Like any industry, the death care business is constantly changing. Cremations are becoming more popular than traditional burials, and alternative rituals like scattering and tree plantings are gaining in popularity. These trends have only accelerated in the wake of the pandemic. For funeral directors, this makes it all the more important to understand what your customers need and expect from a funeral home.
One of the best ways to do this is with the help of a customer experience platform. Through this type of software, you can stay abreast of trends in the funeral industry, manage your business’s reputation, and adapt quickly to a constantly changing industry.
Manage Your Reputation with Ease
These days, when a person wants to find out more about your funeral home, before calling, they’ll likely check you out online. In addition to finding your website––which is hopefully updated and mobile-friendly––they’ll also find other listings on Yelp and Google that contain reviews from customers. In addition to affecting your business’s search rankings, these customer reviews play a large role in shaping the reputation of your business. This is why it’s important to develop a strategy for online reputation management.
To manage your online reputation, you’ll want to keep track of any and all online reviews. This way, you’ll be able to gain insight into what your business is doing right. More importantly, you can hear honest feedback from families who were not satisfied with their experience and reach out to them to correct any mistakes or oversights. That said, unless you have the budget to appoint a dedicated PR manager, you’ll need to find alternatives.
One way to manage your online reputation is through a platform like J3 Tech’s Performance Tracker. Not only does this enable you to manage third-party reviews, but it also allows you to create and disseminate your performance surveys, providing you with much-needed data to fine-tune your funeral home.
Conduct Efficient Training
At their core, most customer experience platforms provide you with a greater insight into how well your funeral home meets the needs of families. To do this, they use original surveys, online reviews, and trends among the competition. Another key component of this software is how it can be used to hone your training practices.
For example, J3 Tech’s Performance Tracker monitors surveys, Google reviews, and mentions on social media. Regularly, it compiles reports of this data in real time, and it can even hone in on specific departments and members of your team. The goal of this is two-fold; you’ll be able to pinpoint specific areas that need improvement as well as those that are working exceptionally well.
By incorporating this data into your training practices, you’ll be able to better focus on the aspects of your business that stand to grow.
In addition to focusing on areas in need of improvement, you should never underestimate the power of positive reinforcement. If a specific employee or department of your funeral home consistently garners rave reviews and responses from families, then they deserve praise. Such feedback can also better inform your decisions as to who leads your trainings and assumes other leadership positions.
Improve Your Bottom Line
Especially with the funeral industry, customer experience is integral to loyalty. If you ease the burden of a grieving family and shepherd them through the process of honoring their loved ones, they’re almost sure to return. Conversely, 60% of people say they’ll avoid a business that provides an unfriendly experience.
This is where a customer experience platform comes in handy, helping you keep track of your families’ needs, meet them, and understand ways you can do better. It all leads to greater loyalty and trust in your funeral business. Additionally, there are some other ways to improve your bottom line.
Increase Preneed Sales
One of the most surefire ways to boost your profits is by expanding your preneed sales program. While you don’t want to be pushy with your families––something you can monitor through a customer experience platform––reminding them of preneed services is an effective way to increase their sales.
Offer Celebrations of Life for Cremations
While the popularity of cremations is eclipsing that of traditional burials, there’s no reason you can’t suggest a ceremony to accompany a cremation. In fact, most people will have a gathering or party of some sort. Take the burden off the family to host this event. Otherwise, they may end up at a local restaurant or hotel. If you don’t have the facilities to host the event, consider teaming up with a local caterer to offer full-scale events. By being flexible with this type of service, you can appeal to a wider range of people and budgets.
Expand Keepsake Offerings
In addition to funerals, burials, and cremations, you should consider offering keepsakes as part of your packages. By offering a range of customized keepsakes––seed packets, photographs, jewelry, or engraved stones––you can upsell nearly any service. Again, the key is not to be too pushy. Simply imparting the existence of these services can allow a greater number of people to choose them and having software to track a product’s popularity can help determine if you should be offering a wider variety.
For example, J3 Tech Solution’s Performance Tracker keeps track of every product and service you sell, by case type. So you can see how often cremation families purchase these keepsakes as opposed to traditional families. This will help you determine which products to offer to
which families in the future.
Partnering with the Best Option
When it comes to customer experience, the death care industry is different than most. As opposed to businesses that offer a mere product or service, funeral homes provide families a way to honor their loved ones. Moreover, when people contact funeral homes, they’re likely in the throes of grief and therefore require a keen sense of compassion.
For these reasons, a family’s experience is integral to the survival of your funeral home, and a customer experience platform can help take the guesswork out of managing it. While many customer experience platforms exist, you’ll want to choose one that specializes in the funeral profession.
J3 Tech’s Performance Tracker is designed particularly for the funeral profession. It allows you to monitor competitors, manage your online reputation, and receive the feedback you need to ensure that you and your team can meet the needs of your families, and exceed their expectations.