While death is a constant, how we honor the passing of loved ones changes with time. In the 1860s, people dressed and buried bodies at home. By the 1900s, formal funeral services became the norm, and now, we’re once again witnessing shifting trends in the funeral profession, with cremations superseding memorial services in terms of popularity.
In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, the growth of unconventional ways of honoring those who have passed has accelerated, including non-denominational services, virtual services, and unique celebrations of life. As a funeral director, it’s important to stay abreast of these trends, ensuring that your services offer families enticing and current options.
Continuation of Digital Transformation
These days, more and more of our lives take place through digital means, from shopping to communication and even many of our careers. With eCommerce sales increasing over 30% in 2020, funeral homes that once based the entirety of their business on in-person interactions must consider how to adapt to the digital landscape.
Consider the aspects of your services that would benefit from digital components. One of the easiest ways to start doing this is by examining the ways you interact with families online.
Before buying a product or service, 93% of people read online reviews. This is why it’s integral to manage your reputation online. By requesting families to review your business on Google and responding to posts––both positive and negative––you can ensure that people find positive third-party accounts of your services, thus increasing their likelihood of booking with you.
Additionally, with more positive reviews, Google begins to recognize your business as trusted which can vastly improve your SEO rankings.
Modernizing of Buildings
In the wake of the pandemic, many people took time to make improvements to their homes. Similarly, funeral homes with outdated decor could benefit from a facelift. It’s time to pitch those heavy drapes and dilapidated carpets for a fresh new look. When people enter your funeral home––either for a consultation or to attend a service––the exterior and interior of your facilities leave a lasting impression. You’ll want to make sure that the look of your business reflects your professionalism.
While taste is subjective, and there’s no universally correct way to furnish a funeral home, there are some general aesthetic guidelines to abide by.
- The grounds and interior of your funeral home should be clean and well maintained.
- Any bold color choices can be toned down with neutrals, allowing them to appeal to a wider range of sensibilities.
- Consider indoor plants to give a warm feeling. Just make sure they’re real, not silk or other synthetics.
More Personal Relationships with Funeral Directors
Along with the shift to go more digital, there has also been a huge demand for the personalization of experiences. Customers want to feel like they matter, more than just a transaction. This is especially true in the funeral profession, where morticians and related professionals are often seen as cold and unapproachable.
Instead of worrying about maintaining a professional front, let your guard down and really begin to connect. Perhaps you can maintain text or email correspondence with families. Even dressing a bit more casually outside of formal services can go a long way to establishing cordial relationships with families.
Another way to build relationships is to consider the community in which you’re situated. Are there regular events––harvest festivals, annual 5K runs, or other fundraisers––where you can get involved? Alternatively, you could consider hosting an event of your own such as a day of remembrance.
The goal is to demonstrate to your families that you and your team––while professional and skilled––are approachable members of the community.
Emphasis on the Customer Experience
Any business worth its salt is responsive to its clients, and the pandemic has made the ability to adapt more important than ever. Customers now expect more attention, care, and consideration when they work with any business. In the death care profession, where emotions are heightened, funeral directors need to be extra attentive to the needs of their families.
More people are screening businesses online before making an initial call, and in the event they’re dissatisfied with a purchase, it’s easier than ever for them to air their grievances online. Because of this, you’ll want to develop a strategy to monitor and improve the experience of your families.
Invest in a Customer Experience Tool
While you could hire a full-time customer experience manager, a digital option can perform the same duties for a fraction of the cost. The performance tracker from Johnson Consulting Group is a software platform that gives you key insights into how families feel about the services of your funeral home. It also allows you to monitor online reviews and stay abreast of trends in the death care profession, giving you the tools to adapt to a changing landscape.
If you’re not measuring customer experience in your funeral home, then you’ll have no way of knowing where you stand to improve. The performance tracker gives you a simple solution to serve your families in a more personal and meaningful way.Improve Family Experiences