By MaryLee Herrmann
Time to dust off that sequined gown or get your tux from the cleaners, because the deadline for Caring.com’s Caring Stars 2023 awards is coming up!
Or don’t get gussied up. Either way! Because rather than putting on a glitzy show, this best-in-senior-living award gives serious recognition.
And we’ve got tips on how to prepare.
The annual Caring Stars award helps seniors and their families find the best senior living and in-home care providers in the United States. The program also helps winning businesses be recognized for service excellence, stand out from competitors, generate positive buzz, and boost staff morale.
How Many Searches?!
Denise Graab, of Caring.com, and I were recently having a conversation about Caring Stars and their upcoming webinar, and she dropped this stat: “Every hour there are 15,000 online searches for senior living and senior care.”
And those searches do yield a lot of options. So how do you make your community stand out but also demonstrate that it’s the real deal?
Hint: Caring Stars. With this award:
- Seniors find the best fit for their lifestyle preferences amid the overwhelming options.
- Communities receive acknowledgement for creating the best environments.
Sounds like a win-win!
The More Feedback, the Better
Caring Stars is based in part on feedback from residents themselves — i.e., reviews.
So one important component of prepping for the awards is to make sure your community has plenty of reviews — some of them recent — and that you have responded publicly to any negative ones.
This, again, is a win-win. Having more reviews makes your listing stronger anyway. Denise shared with me the Bright Local statistic that only 2% of U.S. consumers don’t read online reviews. What’s that mean? Ninety-eight percent of people considering senior living are probably reading your reviews. And not only that, but they are checking out any responses you have provided, particularly to any negative reviews.
Here’s a game-changing tidbit: Caring has discovered the magic number is 16. “Listings with 16 or more reviews get significantly more inquiries, tours, completions, and move-ins,” Denise said.
One thing that holds people back from asking for reviews is fear that reviewers will use the opportunity to vent. But Denise noted that there was a huge uptick in reviews (60% increase) in the pandemic, and this wasn’t because people wanted to gripe. It’s because they were grateful for how communities went above and beyond to keep their loved ones safe. So, really, online reviews are an opportunity to shine, to stand out.
Just a Couple of Months Away
The deadline to be selected for Caring Stars 2023 is coming up in October! Time to home in on your strategic (or should we say “star-tegic”?) goals to become a recipient.
A couple of requirements to consider:
- 4.5-star rating overall
- Public-facing response to all 1- or 2-star reviews on Caring.com
That’s not an exhaustive list though. Learn more about how to prep in this upcoming webinar. (Attending the webinar is not required to receive the award, but the information will help you get your listing in tip-top awards-season shape.)
Break a leg!