Think about it; your online reviews and subsequent online reputation can be looked at as your funeral home’s credit score.
It seems many funeral home owners believe that a single bad review won’t hurt them. Nothing is further from the truth. In this new online world, information is posted, shared and transmitted constantly between individuals and families. What one user can see, their 200 or 300 “friends” also can view.
History had shown that a single bad review can drive away one potential family out of every ten. To further add to the situation, bad and fake reviews gain momentum in the search engines and are then shared on social media.
It is estimated that almost three-quarters of consumers are now sharing their opinions and creating reviews on social media. Facebook reviews are quickly overtaking Google reviews and other review platforms. This is a result of most Facebook users being logged into their accounts 24/7.
The average Facebook user visits the site six times per day with their mobile app. According to one customer review software company, Facebook has become a major source for reviews, with more than 55% of consumers considering that platform as a useful and trustworthy resource to learn about products, services and companies. That includes local businesses like funeral homes!
Facebook users also feel that reviews are more important than comments or related posts. More than 70% of these consumers place trust in the reviews. In most cases, these reviews are posted by folks that the users have never even met in the real world.
Any random Facebook or social media user can damage your funeral home with a bad review; even it is not entirely accurate or misrepresents what really happened. That is the reason that dealing with your reviews, good bad or fake, is of paramount importance now more than ever. A handful of bad reviews become the silent killer of funeral homes!
The good news is that you can minimize the damage by understanding one simple concept: The solution to pollution is dilution!
Or in other words, you need to start collecting as many positive reviews as possible to offset the effect of a bad review. (Obviously, you should address where possible any shortcomings or issues outlined in the bad review.) Both the number of your reviews, combined with your overall rating or the quality of your reviews in the aggregate, is your secret weapon against the damaging effects of a bad review.
Families trust businesses with not just a good rating (4.0 stars or higher), but also tend to ignore bad reviews when they are only a small percentage of the total. A funeral home with 20 reviews which include 5 poor reviews has a problem. A funeral home with 120 reviews and 5 negative reviews is insulated from a potential customer writing you off at a glance. And at the speed of search these days, a glance is about all you get!
Managing your reviews and online reputation is too important to ignore! If you don’t have time to manage your reviews, consider enlisting an online reputation management software solution. One such software firm is Rannko.com.
Joe Weigel is the owner of Weigel Strategic Marketing, a communications firm focused on the funeral profession that delivers expertise across three marketing disciplines: public relations, branding, and communications. Visit his website at weigelstrategicmarketing.webs.com. He also can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Funeral Director Daily take: Our thanks to Joe Weigel for his commentary today. Joe is a faithful reader of Funeral Director Daily and in our quest to provide Best Practices in the death care industry, we asked Joe for some advice on the above topic. If you would ever be interested in submitting an article that you would believe to be helpful to at least some segment of the profession, please contact us.