5 Methods to Help You Generate Positive Reviews for Your Funeral Home
Posted August 7, 2019
7 min read
Online reviews have become a huge part of social media and the Internet in general.
Part of the reason online recommendations are so important for almost every business today is because consumers trust those online reviews. Here are a few key stats that back up that idea:
- 57 percent of consumers only will do business with you if you have 4 out of 5 stars or better
- 89 percent of consumers read business’ response to reviews, showing just how important those responses are
- On average, consumers read as many as 10 reviews before they feel they can trust a local business
- 86 percent of consumers say they read local business’ reviews (1)
It’s clear that online reviews are increasingly critical for every small business, especially local businesses. So what do you do if you want to get more positive, authentic online reviews for your funeral home? Here are 5 tips to help you get started.
1. Make sure your social profiles are set up to collect reviews
First and foremost, make sure you have a social media profile that’s fully complete on the social channels you’re asking for a recommendation on! You don’t want a satisfied client family that’s been impressed with the experience they had with you to take the time to visit your channel, only to find that you have no profile photo or that your profile is out of date.
On Facebook, that means you want to be sure you have a business page that is set up, filled out, and claimed by you, the business owner.
Next, you’ll be required to turn on Recommendations so that anyone who sees the page can see any reviews you receive, as described here by Facebook.
Head to your page and click the “Recommendations” or “Reviews” tab that is on the left. Turn them on if they aren’t already.
Next, scroll to the “Templates and Tabs” section, also found on the left side of the page, and make sure you add a tab for Recommendations. If your business page already had reviews, you will have Recommendations already on.
Another key channel to be sure you set up: your Google My Business listing. With your Google My Business account—which you can think of as a free tool from Google—you have the ability to manage what typically shows up on the right side of Google’s search results page. (The information also shows up on the Google maps page, among other locations.)
It’s a great strategy to encourage Google reviews so you can appeal to client families who may be searching for you or for your services. After all, Google is the most popular search engine used today.
If you aren’t sure if you have a Google My Business page (or account), search for your own business online using Google, and see the search results.
If a Google My Business listing has already been verified and you’re authorized to manage the listing, you can request ownership from the current listing owner. Otherwise, if there is no business information at all throughout any Google property that shows, you can add or claim your business listing by following these instructions. Then just be sure to add photos and completely fill out your online profile. Now you’re ready to start collecting reviews!
2. Create a place for satisfied client families to leave a review on your website
It’s great to encourage people to visit your Google listing or Facebook or elsewhere to leave a review, but don’t forget about collecting reviews right on your site.
Some clients may not have Facebook (or another social channel) or it may just be too difficult for them to figure out how to leave a review there. You still want to capture their positive feedback, so make it simple and easy to provide feedback somewhere on your site. Or, if need be, provide that opportunity to them through email.
Once you have permission to do so, showcase those reviews online. You can actually post them as content on your social channels and you can also add them as fresh content to your website. No matter where you post those reviews, aim to showcase them throughout the client’s journey with you.
3. Build the invitation for a review into your normal feedback process
Asking for feedback on your website is one option, but also look for opportunities within your existing feedback process to leverage your happiest clients.
For example, once you send out your family feedback surveys, set up a process so that those who shared they had an exceptional experience are also asked to leave you a review elsewhere.
It doesn’t mean every person has to be asked to give an additional review, but you can set it up so that happy clients are prompted to give you praise in a public format, if desired.
4. Use the right kind of visual prompts to encourage reviews
Sometimes visual prompts that ask for feedback help to give the right person a bit of a “nudge.”
Imagine if a satisfied client family sees a small sticker reminding them of how you are a small business, and how you’d be grateful for their feedback online. For those that are open to it, this small nudge is all they need to show you their appreciation.
Make sure the physical signage guides them right to the appropriate social media channel; the less time they have to think about it, and the less hassle it is to give feedback, the more likely it is you’ll get that coveted review.
In this way, having a small sign or sticker on-site at your funeral home, in an appropriate area, means you don’t have to go out of your way to solicit the review. At the same time, you’re able to appeal to those who may be willing to give you that next review, so it’s a simple way to invite families to give you a recommendation.
5. Don’t give up on the process
Often times, it takes months—if not years—to authentically gather a large number of public recommendations and reviews. Be patient and recognize it is worth the effort.
Along the way, sometimes people can leave negative feedback or even a review that you worry can hurt your business’ reputation.
If a client family says they had a negative experience, avoid the natural inclination to be defensive. Take a moment to carefully craft your response.
The negative review itself will likely not do long-term harm to your business; rather, it’s how you respond that will impact your reputation. Work towards a resolution and give them the benefit of the doubt and that will shine through to anyone reading the negative review and your response.
Other tips for dealing with a negative review online: be as responsive as you can be, acknowledge their experience (don’t say it didn’t happen), don’t focus on blaming anyone, and stay as empathetic as possible. Don’t let a mishap or one poor experience take away from your long-term objectives.
Another Reminder About Client Reviews & Recommendations
Remember, you always want to be authentic and ethical when looking to receive more online reviews. Be sure to stay up-to-date on the latest policies for each social media channel so you don’t go against any policy when encouraging people to leave your funeral home a review.
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