positive feedback

5 Steps for Responding to Negative Reviews

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Picture2Before online review sites and the Internet, how did families share what they thought about your funeral home with others? Maybe they chatted in the parking lot after a funeral service or at the grocery store while shopping or on the phone. If a family was unhappy with their experience, you, as a funeral service professional, might not have known about it until months later. You might not have even been given the opportunity to respond because you never heard about the complaint.

Enter online review sites: a forum for customers to share their positive and negative experiences with a much broader audience. These sites — think Google Business, Facebook, Yelp — now provide businesses like funeral homes with the opportunity to join the conversation.  Anyone searching for a funeral home in your area may find your website, but they will also see your Google business listing and how the public has rated your funeral home (learn more about Google My Business). They may also see an obituary post on Facebook, visit your Facebook page and read there what families think about your funeral home (your business is most likely on Facebook, whether you like it or not – see lie #3 in this post).

While negative reviews can be intimidating, they can actually be positive for you in the long run. If you respond appropriately, a negative review can demonstrate to a grieving family why you’re a place they’d want to take their loved one.

So how do you accomplish this? How should you respond to negative online reviews? Check out these five suggestions for responding in a professional and caring manner.  Read the rest of this entry »

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Why Family Feedback is Important

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Customer feedback is a significant part of all business operations. In order to serve people well, you have to know what is important to them. 

Each year, OGR’s Exemplary Service Award is given to the top three nominees chosen by OGR members and is based on family feedback OGR receives through the Family Contact Program. This year’s winners had a lot to say about why family feedback is an important part of their funeral home.   Read the rest of this entry »

Dangers of Avoiding Feedback from Families

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Receiving criticism from a family after you’ve spent the whole weekend serving them to the best of your ability can be jarring. Maybe they write a letter telling you they didn’t like the style of the furniture or there wasn’t enough attention to detail. Whatever the feedback, sometimes it’s easier to ignore the comments and move forward with your business.

BUT, avoiding customer feedback won’t do you any favors.  Just because you avoid or ignore customer feedback doesn’t mean that your business is doing well, just like avoiding the doctor’s office, doesn’t make you healthy. In fact, many times it means that you’re sick and you don’t know it. Ignorance is not your friend when it comes to feedback and here are a few reasons why: Read the rest of this entry »

Online Funeral Arrangements: Start Planning Now

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1Are families ready to make funeral arrangements online? Funeral professionals often look at me like I’m crazy when I ask that question. They say, “Families will never forego personal connections when they plan something as important and as sensitive as making funeral arrangements.” Just like the national cremation rate would never exceed 50 percent, right? Read the rest of this entry »

How Funeral Professionals Can Make Their Businesses Thrive

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Do you ever feel like there isn’t enough time in the day to accomplish all you need to or like you’re treading water and barely keeping up with your competitors? For small business owners, scheduling time for success makes all the difference according to Clay Clark, founder of Thrive15. Clay has built several successful companies over the past 15 years and plans to launch more using time-tested strategies. His keynote at OGR’s Annual Conference & Supplier Showcase highlighted six of these strategies, which will help funeral service professionals increase the gross revenue of their businesses by ten percent this year.

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1. Develop a growth mindset. Read the rest of this entry »

Dealing with Negative Online Reviews for Funeral Homes

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This week’s guest post is by Robin Heppell of Funeral Futurist, a funeral home consulting business. Robin presented at OGR’s Fall Forum on the hazards of the Internet and how online reviews can benefit and harm your firm. This week’s post* delves more extensively into this topic. Read below for Robin’s tips for handling negative online reviews.

How did you feel when you saw your first negative online review? Mad, irritated, concerned?

I have had a couple of clients who found themselves in this position. After talking through it, we put a plan together to make the most out of the situation.

badreviews2Before we talk about the plan, I want to debunk some bad advice. Some people say not to respond to negative reviews because those reviews will be the first ones people see when they visit your Yelp or Google page. The problem with this strategy is that people are going to find poor reviews anyway, and if left unanswered, the complaint has more power.

I recommend responding to every negative review – but you can’t just blurt something out – you have to make sure that you have a methodical plan.

Here is my 3 step plan for dealing with negative reviews.  Read the rest of this entry »

Let the Customer Think They’re Always Right

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McClure Customer is Right-1 Headder Many consumers shop around; others choose a funeral home based on location and relationship. That isn’t news, is it?

As funeral service professionals, we hope that when people are in need, they’ll trust us enough to come knocking on our door for the products and services we provide. Regardless of how they choose us, once their choice has been made, it’s up to us and our staff to ensure that they feel they have made the right choice. How do we do this? Read the rest of this entry »