A person sitting while looking at their phone.

 

Written by Jenny Goldade

 

92% of consumers read online reviews, per Vendasta, so your funeral home’s online reviews can make or break your reputation.

 

It’s not uncommon for a business to get a negative review online. But you can retain your positive online reputation by responding to your reviews and asking other families for positive testimonials.

 

Let’s discuss some testimonial and online review tips to get your online reputation on track.

 

Asking for Testimonials

According to Boast, customer testimonials are one of the most effective content marketing strategies with an 89% effectiveness rating. They build your credibility by letting families hear a real-life example of someone’s great experience with your funeral home. It helps you build trusting relationships with families before they even walk in your door. So whether they’re preplanning or planning a loved one’s funeral at-need, your funeral home will be in mind.

 

When asking for and planning a testimonial, follow these steps:

 

  1. Decide who to ask. You may want to ask a family who gave you a good review or expressed their satisfaction with their funeral experience. It may help to create a list of client families who liked your services or used them in a unique way.
  2. Reach out to them. Once you’ve determined some possible families, reach out to them to see if they’d be interested. You can send them an email, give them a call, or invite them to discuss it at your funeral home. Just be sure to wait an appropriate amount of time to give them space after their loss.
  3. Choose a topic. Decide what elements from their funeral experience you want to highlight. Did they have several personalized funeral elements? Or, did they have a successful crowdfunding campaign? Determine a meaningful and memorable funeral element that will attract more families to your funeral home.
  4. Select a format. Your testimonial can be written or you can create an engaging video of the family talking about their funeral experience.
  5. Share it. Post your testimonial on your funeral home’s website. You also can share and promote it on your funeral home’s social media pages, such as Facebook or YouTube.

Responding to Online Reviews

Whether it’s on social media or review sites like Yelp, public online reviews can positively or negatively impact your funeral home. According to Yelp, 82% of Yelp users search the website before planning purchases at a business.

 

You should always respond to negative reviews. However, don’t respond when you’re angry; take a moment to relax. When you’re ready to respond, stay positive, keep it simple, and don’t get defensive. A defensive response can do more damage than a negative review.

 

The best way to respond to a negative review is to apologize and own up to any mistakes that were made, then offer to make things right for that particular family. If the situation can’t be made right, let them know that their feedback has been a learning experience that will guide your funeral home moving forward with other families. Even if that family does not use your services again, other families will see that you owned up to your mistake and learned from it, which will lead them to consider your services even after seeing the negative review.

 

By responding publicly to a negative review, you show potential client families you care about providing the best possible funeral experience. You also can directly message the reviewer in addition to your public response to learn more about their experience and see if there’s a way to resolve the issue. By reaching out and expressing your concern, they also may decide to change their review.

 

You also can use this as an opportunity to highlight your funeral home’s brand.

 

For example, you can say: “We’re sorry you had a bad experience. At (insert funeral home name), we strive to provide our families with a memorable and meaningful funeral to honor their loved one. Please message us directly, so we can work together to find a resolution to your problem.”

 

And don’t leave your positive reviews unnoticed, either. Respond to these to thank them for their feedback and say you’re glad they had a positive experience. These positive reviewers also are possible candidates for your testimonials, so consider reaching out to them.

 

Interested in learning more? Be on the lookout for our free testimonial and review eBook coming soon!

 

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