Last winter, my family traveled to Key Largo, FL, for a family vacation. One of the places we planned to visit was Island Dolphin Care. When we arrived, it was apparent that the facility was closed for the holidays. We must have looked disappointed enough to catch the attention of one of the staff members. When the employee came down to greet us, my dad explained where we were from and why we were there, and with a quick, “hold on,” he ran back up the stairs.
Upon his return, we learned the staff member was one of the founders and the general manager of the organization. He graciously let us inside and gave us an unexpected and private two-hour tour of the building and dolphin area. We got to hear stories about the families that utilize their programs and get up close and personal with their dolphins. The experience was one I will never forget.
The entire staff at Island Dolphin Care went above and beyond for an Iowa family on vacation. They could have easily turned us away, but instead made the decision to create a remarkable moment. Great customer service is all about creating small yet memorable moments for your client families. Even during times of grief, it is still possible to make a family feel special. Here are five ways to get started.
1. Choose Hand Delivery
With technology like texting and email making us more efficient, fewer people are taking the time for personal interactions. If a family you have been working with has been waiting for a piece of paperwork, flowers or other merchandise, consider bringing it to their home personally instead of having it mailed or making them pick it up. Likewise, offer to pick up items like paperwork or clothing from the family instead of having them bring it in. The extra step could make them feel like you cared enough to take time out of your busy day.
2. Assist with Non-Funeral Service Issues
People who have just lost a loved one generally have a lot more on their minds than just planning a funeral service. Consider how you can help relieve the burden from families in other ways, such as working with the family to set up a meal train or researching ways to cover transportation needs. The extra steps you take beyond the scope of your duties show the family that you care.
3. Provide Added Value
Client families who believe they have received exceptional value for the price they paid for services can often feel more satisfied with their experience. In our free white paper, Price vs. Value, we discuss what it means to provide added value to your customers and the steps you can take to get there.
4. Pay Attention to the Hospitality Industry
Large hotel chains, cruise ships and resorts are notorious for creating memorable moments for their customers. It’s one of the ways they get repeat visitors. Consider how you can implement things you’ve seen and heard from this industry. Large hotels often provide free room upgrades to visitors who only had small complaints; cruise ships often go above and beyond for families with children by offering free toys or activities; and the staff at five-star resorts sometimes have their own budgets for creating one-of-a-kind moments for their customers. It may be easier than you think to incorporate some of the same ideas into your business.
5. Think About Your Favorite Customer Service Moments
Whether it’s a funeral customer service moment, or a great experience at a local business, think about the times when someone has gone above and beyond for you. How did it make you feel? More than likely, you felt important and happy, which turned you into an advocate for that business, just like Island Dolphin Care did for my family. Consider recreating the moments that are important to you in your funeral home business.
Do you have a story about remarkable funeral customer service? Share it with us in the comments below.