COSTA MESA, Calif. — The most important factors that lead to satisfied seniors housing residents are location and staff, far outpacing cost considerations, according to the 2018 Senior Living Satisfaction Study conducted by Costa Mesa-based consumer research firm J.D. Power.
This was the first year for the study, which measures resident and family satisfaction with the nation’s largest providers of residential communities for seniors. Overall satisfaction is measured across six factors: caregiver and staff; services and activities; cost given services; rooms, building and grounds; food and beverage; and service setup and new resident orientation. Satisfaction is measured on a 1,000-point scale.
The study, administered in partnership with seniors housing placement website A Place For Mom, is based on responses from 2,539 residents (or their decision-maker) living in an independent or assisted-living community within the previous five years, and was fielded from October through December 2017.
“With the oncoming ‘silver tsunami’ of Baby Boomers eventually flooding the senior living marketplace, independent and assisted-living providers are gearing up to exceed customer expectations, while expanding their portfolio by building and acquiring new assets,” says Greg Truex, senior director at J.D. Power.
“This inaugural study defines the performance metrics and behavioral patterns to reach operational capacity in the near term, while identifying critical long-term needs and demands,” continues Truex. “This is achieved by standardizing performance metrics, identifying resident expectations and behaviors, and creating a clear road map for providers by sharing a clear vision of today’s customer expectations.”
Sunrise Senior Living ranked highest among major providers, with an overall satisfaction score of 802, driven primarily by high scores in caregiver and staff; services and activities; rooms, building and grounds; food and beverage; and service setup and new resident orientation. Holiday Retirement (792) ranked second and Capital Senior Living Corp. (780) ranked third.
The study found that community staff is most important to overall satisfaction. In fact, the staff is nearly twice as important as the cost given services factor in driving overall satisfaction.
Convenience of location is the top reason a specific community is selected (60 percent of respondents), followed by quality of staff and service (45 percent) and the variety of services offered (44 percent).
Communities that provide exceptional service are rewarded by their customers becoming “brand ambassadors,” positively speaking about their experience with an average of seven friends, relatives and colleagues. For those that fail to meet expectations, customers turn into “brand assassins,” speaking negatively about the brand to an average of 13 friends, relatives and colleagues.
As far as increasing satisfaction, consistency with the service agreement is key. While 89 percent of customers indicated there was consistency between what was listed in their service agreement and the actual service received, overall satisfaction decreases 300 basis points when the experience differs from what is included in the contract.
For more information about the study, click here.