It’s the time of the year when we reflect on the previous 12 months and begin to look ahead to the coming year. Where do you want to be a year from now? A simple way to build out your goals is to make New Year’s resolutions.
The reason why resolutions are so important is simple: If you don’t make them, you can’t keep them. People who explicitly make resolutions may be as much as 10 times more likely to attain their goals than people who don’t. Fortunately, resolutions don’t have to be complicated in order to be effective. We’ve compiled a few resolutions that you’ll really want to keep in the coming year to benefit yourself and your funeral home business.
Provide aftercare services for every family.
When a family leaves your firm after a service (or after prearranging), it shouldn’t be the end of your relationship with them. Each person you serve can benefit from ongoing support – even if it’s as simple as periodically sending them a card to let them know you’re still thinking of them.
Take some time to evaluate your firm’s aftercare offerings and determine whether they’re effectively serving the families in your community. Ensure your firm is making the most of opportunities to provide families with aftercare through programs that help build customer loyalty.
Extend your firm’s community outreach.
The best funeral professionals are immersed in their communities and use their experiences to better understand (and even anticipate) their client families’ changing needs. Create a plan for the community outreach activities you would like to host in the coming year, including grief support programs, milestone celebrations and holiday memorial events.
Here’s another key consideration for your outreach activities: Do people in your area know just how important your funeral home is to your community? Make a resolution to share the good work your firm is doing through channels such as local media, your funeral home’s social media profiles and a funeral home blog. In addition to increasing awareness of your efforts, these communications can boost participation, which will make an even greater positive impact on your community.
Evaluate and adjust your online presence.
As more and more consumers use online research to make buying decisions, your funeral home website is more important than ever. In the coming year, make it a point to review your website and determine how you can better leverage your online presence.
Rewriting and reorganizing the content on your site can make a big difference in how your firm is perceived by those who are interested in your services. In his bestselling book The New Rules of Marketing & PR, David Meerman Scott writes: “When someone visits a site for the first time, the site communicates messages to the buyer: Does this organization care about me? Does it focus on the problems I face? Or does the site only include information describing what the company has to offer from its own narrow perspective?”
Beyond providing enough content to help visitors learn about your funeral home, your funeral home website should also provide the right type of content. If your site offers valuable information about funeral planning, families will feel comfortable taking the next step by contacting you.
Enhance your relationship with your staff.
A 2014 study by the Society for Human Resource Management revealed that the top two contributors to employees’ overall job satisfaction were “respectful treatment of all employees at all levels” and “trust between employees and senior management.” Both of these factors underscore the importance of strong relationships between an organization’s leadership and employees.
So what does “respectful treatment” look like to your funeral home’s staff members? The best way to find out is to regularly communicate with all members of your team and ensure they feel their ideas and concerns will be heard. Take steps to encourage their feedback and act on it – this will go a long way toward earning their trust and building a positive funeral home workplace environment.
Make time for yourself and your family.
Many people make resolutions to improve their work-life balance. Achieving balance can be tough for anyone in today’s increasingly connected work environment, but because funeral service is already a 24/7 job, this is even more difficult for funeral professionals.
During those rare moments you have for yourself, take time to recharge and know that your work is deeply appreciated by those you serve. Turn to your loved ones as sources of support to help you feel re-energized for the important work you do every day: making difficult times a little easier for those you serve.