With the growing number of choices seniors have for housing and long-term care, keeping residents -- and their families -- happy is key to any community’s success. Here are five ways senior living providers can improve customer satisfaction to avoid losing residents to the competition.
Assess customer satisfaction via surveys and other methods
Before you can implement a customer satisfaction improvement initiative, you need to know how you’re doing in the first place.
There are many ways of gauging satisfaction, from anonymous mail surveys to phone surveys and other one-on-one conversations. (In this McKnight’s article, experts discuss the pros and cons of various surveying methods.) Whatever methods you choose, remember that your customers consist of two distinct groups -- your residents and their families -- so to get an accurate overall picture, be sure to assess the satisfaction of both groups.
Improve your employee satisfaction
Employee satisfaction is of paramount importance in customer satisfaction. According to a report by National Research Corporation, “Every other measure of quality is correlated with employee satisfaction.”
If your employees are highly satisfied with their jobs, they will provide better service for your residents. National Research Corporation has found that satisfied employees are more engaged and provide more compassionate care, which results in more recommendations from both residents and their families.
Boost your family engagement efforts
Family engagement is often neglected by senior living providers, except in case of emergencies or when family members are on-site. But increasing family engagement can have a profound effect on the satisfaction of both residents and their families (and, in turn, on their willingness to recommend your community).
New technologies provide innovative ways for communities to boost their family engagement efforts. For example, Caremerge, which was launched in 2012 as a way to keep all patient information in one easily accessible place, now has a family engagement app that helps adult children keep track of how their parents are doing and communicate with caregivers in a secure, HIPAA-compliant way.
Reduce social isolation among residents
Social isolation can have devastating consequences for seniors and for their satisfaction with your community. Social isolation is linked to increased risk of depression, high blood pressure, unhealthy behaviors, and mortality.
Even something as simple as encouraging residents to dine with others rather than alone in their rooms can go a long way toward reducing social isolation. Here are 14 ways to help seniors avoid social isolation from A Place for Mom.
Make your community feel more like home
Studies show that seniors want to age in a place that feels like home. To that end, senior living management has started to focus on providing amenities and choices, for example, on-demand dining options rather than pre-set menus.
In addition to community-wide improvements, explore ways you can help individual residents make their accommodations feel more like home. Provide decorating assistance, bring in some plants, help new residents start to make social connections -- these may all sound like small things, but they can have a significant impact on how satisfied residents and their families are with the services your community provides.High customer satisfaction ratings aren’t just a “nice-to-have,” they are a “must-have.” If you can keep your customers happy, they will not only stay with your community, but recommend your community to others.