Today, consumers are more inclined than ever to base their decisions on what they hear from previous customers of a business.

Online reviews have transformed how people connect with companies and the last five years has seen a huge surge in the number of people both reading and writing reviews. In fact 61 percent of customers now read online reviews before making a purchase decision.

From sites like Top Rated Local, Yelp, Google and even Facebook, companies are starting to tap into this growing trend as a way of building trust with their customers. The funeral industry in particular is now starting to embrace online reviews and use them as a powerful way to connect with ‘at need’ customers. For funeral directors, this review content is your most influential marketing material.

What makes reviews so powerful?
It’s simple really. User reviews increase conversions. They are proven sales drivers, and something a majority of customers will want to see before they make a decision to buy a product or service. This is because reviews can help eliminate any doubts or questions a potential customer may have about your product or service.

For bereaved families, choosing the right funeral director is a big decision. Those ‘at need’ customers that look online will undoubtedly use reviews to help them make an informed choice.

What about bad reviews?
Interestingly, 68 percent of consumers trust reviews more when they see both good and bad scores. 30 percent actually suspect censorship or faked reviews when they don’t see any negative opinions on the page. So bad reviews can actually help – they can add to your funeral home’s authenticity. They will build trust as well as helping your death care business identify areas for improvement.

Are there any SEO benefits?
There are significant benefits to SEO performance as reviews can generate star ratings in Google’s results. This helps your website stand out from the crowd and get a lot more clicks from potential customers. In fact, these types of results can often mean a 10-20 percent increase in clickthrough rate to your website.

Furthermore, the additional content generated by user reviews will keep your website fresh which is an important part of modern search engine algorithms.

How to generate customer reviews?
Make the process simple. Your funeral home can ask for reviews in several ways such as through questionnaires, newsletters, on social media, or in person after a service has been provided. You can also incorporate a quick review form on your funeral home’s social media pages or website. Just remember to exercise grace and decorum, and be respectful of families and other clients in their process of grieving.

Since our inception, Osiris Software has been helping funeral homes, cemetery and crematory businesses prosper through innovative solutions and world class customer service.