Trust and transparency are two of the hottest topics in senior living right now. Why now? Why not ten years ago? Or twenty? Don’t we always want customers to trust us? The truth is, senior living companies (and many others in various industries) never really had to answer to the consumer. The digital age has introduced a whole new era of interacting with others that have used a service–and want to tell you about it.
What does this mean? Does it really mean that companies wanted to pull the wool over our eyes and just can’t get away with it as easy now? Maybe some, but not certainly all. There are many well-meaning companies out there that really do the right thing. You can see it on the state surveys that are public knowledge. Oregon has a website dedicated to sharing this information.
What steps are being taken? Its great that its coming up now, but transparency really should be an every day thing–from the beginning. Here are ways that you can keep all companies you interact with honest:
- Do your homework on regulation citations. Find your state’s government agency such as Seniors and People with Disabilities department or licensing agency that regulates senior living. Ask them for state surveys or records of complaint and whether the complaints were substantiated or not. When all else fails, as the communities that you visit–they’re required to let you see a copy.
- Read Reviews. This may seem obvious for restaurants or a hair salon, but its becoming more popular and trusted for senior living companies.
- Write reviews. Is someone doing something right? Write about it! Everyone likes to write a negative review when emotions are strong and they want to “stick it to” the company. But, what about those that do something right? Don’t they deserve credit too? Some providers have reviews and links to write them directly on their website.
- Look for pricing online. Does the company you’re looking into share their real pricing info freely or do they hide it? Do you have to get the “sales pitch” before you can be”privy” to that information? Whether its true or not, most humans can’t help but feel like something is being hidden when you can’t get a straight answer.
What makes you trust a company over another? Post in the comments or email me. I’d love to hear and keep the dialogue going. Thanks!
About the Author: Amira T. Fahoum is the Director of Marketing and Director of Operations, Northwest Region for Compass Senior Living located in Eugene, Oregon. Her path to senior living started when she simply decided to be open to possibilities in life. Possibilities are what led her to eight years of learning the senior living industry in roles ranging from Administrative Assistant to Director of Sales and Marketing to unofficial IT coordinator. Possibilities also led her into the world of education technology for almost three years. Now, on her journey with Compass, she has found true reward in working with the people that care for others. She lives in Eugene with her husband, Michael, where they enjoy golf, travel, and volunteering.