Marketing to Seniors, Reputation Management and Reviews

When You Don’t Respond to an Online Review, You’re Really Saying a Lot

A phone showing an aggregate review rating on a yellow background with mock written reviews besides it

Negative reviews are frustrating, to say the least. Often, the reviewer’s side of the story differs from your own. Since this isn’t a face-to-face engagement, it’s tempting to ignore the negative feedback and hope positive reviews will outweigh the words of the unsatisfied customer.

Imagine treating an in-person situation in such a way. You would never walk away or refuse to engage with an unhappy individual if they stood directly in front of you. As uncomfortable as the situation might be, you need to find a solution. Why, then, would you treat online criticism differently? The truth is, you shouldn’t.

Responding to Reviews Turns a Negative Into a Positive

Data shows consumers who see a response to a negative review are much more likely to view the business/organization in a positive way than those who see no response. Responding also improves SEO. It makes sense if you think about it, but many brands still don’t practice this simple tactic.

What to Do When Your Senior Living Community Receives Negative Feedback

When you receive negative online feedback, there are a few things to keep in mind:

  1. Take the “I see you, I hear you” approach. Consumers want to feel validated in their concerns. It’s fine to share your viewpoint on the situation, but be sure to speak to the customer and not at them.
  2. When possible, refer the conversation to an offline forum. Reviews sometimes touch on situations that involve privacy or are better discussed in greater detail. It’s okay to provide a phone number or suggest scheduling an in-person meeting.
  3. Many senior living complaints involve the perceived treatment of either residents or associates. Stating your community’s commitment to providing a positive work environment and exceptional senior living options is a proven and important strategy.
  4. If a negative review is inappropriate, uses hurtful language or you believe violates standards for an online forum, it’s a good idea to flag the review for removal before crafting a response. These reviews, due to their tone, often speak for themselves.

The most important thing to remember is that when you don’t respond to negative reviews, it’s the same as turning a blind eye or a deaf ear to a customer who’s standing right in front of you. You’d never ignore someone in your office or at the front desk. It would give them the impression that you don’t care. Likewise, when you dismiss negative online reviews, you’re saying so much more than you may realize.

Get Help Managing Reviews

Do you find it challenging to respond to negative reviews, or is your community experiencing a bad, inaccurate reputation because of those reviews? If so, let one of our experienced professionals show you how we can help so you can focus on current and future residents. Let’s Talk!

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