"What other people think of me is none of my business!"
That may be true. What people think and write about my business online is another matter altogether.
Do online reviews about your funeral business matter?
Plainly put - YES! Online reviews influence 67% of consumers.
This data reflected the impact of Google+ Business local reviews. This insight is critical information. I will explain in more detail how this works. If you take action on this, your funeral business could gain a competitive edge in your town.
What are people saying about your business online matters! It will make all the difference in the future. This post gives you 3 action steps you can take now. Three measures to identify what people are saying about your funeral business online.
What Are People Saying About Your Funeral Business?
It has always mattered what people say about your business. Local businesses have lived and died by word of mouth. Fact. Get a bad reputation and soon people pass the message around. A local business could be in trouble quick. Now, anyone can say anything about your business online, and it is open for the world to read.
Online reviews are one of the primary search terms today. You can get an analysis of almost any product on Amazon. There you can find opinions and a star rating. (They are even reviewing my book!) You can even sort your search by the highest reviews. Want to a buy a new vacuum? Type [vacuum name] review into Youtube, and you can get video reviews. We are significantly swayed by the opinions of others when we buy a product. It is another truth of living in societies influenced by digital disruption.
One of the most well known and well used online review sites is Tripadvisor. Look at these facts.
Tripadvisor has 350 Million unique visitors a month.
There 320 Million reviews and opinions from travellers around the world.
6 Million businesses in 128k destinations are listed.
A persuasive review on Tripadvisor can influence the success of a business. A poor review can break it. Stories abound of both results. Add into the mix lies, false reviews and even rumours of hotels bribing guests for a review and the case for the importance of online reviews is made.
They matter big time.
What Are People Saying About Your Funeral Business or Celebrant Business Online?
Do you know?
Have you investigated?
Do you know how to check?
How do you respond to these reviews?
The importance of choosing a weeks holiday in Spain and determining a Funeral Director or Celebrant to organise the service for a loved one doesn't compare. The digital reality is that the process of making both of those decisions is now often the same. What are other people saying about this service? What are other people saying about this funeral director?
Are People Searching Online For Reviews Of Funeral Directors?
In a 2014 report, the numbers of individuals seeking reviews about professionals were increasing. Dentists, Solicitors and even Doctors now have online reviews. I get a text message from my doctor asking me to go online and write a review about them after an appointment.
New online review sites for Funeral Directors are starting to appear. The trend will only continue. Check out these Funeral Directors review sites. Look at recent reviews. Are you listed on any of them? What are they saying about your funeral business?
Three Action Steps To Take
Step 1 - Set Up A Google Alert For Your Funeral Business
When new content is added to the internet, Google Alerts are an easy way to get notified. By setting up a Google Alert for your funeral business, or your name, for example, each time new content is added Google will send you an email letting you know. Simple! This action can be useful in many ways. Want to know the latest news about anything? Then create a Google Alert and into your inbox pops an email telling you. This process is a must do for all businesses. Online reputation is a big deal, get used to it. For more information check out Google help pages on how to do this. If you are struggling, let me know, and I will help you create an alert for your business.
Step 2 - Create A Google My Business Page & Ask For Customer Reviews
Google My Business is a free service provided by Google. It is designed to help customers find local businesses. If you type your business name into Google, a map and a business page should appear. See my example below for my work as a celebrant.
The key thing here is to create the page and then ask for reviews from customers. It's a bit tricky to use. Not everyone will be willing to take the time to post a review. For those who do, it makes a big difference for your online reputation. The more reviews you can get the better impact it has on search engine results. As well as when a customer is looking for a funeral business in your area. This action is a strategy I have just started to build. I will let you know the impact of the reviews as I get more clients to complete a review online. For more information on Google My Business, check out Google's help pages here.
Step 3 - Regularly Check Online Review Sites For The Funeral Industry
If you need to register on any of the sites listed above, do so. You need to be ready to reply to both good and not so good reviews timely and correctly. Don't ignore comments. By thanking people for posting good comments, it encourages others to do the same. If the comment is not so good then perhaps a phrase like, “I understand that your experience with us wasn’t what you wanted it to be.” Then take it offline. "Please contact me directly on XXXXXXX I want to work to resolve this issue to your complete satisfaction.
Monitoring your online reputation is no longer an option to ignore. This important task is where a Digital Ambassador for your funeral business can help. Checking and responding regularly and quickly is crucial for your business. Growing an online collection of positive reviews will put your business ahead of others. It will build your search engine rankings for when customers are looking to choose a local funeral business. Social proof can make the difference in choosing your company to call.
What people are saying about your business matters. It matters enough to schedule time each week to check. Otherwise, you could be losing customers and not even notice. What funeral comparison sites or review sites are you using? How do you respond to comments online or offline? I would love to know, please contact me.
Have You Listened To A Death Goes Digital Podcast Yet?
Try listening to an episode about digital legacy with Kevin Hill from GABRIELSVAULT