How Online Reviews Can Build Your Funeral Home’s FutureMarch 24th, 2016
Is your funeral home looking for new ways to attract more families? Do you find yourself struggling to find new content for your marketing materials? Are you looking for ways to boost your online presence? Then I’ve got some great news for you… There’s a secret recipe to your funeral home’s marketing that you may have overlooked – or aren’t quite tapping into yet.
What is it, you ask? Online reviews!
In case you didn’t know, reviews are an incredibly effective way to build your online (and offline) presence and bring new families in your doors. In fact, 88% of online shoppers incorporate reviews into their decision-making process. That’s huge!
In order to start the process of building your funeral home’s marketing with reviews, I’m going to share with you two pieces of information… First, I’ll show you some ways to take the pressure out of getting feedback from your families. Second, I’ll help you leverage the reviews your families leave you.
Ready? Let’s go!
Step 1: Take inventory
Sure, you might think your Yelp page could use some love, but have you checked out all the other review websites out there? Before you take any first steps, take inventory of your current online presence. Check Google Reviews, Yelp, Angie’s List, Facebook and other common review websites to see what people are already saying about your funeral home. It even helps to Google your funeral home and see what your potential customers are seeing when they research you online. Go back a few pages… you never know what you’ll find. Once you’ve gathered all the reviews that have been left about your funeral home, start a file on your computer and keep them all there. Trust me, you’ll need them!
Step 2: Plant the seed
The power of influence is the real deal. The human psyche doesn’t usually like to be first (or only) one to do something. But when we see others doing something, we feel inspired to join or follow them. If your families already see reviews and testimonials all over about your funeral home (both online and offline), they might feel more inclined to add to the feedback with their own piece of mind.
Step 3: Consider every marketing channel
The secret to asking families to leave you reviews is to ask them more than once, and in many subtle ways. Just like we discussed the power of influence above, if you encourage families to leave you a review in various ways and on various channels, you’re increasing the likelihood of them finally catching wind of it. Look at all of your marketing channels – both online and offline – and write them out. Then, next to each channel, write out a different way for asking them to review you.
Here’s an example of a chart you could easily make on your own using Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets:
|Website||Did you enjoy your experience? Tell your community about it and leave us a review!|
|Business Card||Help our community thrive! Leave us a review on Yelp (link) or Angies List (link).|
Step 4: Offer an incentive for check-ins
What better way to ask for something than to give something in return? While it is against several review website’s terms of service to offer incentives to customers in exchange for a review, you can offer them perks for checking in to your location on these same websites.
They key to a great incentive that will motivate people to act is offering something with perceived value, but not something that will weigh down your day-to-day momentum. In exchange for an online check in, maybe you could offer a small discount on their service or a free personalized tribute video – just get creative! Once families have checked in to your location, they will already be active on the review websites that you are trying to build positive feedback on, so be sure to also express to them that you would love their feedback if they would be open to sharing it.
Offering an incentive is one of the most effective ways to get your families to take positive actions for your business, but it should be done in a tasteful and timely manner. Just be sure to advertise this incentive in all of your marketing channels (just like above) and you might be surprised by the buzz you create.
Step 5: Respond to every review – both good and bad
When someone takes the time to leave a review for your funeral home, you should take the time to thank them and respond to their review. Even if someone wrote a six page review on how much they disliked your funeral home’s services, you should respond in a timely manner. In fact, studies show that you can reverse a great deal of damage by simply responding to the customer who left you a negative review. First of all, it shows you care, and second of all, it gives you the opportunity to change their mind about you.
Step 6: Be proactive
Once you’ve set an intention to build up your funeral home’s online reviews, be proactive about it. Set a weekly Google Alert for your funeral home. Check Yelp, Google, Facebook and Angies List as often as possible. Ask others at your funeral home to keep their eye on your funeral home’s online presence, too. The more effort you put in, the more you’ll get out of it, just like anything else in life.
Step 7: Put your reviews to use in your funeral marketing
Once your community starts talking about your funeral home online, put your new marketing content to use. Here are some ways you can get started:
– Put a reviews and testimonials on your website
– Make a slideshow of reviews and put them on your funeral home’s large-screen TV’s
– Include a review on your business card
– Post your reviews (with photos if possible) on your social media accounts
– Design your reviews with a beautiful font, print them out, and put them on display throughout your funeral home
– Make sure all of your printed marketing materials have a review on them
As you can see, the possibilities are definitely there to take your funeral home’s presence to the next level with reviews. Not even online, but offline too! There’s nothing a little positive reinforcement can’t do. And when your families see how much others in their community love your funeral home, they’ll feel confident in their decision to choose your funeral home.
PS. Take your online presence to the next level with f1Connect, funeralOne’s all-in-one website platform, built to work for you. Click here to learn more about f1Connect.
What’s been your experience with online reviews at your funeral home? Tell us in the comments below!