Who Would You Call? Becoming the Top-Rated Funeral Home

Step #7 from my 10-step Checklist – Become the top-rated funeral home in town.

A few months ago, my father-in-law was in the hospital, and it didn’t look like he’d make it. Word spread quickly; within days, their home was filled with family members who had flown in from all over the world to say their goodbyes.

We had 12+ people packed into an old home, each with multiple devices to charge. This strained the wiring, and one of the circuit breakers kept blowing. Unfortunately, it was the circuit that powered the internet connection, so when it went out, it created a big problem for those of us who still had to get some work done.

After resetting the breaker for the fourth time in one day, I decided to call in an electrician. I did what most people do today: I Googled “electricians near me”.

Google displayed the listings for three local electricians. One had no reviews, one had 4 reviews and a score of 5.0, and one had 25 reviews and a score of 4.7.

Who would you call?

I discounted the electrician with no reviews right away. I read the reviews left for the electrician with 4 reviews, and they were all glowing but were at least 2 years old. 

The 25 reviews for the other electrician were more recent and were generally very positive. The only ones who weren’t happy were people who said they thought they shouldn’t have to pay for something that took ten minutes to fix.

In 2022, a survey of consumers reported that 63% of people said they would read a business’ reviews before visiting them.

In 2023, the figure rose to 81%.

Step #7 of my 10-step checklist for growing your funeral home business is to become the top-rated funeral home in town. Why is this important? Because 81% of people will decide whether or not to even consider you based on your overall rating, what people say in their reviews, and how you respond to them.

The bottom line is that in today’s world, being the top-rated funeral home in town will help you win more calls and serve more families. 

How do you become the top-rated funeral home in town? Here are four tips to get you started.

Tip #1 – Earn a five-star review every day

This is the foundation of becoming the top-rated funeral home in town. You have to earn a five-star review every day, and it’s not easy.

Here’s a formula for earning a five-star review, EE + CC + PS = 5 stars!

EE – Exceed Expectations – regardless of how much they spend, you have to exceed their expectations. Not sure what they expect? Ask them.

CC – Consistent Communications – communicate with the family far more than you think is necessary. Understand that they feel lost and you are their guide. Keep them on track by consistently communicating.

PS – Positive Surprise – One of my most successful clients has a rule at their funeral home…every family gets a positive surprise. It might be a plate of cookies made with Grandma’s recipe or a special portrait of the deceased that they didn’t expect. Surprise them, and they will sing your praises.

Tip #2 – Ask the right person

Have you ever seen a review with a star rating but no text? A review like that looks like spam, and most people will ignore it. That happens when you ask the wrong person to leave a Google review for your funeral home. 

Within every family, there is someone who is in charge of writing the thank-you notes after a funeral. Typically, it’s a Baby Boomer woman or her daughter. 

That’s the person you should ask for a review. Why? Because she will be specific. She’s not going to just say thank you; she’s going to mention a specific person and something they did that was helpful.

Tip #3 – Ask at the right time

Many funeral professionals wait too long to ask for a review. They will let 30 or 60 days pass before asking because they don’t want to be a burden. Although the sentiment is correct, the timing is off.

Asking immediately after the service is inappropriate because it implies that you are finished serving the family as soon as the funeral is over. The only exception would be if the family brings it up first, in which case it’s okay to proceed with the next step (tip #4).

The best time to ask for a review is when the family has accepted the loss and feels grateful for your support. That may not happen for a week or two after the service.

That’s also right around the time that you typically check in with the family, and you might deliver copies of the death certificates. That’s the perfect time to ask for a review.

The bottom line is…wait until you hear them express genuine gratitude and then ask for the review.

Tip #4 – Make it easy for them

Unfortunately, Google does not make it easy for someone to leave a review. As a result, families promise to leave a review but get frustrated with the process and let it slide.

The solution is to make it easy and send them a link that takes them directly to the review page for your funeral home. This might sound silly but trust me. Most people won’t do it if you don’t make it easy for them.

Those are four tips to help you become the top-rated funeral home in town. Follow these tips, win more calls, and serve more families.

To fix our power problem, I called the electrician, who had 25 reviews and a score of 4.7. It turned out that a faulty circuit breaker was blowing every time an old dehumidifier kicked on. 

The electrician changed the breaker and solved the problem in ten minutes. I gladly paid his bill and left him a five-star review, too!

Until next time


PS: Your Google reviews are among the many things we look at in our Google Audit. If you are starting to make plans for 2024 (and you should be), click here to request a free Google Audit.


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