The Five Guys Guide to Funeral MarketingJuly 17th, 2012
A few months ago, I decided to try Five Guys for the first time. After hearing about how awesome their burgers were from practically everyone I knew, I gave in.
When I walked into the restaurant, the first thing I noticed was floor-to-ceiling raving reviews on their burgers. Plastered everywhere were quotes from well-known sources like The Washington Post, NY Times, AOL CityGuide, GQ Magazine, etc.
The signs said things like:
“The best $5 burger a man can eat.”
“Where Burgers are Boss.”
“Willy Wonkas of Burgercraft.”
These statements immediately reaffirmed my decision to choose Five Guys for lunch. I’m almost convinced that all of the positive reviews surrounding me made my burger taste even better (and boy, was it good to begin with).
There wasn’t anything particularly life-changing about my experience there, but the reaffirmation around me made me happy, and influenced my opinion of Five Guys. Now that’s psychology (and marketing) at its finest.
What Your Funeral Home Can Learn from Five Guys
70% of Americans say they look at product reviews before making a purchase (Google, 2011). And it’s not any different for your families. Apps and platforms such as Facebook, Yelp, Foursquare and Google Reviews are HUGE resources that many consumers turn to when shopping around.
Our profession should leverage reviews as an important tool in funeral marketing. Reviews can play a key role in communicating the value of our services to potential families.
Step 1: Ask Your Families to Write Reviews About Your Services
If you have a family who had a great experience with your funeral home, ask them to post a review about it. They don’t need to write a novel, just a couple sentences about their experience. A Google Review or even a comment on your Facebook wall will work.
Sometimes it might be difficult to ask your families to post a review for your firm when they’re grieving. If you feel uncomfortable asking, simply inquire about their experience with your firm. If they have positive things to say, jot them down and ask them for permission to use their quotes as a testimonial.
Step 2: Make Your Positive Customer Reviews Public
So you’ve got a great customer review. Now what? Share it with the world! Create a “Customer Testimonials” section on your funeral website and showcase reviews there.
And, if you’re on Facebook, use the quote as a Facebook status update and give a shout out to the family, thanking them for their wonderful review. Trust me, it won’t go unnoticed. In fact, 7 out of 10 people who read reviews share them with other people, thus amplifying their impact.
Step 3: Watch Your Business Grow
Positive reviews influence purchasing decisions, and can boost the number of potential families that contact your funeral firm. A recent study shows that having reviews on your funeral website can increase your leads by 20%.
Why? Because people trust reviews. In fact, 90% of online consumers trust recommendations from people they know (while only 14% trust advertisements).
Step 4: Respond to Negative Reviews
If someone leaves a negative comment on your Facebook page, Twitter, or posts a negative review online – don’t ignore it or delete it! People will notice, and it won’t simply “go away.” This is your time to shine as a respectable funeral home. Address the situation by apologizing for their bad experience, and asking them if there is anything you can do to alleviate their inconvenience.
Don’t just take my word for – a Harris report shows that that 68% of customers who left negative reviews got a response and 18% of those people became loyal customers as a result, and made additional purchases from the company.
Product reviews are becoming a form of advertising for businesses large and small. They’re the most influential element driving purchasing decisions today. How influential? The typical American mentions brand names 60 times per week both online and offline.
Just think about the opportunities your funeral home can generate from simply asking your families to tell you about their positive experiences – and responding to negative ones.