The funeral home testimonial section is a staple of most funeral home websites. Quite often, it’s one of the only ways that a funeral home is able to communicate the experience that other families have had with the funeral home in the past. Whether taking positive comments that families have made about the funeral service and re-posting it on the website or sharing PDF versions of letters that families have sent in with their feedback – there are certainly a number of ways that a funeral home can share testimonials with others.
There’s just one problem: Most people don’t trust static testimonials.
In a recent survey we completed using Ask Your Target Market, an independent market research company, we asked the following question to over 600 individuals throughout the United States over the age of 35: “How Trustworthy are Testimonials Found on a Funeral Home’s Website?”
Only 28% of respondents found funeral home testimonials to be somewhat trustworthy (22.3%) or very trustworthy (5.7%). The remaining 72% of respondents were either unsure or found the testimonials to be downright untrustworthy.
What does this mean for your funeral home?
First, let me assure you what it doesn’t mean. This doesn’t mean that these respondents find funeral homes and funeral directors to be untrustworthy. The reality is that it’s simply difficult to trust a testimonial about a company (funeral home or other) posted by that company. To the average consumer, it could seem that companies are biased to publish only the feedback that positively positions their businesses. In our own survey, the most common reasons given why funeral home testimonials aren’t found to be trustworthy include:
So if testimonials don’t effectively communicate the high level of service quality your funeral home offers and what other families’ experiences have been with your funeral home, what can you do to showcase the positive service you’ve provided to others? Here are a couple of ideas:
Use social media to solicit input and feedback from people you’ve served, and direct potential customers to these outlets
One great thing about Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms is that they allow individuals to share their perspective on products and businesses. What’s better for you is that when a perspective is shared on Facebook or Twitter, it’s done independently but not anonymously. Showing positive feedback from independent sources on independent platforms could help gain the trust of others.
Conduct regular surveys with your customers, and post the complete results
In order to truly gain the trust of funeral planners, you have to be honest about the feedback you’ve received. It’s a good idea to use a third party to verify the results of the surveys you completed as well.
Solicit reviews on independent review websites
Websites like Yelp and GooglePlaces will allow anybody to leave a review for pretty much any type of service. They are independent sources, so the people that read the reviews will probably not suspect the review website of having any sort of hidden agenda. That said, these sites are most commonly known for their reviews of restaurants and hotels. Also, these review websites generally don’t confirm that the person leaving a review is actually a customer of the company being reviewed. These websites mostly rely on a self-policing community and “the honor system” to ensure that the reviews are valid — so be careful. However, reviews are meaningful, and help guide consumer decisions. Some might assume that people will only leave a review online when they have a negative experience – but this fear has been found to be untrue. And don’t worry about receiving negative reviews – there are ways that you can manage negative feedback.
To learn more ways about how you can use the internet to build funeral planner confidence and generate new revenue from undecided families, visit the eFuneral funeral director blog.
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