technology

5 Steps for Responding to Negative Reviews

Posted on

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 »

How ‘Google for Jobs’ May Help Funeral Service

Posted on

may help funeral serviceWhere do you, as a funeral home owner, go to find good help? With baby boomers approaching retirement age, you’ll soon have job openings available, but you may find it hard to convince potential job candidates to work for you. Funeral service isn’t exactly sexy and without the right knowledge of all the rewards your funeral home can offer them, exposure to hazardous chemicals and long hours, for example, may cause potential employees to overlook the opportunity to make a difference in families’ lives by creating memorable funeral service experiences for those in grief.  Read the rest of this entry »

What to Avoid When Building Media Relationships

Posted on

4.5.17 Media Avoid - Weigel (1)Last week, OGR’s Blog explored ways to improve a funeral home’s media coverage. This week, we’re discussing what funeral homes should avoid doing when building relationships with local media.  Read the rest of this entry »

One Change I Would Have Made at My Dad’s Funeral: Webcasting

Posted on Updated on

Why is recordingwebcasting a funeral service important for families- What do they get out of it-

“If I could do something differently, I would ask for someone to record my dad’s service.” ~ This comment was taken directly from a survey received through OGR’s consumer feedback program, The Family Contact Program


Family Contact Participants often receive comments that help them improve their business offerings and practices. Through the blog series “Exploring Solutions with Family Contact,” members get better insight into services that might benefit their funeral home.


Have you ever received feedback like this from a family you served? Or maybe you’ve attended a funeral yourself and wished later it had been recorded.

The recording and webcasting of funeral services is a service more and more families are requesting. Several factors account for this increase: the sudden popularity with livestreaming on social media and in social gatherings, the distance family members now live from each other, and the psychological comfort it provides people who have lost a loved one. In this week’s blog, OGR will explore recording and webcasting services, and what this trend means for families and funeral homes.  Read the rest of this entry »

2016 Trends that Shaped Funeral Service–Part I

Posted on Updated on

exhibition-1
In many people’s minds, 2016 will be remembered as the year celebrities dropped like flies. According to Legacy.com, the number of celebrity deaths was comparable to previous years, but three factors made it appear that celebrities were dying in droves: 1) a higher-than-average number of those who died were either A-list or legendary stars; 2) many musicians died who had extremely loyal fan bases; and 3) the average age of celebrities who died this year was about 10 years younger than usual.

Aside from celebrity deaths, growing pains continued to reach every aspect of funeral service. During the last 12 months we saw some outrageous trends, some of which have already used up their 15 minutes of fame. Other news stories highlighted shifts in public preferences that merit our continued attention, even if these changes seem undignified to some traditionalists.

Part I of this blog will examine five topics which drew national, and sometimes international, attention to funeral service in ways that are relevant to serving families in the near future. Next week, Part II will examine five more topics.  Read the rest of this entry »

10 Things I’ve Learned from Working with Funeral Directors

Posted on

9-1 10 Things Funeral Service Smith
Here’s a typical conversation that I have when I’m out with friends, meeting new people.

“What do you do?” asks someone who doesn’t really care but feels obligated to engage me in conversation.

“I work for a trade association that works with independently owned funeral homes. I’m a meeting planner.” I respond to cut to the chase.

“Oh! So you plan funerals? Do you embalm bodies?” returns the individual who now has a stronger interest in hearing what I have to say and obviously wasn’t listening.

“No. But I know quite a few people who do. Why? Do you need a discount on an urn?”

The asker typically turns pale and isn’t sure where to go from there.

So goes many a conversation at cocktail parties and other events when I have the opportunity to interact with anyone who doesn’t work in funeral service. It’s made me stop and think about what funeral directors face when they share their story with others.

Since I joined OGR’s staff four years ago, I’ve learned quite a bit about funeral service professionals and have found that they have a pretty challenging job. They work long, irregular hours around strange smells, extreme emotions, and lots of paperwork. They respond to phone calls in the middle of the night, often miss holidays with their families, and care for dead bodies. They maintain composure and professionalism in the midst of family conflict, inclement weather, and national tragedies. A lot of what they do is behind the scenes, unseen and unheard.  Read the rest of this entry »

Networking: Make It Personal

Posted on

7-21 McClure Networking CoverIn today’s world of social networking and associated technologies, it’s easy to conduct business from behind the desk or mobile device. As a society, are we forgetting the importance of face-to-face interaction?   While funeral service professionals interact with families face-to-face on a daily basis, it is easy during slow periods to stay inside and behind screens. To expand your business and your network of relationships, it is imperative that you take the time to enrich yourself and your businesses by participating in varied networking opportunities outside the funeral home.

In-person relationships and events are where we learn more about the people we do business with, meet potential customers, and expand our business knowledge. We must commit to taking advantage of these opportunities and learn some things that we just couldn’t learn the same way online.

Try these easy tips for making networking personal and learn something new.  Read the rest of this entry »