t find reviews or client-generated information about you online, they’re more likely to trust a larger, nationally-recognized homecare agency brand.
This is where online reviews come into play. While your website’s “client testimonials” are lovely, visitors know you posted them yourself. Online reviews, however, feel more trustworthy because the idea is that they are self-generated, honest and provide objective insights into your agency and its care providers.
Here are some recent HubSpot stats about the importance of local, online reviews:
90% of consumers read online reviews before visiting a business
So, assuming your prospects are some of those 90%, they’re actively seeking reviews of your company. If they can’t find any, or there are only a couple available, the aforementioned “15+” finding means they’ll look for a competitor with more reviews than you.
72% of consumers prioritize online reviews above all other influencers
When reviewing influencing sources (friends/family, a company’s website, news/media coverage, marketing materials, social media, bloggers) almost 75% of respondents said they prioritize online reviews when making their final decision.
The biggest and most surprising take here : your prospects care more about the online reviews they read than first-hand referrals from friends and family!
Bad reviews aren’t the end of the world – and can actually benefit you
Common sense tells us you want positive online reviews to outweigh negative ones. However, negative reviews aren’t as bad as you’d think. When handled immediately and with a mature, professional and compassionate response – negative reviews can actually boost prospects’ confidence in you.
Another interesting point – a 2017 consumer study found that less than half of those who read reviews are turned off by negative reviews and that many are suspicious of companies who have only positive reviews – feeling they are false, paid-for or that the negative reviews are somehow hidden or removed.
Finally, if customers don’t feel comfortable telling you their gripes in person, online reviews become an important tool for you to learn more about what your agency/employees are doing right – or not.
In order to make the most of bad reviews:
- Monitor all of your review sites regularly (or contract those services to your marketing agency) so you respond quickly.
- Respond professionally and with grace (often, the reviewer is the one who comes out looking bad while your professionalism shines brightly – impressing prospects).
- When relevant/applicable – add some type of discount, offer or bonus for giving your agency the chance the rectify the wrong and try again.
Interested in learning all the ways digital marketing – and online reviews – make a difference in your homecare agency’s ability to engage qualified leads and prospects? Contact us here at KDMC. We’ll help you show your local world why you’re the best choice when it comes to finding high-quality, expert and loving homecare aides for their loved ones.