Google My Business (GMB) has become essential to building an online presence for almost any funeral home business. A large part of this has to do with how consumers search for information. They use the most popular search engine Google. And suppose they search for your business in particular. In that case, you can bet they'll look to the right-hand column for your address, phone number, operating hours, and customer reviews to decide whether to use you for funeral arrangements and services.
How Do You Set Up a GMB Account?
Setting up an account is rather easy. It's just a matter of creating a business profile through Google. Simply go to the "create a profile" page. Then, enter your business name, select your business type, and start listing all the necessary details about your business (i.e., address, phone number, website, service area, business hours, etc.)—once complete, request verification.
What Is a GMB Post?
A GMB post is just as it sounds: a post about your business, usually updating operations. Posts alongside your business profile will show up, so they certainly can help create consumer interest in your funeral home. Currently, you have six types of posts available to you:
If, for example, your business is now offering grief counseling, you'd want to use an "update" to promote the new service and drive awareness. You may also want to do the same when adding new vehicles to your fleet. Understand, however, that you only have 1,500 characters available. But you want to keep GMB posts short anyway, as consumers usually look for only the necessary details.
Also, don't forget to include a call-to-action that links to whatever webpage offers further details about grief counseling — or whatever other updates, service, or deal you're promoting on your business profile. These posts can help drive traffic to specific pages on your website. Carefully consider what you want to detail in a GMB post.
How Do You Ask for a Google Review?
How to ask for a Google Review is an extremely delicate request for a funeral home. It would be in poor taste to ask right after a service or viewing, so timing is everything with the exchange. For the most part, you may want to consider including a link for customers to leave a review in your "thank you" emails. If you issue "paid-in-full" receipts, this could be another opportunity to include a link for customers to leave a review.
Should a Funeral Home Use Review Templates?
It isn't uncommon for businesses in all industries to be wondering about or asking for a review template. After all, business owners often want past customers to provide feedback about certain aspects of the business. However, Google doesn't provide a review template per se. Online tools are available to create review request templates that can be used for correspondence between the business and the customer. Otherwise, customer reviews are all up to the discretion of the person leaving the review.
What Are the Benefits of Online Reviews?
The benefits of online reviews are many. For one, each Google review increase the credibility of your business. No matter the type, reviews will make the business appear legitimate. They're also essential for spreading the word about a business. Consumers trust the opinions of other consumers more than anything your funeral home can say about itself. You simply need reviews. Besides, reviews can provide businesses with a competitive advantage, especially when there are several positive reviews to be found.
Just make sure to review the reviews with regularity. It provides the opportunity to respond to customer comments. Issue a quick thank you for positive reviews, and then personalize the rest of the message by telling the customer it was a pleasure handling whatever arrangements you were involved in making.
For negative reviews, they own the feedback and apologize authentically and empathetically for the issue they experienced. More importantly, resist the urge to resolve the issue immediately. Instead, reach out privately to see if you can offer a remedy. The last thing you want is to prompt a back-and-forth for all potential new customers to see.
Managing Google My Business is much like managing your social media accounts. It's essential to devote time and attention to ensure your business profile drives traffic through both your digital and physical doors.
Also don't forget about social media for funeral homes. Social media platforms offer valuable opportunities for funeral homes to engage with their communities and provide support during times of loss. From sharing educational content and announcements to creating meaningful connections with bereaved individuals, funeral homes can leverage social media to offer guidance, foster community, and demonstrate compassion in a digital space.
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