How can your homecare agency show prospective clients and caregivers that you’re a trustworthy and reputable business? One way is by managing your online reviews. Did you know that 98% of consumers indicate that reviews are an essential resource when making purchase decisions? Or that 72% of U.S. adults read online patient reviews when making healthcare decisions?  

The data is clear: online reviews play a key role in homecare clients’ decision-making process. And this doesn’t only apply to customers. Potential employees also read online reviews from past employees when determining if they would like to work for a company.  

It’s one thing to understand how important online reviews are, and another to understand how to handle online reviews. Here we explore how homecare providers can increase the number of reviews they receive, respond to both negative and positive reviews, and use customer and employee reviews to better their business. 

Make Your Google Business Profile Work for You 

One of the best tools to help homecare agencies improve their reputation is free! Claiming your Google Business Profile is simple and allows your business information to show up in the search results and on Google maps when people google your business name or google homecare agencies near your location. 

Claiming your profile should also be a part of your digital homecare marketing strategy. It allows you to update your business profile page with your website link, contact details, and helpful business information like hours of operation. Best of all, it will allow your business to receive and respond to Google reviews. 63.6% of consumers say they check Google reviews (through Google Maps and search) before visiting a business location. And Google is the number one review site used by healthcare consumers. So, if you haven’t set up your Google Business Profile, you could be missing out on these customers and not even realize it. 

How to Respond to Reviews 

While it may seem like extra work, responding to reviews is becoming an expectation of business owners, especially in the healthcare industry. According to the 2022 Healthcare Reputation Report, 65% of U.S. adults expect providers to respond to reviews. Responding to reviews not only shows that you are an engaged business owner, but also that you care about your customers’ and caregivers’ experiences. 

The question is, how do you respond in a way that makes your business look trustworthy, professional, and accountable? 

Best Practices for Responding to Reviews 

When responding to reviews, it’s important to remember that your responses are public, and anyone can read them. Avoid making them too personal or emotional. Instead, keep responses concise, polite, and positive. 

How to Respond to Negative Reviews 

Reading a bad review can hurt, and it can be hard not to react negatively. But by responding appropriately you will show future and current clients that your business is professional and accountable. Here are some best practices for responding to negative reviews: 

  • Try to respond within a week. According to Review Trackers, 53% of customers expect businesses to respond to negative reviews within seven days. 
  • Keep your cool. Try not to take negative reviews personally. An emotionally charged response could set you back. 
  • Take their experience seriously. If a client or caregiver shares a negative experience, take the time to investigate their claim thoroughly. Empathize with them and express your willingness to rectify the issue. 
  • Apologies can be helpful, but don’t take the blame if you aren’t at fault. It’s okay to express your regret that someone had a bad experience with your business, but that doesn’t mean you must take the blame for that experience, especially if your company did nothing wrong. 
  • Offer to talk it over. Offer to speak with the customer or caregiver personally so that you can help remedy the situation. Share a couple of different ways for them to contact you. 
  • Be genuine. Reply honestly and sign off with your name or initials so that they know a real person is taking the matter seriously. A thoughtful, genuine reply may persuade the reviewer to revise their negative review. 

How to Respond to Positive Reviews 

Who doesn’t love a positive review? While most clients won’t expect you to respond to every positive review, engaging with some of your satisfied customers by replying will only improve your reputation.  

Keep your responses positive and appreciative. You can express your gratitude at the fact that they had a wonderful experience but try not to overdo it or become too specific in your response (even if you know the reviewer well). 

Using Reviews to Improve Your Business 

Reviews can be helpful business tools that offer insights into which areas of your agency can be improved upon, and which areas are working well! In addition, if you regularly receive reviews across multiple platforms, you can start to identify trends and even gaps in your business model. Thankfully, this process doesn’t have to be difficult. There are tools that can help you identify these trends, increase your review quantity, and allow you to reply to all the reviews from different platforms in one place.   

Using Technology to Improve Your Reputation 

If your agency utilizes HHAeXchange, you can directly connect our platform with one of our partners, Home Care Pulse, and their reputation management dashboard. The HCP Reputation Management tool helps you take control of your agency’s online reputation to drive growth. This dashboard integrates directly with your Google, Facebook, and other online accounts to request and track your reviews so that you can save time and easily manage all your reviews in one place. Plus, the dashboards’ easy-to-manage request method allows you to increase the number of reviews you receive, boost your agency’s review visibility, and monitor your competitors.  

According to the 2022 HCP Benchmarking Report, despite online reputation being a top five marketing source, HCP identified that only 32% of agencies are using a tool to manage online reviews. By utilizing reputation management technology, you put your agency ahead of the competition, increasing your online share of voice. 

A Great Reputation Starts with Good Business Practices 

There are many ways to optimize your homecare agency’s reputation, and managing your reviews is just one part of the equation. Don’t forget that ensuring your business has a stellar reputation among clients and caregivers starts by creating a great environment. If you provide quality services for your clients and make your caregivers’ jobs easier by giving them the tools they need to succeed, then the five-star reviews are much more likely to follow. 

To learn more about how HHAeXchange can help your homecare agency improve its reputation, contact us.