6 Ways to Transform Your Families Into Brand Ambassadors

One of the biggest challenges of funeral marketing is that the services we provide aren’t exactly something people really want to talk about until it’s absolutely necessary.

One key marketing strategy that many businesses turn to is encouraging word-of-mouth referrals from their clients. And believe it or not, funeral service can benefit from word-of-mouth marketing as well.

However when your client is a family who has lost a loved one, it’s difficult to ask them to help spread the word at such a difficult time. In order to do so successfully, you’ll have to be relevant and stay sensitive to their needs. So how can you firm transform families into brand ambassadors? Here are some things to try.

1. Create and Share Educational Content

Research shows that 70% of consumers prefer getting to know a company through their articles (versus ads) and that 60% of consumers feel more positive about a company after reading their content.

Families who are about to lose a loved one or those who recently lost a loved one will be in need of various types of content from your funeral home such as:

–  Information about the choices for planning a funeral service

– How to deal with grief

– Ways to explain loss to a child

– Financial/ insurance planning

– Preplanning information

And the list goes on…

If your funeral home provides this information both online and offline, families who have benefited from receiving that information will be more inclined to use your services. They will also share that information with other families who are in a similar situation.

2. Leverage Social Media

If your funeral home has a Facebook page, be sure to leverage it in a way that encourages people to share your updates. We know no one WANTS to talk about funerals, so the key is to position yourself as a resource to them by sharing valuable information and inspirational content.  Through social media, you can maintain brand awareness among your audience, keeping your funeral home top of mind when your audience is in need of your services.

If your funeral home is creating educational content online as mentioned above, be sure to utilize social sharing tools such as the Facebook “Like” button to promote them. Have the person who manages your website install this button (learn how to here) so that families who want to share your content with others on Facebook can do it easily with the click of a button.

Also, consider implementing online memorial pages on your website like this one from Systema Funeral Homes. Again, when you utilize the Facebook “Like” button, you will encourage the family to share the online memorial of their loved one with their friends. This will put your funeral home’s name in front of a larger audience and show them that you offer unique services for your families.

3. Do Something Unexpected

When is the last time someone did something to surprise you? You probably told people about it, right? One thing that people love to do is talk about a local business that is doing something good for the community. For example, a Miami funeral home offered a free service to a man who was trying to stop a robbery in his neighborhood. The story was covered by a major local news outlet and was recommended on Facebook over 300 times.

Think of ways that your funeral home can help your community and do so. It could be something as simple as organizing donations for a family who has lost a loved one or offering lower service fees for those who died in the line of duty. Never underestimate the power of a good deed.

4. Ask Families to Share Their Experience for Others

As previously mentioned, it is going to be difficult to encourage a grieving family to write a review about a funeral service for a loved one. But one thing a grieving family will understand from their own experience with death is that it is hard to find comfort.

So instead of asking a family to write a review or testimonial, ask them to share their experience. Ask them to share how your funeral service helped them through a difficult time. This will help other families discover that they are not alone – that they too can receive the most caring service possible when they find themselves in need.

If they are not sure where to share their experiences, give them a few options which may include posting to your Facebook wall, adding a review to a local review website such as Yelp, or simply writing their experience down on a piece of paper so you can add it to your website to share with other families. Make it more about their ability to help others and they will be more likely to share.

5. Respond to Negative Experiences Quickly – and Publicly

Research has proven that people are more likely to share a negative experience – both online and offline – than a positive experience. Families who are mourning a loss are going to be more sensitive, and they may latch onto being angry over a mistake to help distract them from their grief. This means that while you may find lots of positive reviews about your funeral home, you may also find negative ones.

What can you do? While some may be tempted to ignore it, the best thing to do is to confront the negative review head-on. If possible, respond privately to the person who wrote the negative review. Also, if you have the option to also publicly respond, do that as well.

Potential families researching funeral services in your area may turn away if they see just a negative review. But if they see your understanding response to the review, they will at least know that your service is dedicated to creating the best experience possible for their families. This may lead them to turn to your service over others that do not take the time to try resolving problems that may have arisen.

6. Deliver WOW

It’s a fact that 70% of buying experiences are based on how consumers feel they’re being treated. By offering a top-notch experience to every family you serve, you’re families will take note and spread the word about your funeral home’s top notch level of service.

Not only will you position your funeral home as the best in town for customer experience, you’ll get more loyal families as well. In fact, 9 out of 10 U.S. consumers in a study done in 2012 said they were willing to pay more to ensure a superior customer experience. Just imagine the impact you can create in your community by simply committing to a great customer experience every time a family walks in your door.


If you want your families to become brand ambassadors, don’t just focus on the marketing aspect of it. Focus on helping families – the more you go beyond what is expected, the more likely families will want to talk about how your funeral service helped them. That is the kind of word-of-mouth marketing you want!


How has your funeral home embraced word-of-mouth marketing? Share your thoughts in the comments below!


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  1. Cathryn Murdoch

    I dont know if this is a cultural thing or not however I find my families and clients readily discuss this topic with others. I had the delight of arranging and conducting a funeral 2 weeks for the daughter or a mother who had passed. Her mother had a prepaid funeral, her father whom we buried 2 years ago, had a prepaid funeral plan, she has a prepaid funeral plan. At the refreshments after conducting a burial on a 38 degree day, this Phillipino family ate and enjoyed all life had to offer including us all, accepting us like family. A sister in law and brother in law then told me with much joy, we are paying off our pre paid funeral plans with you at the moment by installments……………….What a great experience. Nina then attended my Christmas Remembrance Service last night bearing gifts of chinese chestnuts and cake. I had a mailing list at this event asking people which events they wanted to be asked to and what their areas of interest were ie music etc because my chapel is the perfect place to host these functions. I hire out my branch/chapel and facility after hours for training, conferences and speakers and everyone loves the environment.

  2. Krystal

    Wow Cathryn, that’s great to hear that you’ve extended your relationship with your families to that degree and went above and beyond any expectations people have of a funeral home and of a funeral director. Great job, keep sharing those types of stories with us! These are the types of things that spark ideas for others in the profession!

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