Ignore at Your Own Risk by Nancy Weil OGR Member Resources Director W hen was the last time you took a look at your Google reviews? Have you ever taken a look? Have you even claimed your business so that you can respond to reviews as they are made? What about asking happy clients to post a review for your funeral home or cemetery? Based on what I have seen, most funeral homes and cemeteries are not making Google reviews a part of their business plan. As part of my job with OGR, I spend quite a bit of time looking up funeral homes and going to their websites. Most businesses have under 10 Google reviews. Even fewer respond to the posted reviews. The funeral home where I worked, Veterans Funeral Care, developed a plan to increase our Google reviews and in a matter of months, we went from 6 to over 75! What did we do? We asked. We responded. We worked our plan. Best of all, the reviews that were posted were personal and filled with staff names and details. This is what you want to have for your reviews as well. Here is a recent example of a review and “branded” response: 5-STAR REVIEW: “Everyone I spoke with here was empathetic yet professional. Blair helped me over the phone 24 www.ogr.org | Winter 2021 so much as my father passed in Florida and I am stuck in Georgia due to the pandemic. I got great comfort knowing my Dad would be treated with the respect he deserved. If I could give 10 stars, I would.” RESPONSE FROM VETERANS FUNERAL CARE, AN OGR ENDORSED SUPPLIER: “Sherry, thanks so much for your kind words. Blair is a ‘Marine Corps’ son! So I’m thrilled when he takes care of a Navy daughter like you! This pandemic has been very stressful to our military families as the Military Honors have been delayed. Glad to have helped you. Please plan to come visit the cemetery when it is safe to travel and please, please stop in for a cup of coffee! We always have a fresh pot on. Jim Rudolph, Owner” Staff names, client name, military references, compassion, acknowledgement of the challenges that the pandemic has created and even an invitation to stop by for coffee! If you were looking for a funeral home and read this review, I doubt you would look any farther, especially if you came from a military family. There is, however, the other side of this and that is

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