Don has served as executive director of a senior living community for almost 28 years. After the pandemic, census declined from a waiting list of 150 applicants to 73%. He is worried about continued decline in customer loyalty as residents choose to stay home longer or live with relatives. Why?
What do you do in this situation? Here is some inspiration to help keep your residents happy and gain more referrals for your senior living community.
1. Get Facebook and Google Reviews
The more positive reviews you receive on Facebook and Google, the better. Social proof is a key differentiator in this, and all, industries these days. Ask your best residents (or their family) to post a review online. This will show their friends and other local residents that your community is THE community to join when the time is right.
Bonus: Good reviews increase your ranking on Google Maps and on Bing search as well.
(Tip: Bing shows Facebook reviews in search results, while Google shows Google reviews.)
2. Create a referral program
One great way to track the effectiveness of your referrals is to take control of them. Start a referral program. Use a special code in your postcards or email campaigns to track referrals by marketing program. This will help you see which types of referral incentives create the most interest. Do more of those.
3. Conduct regular email campaigns
Email campaigns are still one of the top-performing marketing strategies available today – and this applies to long-term care marketing, too.
Send these emails to your residents’ family members to increase referrals.
Need some clarification or want to see an example? Send me an email and I’ll share some email marketing case studies with you.
4. Research new amenities
Since your residents are living there full-time, you want to make sure you have all the amenities they want and need.
Send out a survey or walk around and ask them: “Is there something you would like to see that we’re not doing currently?” Asking this question can go a long way toward creating customer loyalty as long as you follow through with new amenities.
Read our blog about how to conduct the perfect interview survey
5. Add events
Hold a movie night based on a seasonal theme. There are tons of good movies dating back all the way to the ‘20s, so there is bound to be at least a few months’ worth of movie nights you can plan in advance.
Or, bring in catering once a quarter with residents’ favorite restaurant foods.
Host a share-a-thon where they share a favorite memory from the past. This also serves as an ice breaker for newcomers.
To increase engagement, add your events to your community calendar as well as social channels or an event site to track RSVPs. This will also show you approximate interest or headcount when deciding how many servings to have catered in or how many chairs to put out. Events can include guests!
6. Go on field trips
Hold monthly or quarterly meetings to talk about where residents want to go, and explore budgets and logistics for group outings. Whether you offer independent living field trips or you support group grocery and retail outings, residents will appreciate the variety of options available to them in your community.
7. Put yourself in their shoes
Customer-centric service is not a one-and-done administrative task. Make sure you’re regularly taking the time to assess your community. Give yourself a tour. Use all of your senses. Are there areas you can improve? Would you feel comfortable there?
Are you trying to increase customer loyalty and gain more referral residents for your senior living community? Send me an email and let’s chat about additional marketing opportunities.