Bad reviews = disaster. Not enough reviews = catastrophe. Every local funeral home today needs LOTS of positive online reviews. Learn the best ways to ask for reviews and the pitfalls of certain approaches.
Your funeral home needs online reviews. It’s as simple as that. It will be reviewed on online platforms no matter what you do. You can love it (as some do) or hate it (as many more do), but it’s a reality. So you need to embrace the system and use it to your advantage.
In truth, online reviews can greatly benefit your funeral homeas long as you’re paying close attention to your online reputation and actively working to generate five-star (or at least four-star) reviews. They help you appear in the powerful Google 3-Pack. They help your organic search ranking. They help consumers decide to choose you over local competitors.
In today’s world, they’re the lifeblood of local businessand yes, these days, that includes death care services as much as any other business type.
Granted, it’s a little different to ask for reviews from a still-grieving family than it is from someone who just bought a furniture set. We understand that.
But that doesn’t mean you should be shy about (politely, gracefully) asking for reviews when the time seems right to do so. You just have to do so with more nuancewhich you know is doable, because that’s a skill funeral directors have been employing since the profession originated.
But what are the best ways to solicit reviews? Let’s go over a few.
Ask directly in person: This is one of the best ways. When a family member indicates great satisfaction with your services, politely inquire whether he or she would like to provide a review. You’re used to generating testimonials, and that’s all a positive online review is anywayit just comes with a star rating.
This works even better when you follow up right away with an email that includes a clickable link to a place the family member can write a short review.
Send personalized emails: This option generates some of the very best reviews for all businesses, but it’s especially good for the death care industry. When you email the family a very personal note, they’ll be impressed and feel special. Obviously, the review inquiry should be subtle and only mentioned briefly at the bottom. This also makes it easy to include a direct link to your review page.
There are a couple of potential downsides. It’s critical to be subtle about the review “ask,” so as not to offend the family. This approach also can be time-consuming, because you’re not just creating a boilerplate message and mass emailing it. However, it’s worth the time if you’re greatly in need of five-star reviews ASAP.
Create a “review us page” on your site: This can be effective, because you can include several different platforms on the page, giving your funeral home a better “spread” of reviews across platforms. That alone is quite beneficial. It also makes it easier for families to review you where they feel most comfortable doing so.
One downside is that families more often will be visiting your site before they use your services, when you really want them visiting afterward. However, the obituary provides a reason for families to return to the site, and you also can pull them back with a follow-up email, which you’re likely already doing anyway.
(Note: Monitoring your funeral home’s online reputation is a requirement for success in the digital age. Try our free Review Scan now for an instant reputation report on your business.)