How to get reviews in a sensitive niche?

Hi Everyone,

I am trying to help a friend in the Funeral Home Industry, which I'm finding it is a really difficult niche to request reviews from people.

Does anyone have any ideas or tips to help get reviews for funeral homes?

Like most industries the only people who are leaving reviews are the few who have a bad experience and leave horrible reviews.

Thanks in advance for your help!
 

Phil Rozek

Top Contributor
Re: How to get reviews in a sensative niche?

Hey Ben,

1. Create a ?Review Us? page, and link to it in your email signature.

2. Find excuses to contact the clients - to offer to help in some further way, to share helpful info, etc. It?s just a smart practice. It?s also good way to make sure they?re not foaming at the mouth, and that they?ll see your email signature.

3. Just ask some of the less-shy clients. Sure, do it gently. In the case of a funeral home, use language like, ?If we made this difficult time a little easier for you, please consider writing us an online review.? But also realize that, in this case, there?s no sense of shame on the part of the client. We?re not talking about bankruptcy lawyers or bail bondsmen or doctors for your nether regions.

4. Mention anonymous review sites as options. BBB is the best one that comes to mind.

5. Your client might not be motivated enough. Provide repeated hard prods. But realize there is no good way to contact customers/clients/patients in ?sensitive? industries without your client?s involvement. It?s buy-in or bust.
 
Re: How to get reviews in a sensative niche?

Benjamin,

It's difficult for anyone to ask for reviews. It goes against our nature. And I can understand that it would be even more difficult for a funeral home.

I recently had a client (in a different niche however) whom I finally convinced to ask some former clients for reviews. He sent out five emails and three of those left glowing five star reviews.

I am betting that if you contacted a few of the customers with whom you have connected well with, that they would be happy to leave a review for you. You could say, "I know this is probably an unusual question, but would you be willing to leave a review about your experience with us?" I am betting that just asking would get you some reviews.

I checked out the SERPS for funeral homes in Toronto and I can see that some of those are succeeding:

Screen Shot 2017-03-14 at 10.12.00 AM.jpg

Have you tried just asking a few clients? I know it's difficult to do, but I don't think people would be offended.
 
First off +1 for Phil and Marie's suggestions.

This is an interesting challenge and reminds me of this article I read recently about marketing in the funeral homes industry:

https://www.ceros.com/blog/life-and-death-as-a-funeral-home-marketing-agency/



The most successful funeral homes are the ones that effectively communicate their offerings and treat their customers with a level of kindness and sensitivity that you would expect from a family member.

The emotional lows of grief give way to emotional highs as funeral businesses help people find closure in their loss. The relationship between funeral homes and their clients, when done right, starts to feel less like a transaction and more like a relationship.

That?s a level of customer success that most businesses aspire to, but rarely achieve.

?It?s very common for funeral homes to get thank you note after thank you note for the services they provided,? Gould Miller says. ?You?re not sending thank you notes to the local pizza joint.?
If your client is developing quality relationships with their customers during their hard times, then the face to face request would most likely be the most effective. When their customer is thanking them for the service, responding with a thank you and a review ask might be the most opportune time. They're appreciating the service that was delivered.

Please let us know what techniques you recommend and how they do!
 
Great question! And while I can't hope to add much to the excellent replies above, two quick comments come to mind from our experience:

- You may find it useful to make the ask less about the business-customer relationship and more about "helping others", e.g.: "Would you share your experience? It can help others find solid support in their time of need..." This little tweak of focus might make your client more comfortable with asking--which makes it more likely to happen. Moreover, it can be an effective prod: it activates the customer's sense of altruism, of turning their experience into something positive for their community.

- Be careful! Attention to detail is critical in "sensitive" industries--you are wise to proceed cautiously. We've seen it all, including one ill-fated campaign that automated the review ask but mistakenly addressed it to the deceased! Oof.
 

Linda Buquet

1
Staff member
Moderator
- You may find it useful to make the ask less about the business-customer relationship and more about "helping others", e.g.: "Would you share your experience? It can help others find solid support in their time of need..." This little tweak of focus might make your client more comfortable with asking--which makes it more likely to happen. Moreover, it can be an effective prod: it activates the customer's sense of altruism, of turning their experience into something positive for their community.
I love that reminder Jon! I always try to think to ask for reviews that are more WIFM based instead of just "help MY business with a review". Altruism or helping others is a good trigger to use.

- Be careful! Attention to detail is critical in "sensitive" industries--you are wise to proceed cautiously. We've seen it all, including one ill-fated campaign that automated the review ask but mistakenly addressed it to the deceased! Oof.
Sheesh... Oof is right!

Love all the answers and I had one other thought too.

Seems that thinking of WHAT to say in the review, at a time like this which is stressful and hectic, might be hard: "I'd like to give a review but my brain is mush and I can't even think of what to say."

So maybe if you are requesting via email, including 2 or 3 reviews from other customers that highlight different aspects of the service, may help stimulate the thought process. "Here are some thoughtful comments other customers have shared."
 
Great post by Phil and others.

Also, keep in mind that if you're having trouble in that industry, everyone is having trouble in that industry.

That's the beautiful thing. You don't need a ton of reviews, you just need more than your competitors, who also have the same issues you have.

If you focus on doing everything you can to get reviews, you'll succeed. You can't fail. Reviews are 100% about effort.

Good luck!
 

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