Success rides on the reputation of a business. A favorable reputation can build brand awareness and loyalty, attract new customers, and frame your business in a positive light. A damaged reputation, on the other hand, can stifle business growth. Nursing home reputations tell others about the quality and care provided by these facilities. Just like nursing home insurance protects business assets and staff, reputation management can provide its own form of protection in a competitive marketplace. Here is a look at how you can boost the reputation of your nursing home.
Why Does Reputation Matter for Residental Care Facilities?
It can take many positive attributes to build a favorable reputation, but only one negative incident to ruin that hard-earned status among stakeholders. According to an article published in the Harvard Business Review, positive reputations offer significant benefits, including:
- Attracting better people, both as employees and as clients/customers.
- Influencing perceptions of value, potentially allowing businesses to charge a premium for their perceived value.
- Developing and strengthening loyalty.
- Encouraging customers to spend more on products and services.
In the highly competitive long-term care market, potential residents and their family members gauge the quality of a facility in part on its reputation to identify the best care available. Unfortunately, nursing homes often lag when it comes to managing their reputations. In fact, many engage in crisis management, where handling damaging information or incidents after the fact takes precedence over improving reputation as a business process. Proactive approaches protect against reputational risks, much like nursing home insurance protects against a range of operational liabilities.
Nursing Home Reputations: Charting a Path Toward Success
In today’s digital world, online reviews are some of the first bits of information a person discovers when researching a given business. Nursing homes – and their reputations – depend on favorable online reviews. Online reviews also give facility owners a chance to make direct connections with customers. To improve the perception of your facility, industry experts recommend focusing on three critical factors when responding to reviews:
Empathy is a valuable attribute. Just as many reviews come from individuals who received excellent service as those who had a negative or unpleasant experience. Understanding their mindset in regard to the review is crucial. Responding to every review – positive or negative – in an empathetic, kind manner will pay dividends.
Responding to reviews allows stakeholders to share information. Information is a vital part of the transactional nature of business; providing the details to help a person make a purchasing decision can influence their buying habits. Nursing homes that share information with prospective residents tend to stand out from their competitors. These potential new customers gain a positive viewpoint of the facility and its services when their questions are addressed by staff members in review responses.
Finally, appreciation for reviews, no matter how positive or unflattering, works to build an understanding between a nursing home and its growing customer base. People have taken time out of their days to post reviews; brushing them off or being less appreciative of their efforts can have a damaging reputational effect. A simple “thank you for your review” is often all that is needed to smooth over harsh feelings or negative perceptions of your facility. Best of all, reviews give facility owners and managers a chance to discover ways in which the facility’s service delivery can be improved – feedback is a powerful learning tool.
Nursing home insurance is the foundational component of operational risk management in long-term care facilities. Building and maintaining a positive reputation may not seem like part of a comprehensive risk management strategy, but this practice can help position your facility in a favorable light for years to come. Take the opportunity to use these tips to build, manage, and restore reputations and enjoy continued success in your nursing home operation.
About Caitlin Morgan
Caitlin Morgan specializes in insuring assisted living facilities and nursing homes and can assist you in providing insurance and risk management services for this niche market. Give us a call to learn more about our programs at (877) 226-1027.