A good reputation is a big deal for any home care provider and, arguably, the most important aspect of your business. It not only distinguishes you from your competitors and opens doors to more opportunities, but it also provides easier access to your ideal client base, attracts top caregivers, and improves retention.
To achieve a high level of success and growth in today’s market, home care providers must pay serious attention to their reputation and take a proactive approach to building, managing, and maintaining it. You don’t have to wait for people to form an opinion about your home care business — you can actively shape how your business is perceived.
Here we offer 10 tips to help you become more intentional about building and maintaining a positive business reputation, both on and offline.
1. Investigate your current reputation
Before you can begin to improve something, you need a clear picture of its current state. It’s important to check your reputation as it stands today and how it compares to your competitors. Having this information will help you to identify areas where improvements need to be made.
The most important source of information will be feedback from your existing clients/patients and families, which you can obtain through surveys, focus groups, reviews on your website or social media, and word-of-mouth.
You should also check out what’s being said about your business online. A few ways to do this include:
- Google My Business Page Reviews
- Setting up Google Alerts
- Search on Social Media
- Community-Based Review Sites, such as Yelp
- Industry-Specific Review Sites
If you don’t have the time or skill set required to carry out your own online reputation audit, there are reputation monitoring tools and reputation management services that can do this for you, for a fee.
2. Develop a brand style guide
A brand style guide is a set of rules determining how your home care business presents itself to the world. It includes your mission, values, brand personality, and core values and how these are communicated through design (i.e., logo, color palette, font choices, photography, and more).
Developing a brand style guide means that everyone within your business can be consistent when it comes to communicating your brand message across all channels.
This is an integral part of building your reputation, as people will form an opinion about your brand every time they see or experience it, including when they visit your website/social media pages, speak with someone on your team, read a job post, and so on.
Every touch point should reflect and reinforce your core brand strategy consistently.
3. Take your social media presence seriously
Establishing an excellent online reputation via your website and social media channels is essential to support your growth opportunities. This is where the majority of people will discover and assess your business.
- Ensure your social media pages and website are easy to navigate, up-to-date, and informative.
- Regularly create and share engaging and positive content, including reviews, case studies, blogs, announcements, videos, and links.
- Optimize your website with SEO to increase the number of visitors and page views you receive.
- Ensure high-quality copy and graphics across your social media pages and website, with a strong brand image, demonstrating that your home care business pays attention to details and is professional.
- Regularly review competitors’ online content to gain insights into the strategies they’re using.
- Address any issues affecting your reputation, such as negative reviews or comments. Promptly resolving these issues will improve engagement, inspire trust, and keep your reputation intact.
4. Create a review management plan
It makes good business sense to get a review management plan in place. A recent survey from ReviewTrackers found that:
- 35% of people only consider doing business with a brand that has an average star rating of 4+
- 10% said they would go straight for a company with 5-star reviews
- 92% said they trusted online reviews more than a recommendation from a friend or family member.
To avoid other people being in control of your reputation, create a plan that includes:
- Actively creating space on your online channels where your clients/patients/families, and staff can easily leave reviews and testimonials.
- Proactively sourcing positive reviews often and effectively.
- Setting up a client/patient referral program that encourages reviews in exchange for an incentive.
- Making sure reviews are published on reputable sites.
- Responding promptly to all online reviews to show you’re paying attention and care enough to resolve any issues or complaints.
5. Shape and promote your company culture
Every home care provider’s reputation ultimately depends on its long-term culture.
Having a great company culture not only affects how your employees feel about working for you and the quality of care they deliver to your clients but also plays a significant role in how the outside world perceives your business.
It is a powerful asset in attracting new hires and clients/patients to your company and can really set you apart from the competition.
For tips on building and promoting positive company culture, read our recent blog here.
6. Provide an excellent client/patient experience
Every positive client/patient experience with your home care business will help you build and maintain an excellent reputation. In fact, it will have a multiplying power, bringing in new clients/patients to grow your business and keeping your existing clients satisfied and loyal.
Investing in improving your clients’ engagement, satisfaction and loyalty requires a conscious and continuous effort from every team member.
Learn more about how your home care business can raise the bar in the client/patient experience you provide here.
7. Be an excellent employer
Research has shown that businesses with the most highly engaged and satisfied employees also have the strongest reputations.
As a home care provider, it’s essential to appreciate that engaged caregivers and office staff are important allies in defending your business’s reputation – which is why the employee experience you provide needs to be excellent.
Find out how you can improve your employee experience to significantly increase retention and boost your business reputation here.
8. Harness the power of word-of-mouth
While a large percentage of people now view the reputation of a home care brand through the lens of search engines, websites, and social media, word-of-mouth marketing can still bring major benefits to your reputation.
You can harness the power of word-of-mouth by investing in building relationships and communicating well with the people that matter the most, including existing clients/patients and their families, professional referrals, your employees, and complementary companies in your local community.
- Who are the people we want to have talking positively about our home care services?
- Do they have all the information they need?
- How can we keep them informed and up-to-date about our services?
- How can we enhance our relationships with them?
- How can we improve communications?
9. Give something back to your community
Being actively involved in the community, connecting with people, and networking at local events is a great way to make your brand presence and personality known in your local area.
Ideas for building respect, trust, and a positive reputation in your community include:
- Attending or sponsoring local events, such as local health fairs, senior events, sporting contests, and charity fundraisers.
- Volunteering with local causes where you can make a difference.
- Speaking at local assisted living facilities, senior centers, retirement communities, or nursing facilities.
- Mentoring students interested in a home care career, hosting free webinars or running workshops.
- Researching and reaching out to local businesses/entrepreneurs serving the same community as you to identify potential partnership opportunities.
10. Regularly track and monitor your progress
This leads us nicely back to number one in the list above! While it is vital to check your current reputation before creating a winning strategy to build and maintain it, it is equally important to regularly track and monitor progress once you’re up and running.
Tracking tools are essential to get the most accurate and valid data from across multiple channels.
A good reputation is the most powerful leverage your home care business can have, and essential for long-term survival in the industry. With these 10 tips, you will be able to take control of your business reputation, create opportunities for growth and expansion, and stand out from the competition in 2022 and beyond.