The most successful companies often build a loyal customer base, at least in part, because of one very simple idea: They solve problems for the people they serve. Not only do they solve those problems, but they also clearly share why their offerings can provide the highest satisfaction in the process.
If you start thinking about your preneed program in terms of the problems you can solve – and why your firm is the best at solving them – you’ll be well-positioned to differentiate yourself in your community. The ideas below are just a few of the many ways you can provide solutions for your client families through advance funeral planning, based on feedback gathered from a 2021 Homesteaders policy owner survey and published in our Preneed Motivators report.
- Help clients start the preplanning process.
- Stay connected with potential clients.
- Share why preplanning matters.
1. Help Clients Start the Preplanning Process.
Our policy owner survey showed that, for many people, knowing how to start the prearrangement process is the hardest step. Nearly 30% of respondents ranked this step as “extremely difficult” or “somewhat difficult.” This means your funeral home has an opportunity to help people prearrange simply by making it easier for them to get started.
Capture their interest.
Because funeral planning involves many personal decisions, it’s important to connect with members of your community through marketing messages that are tailored to their interests, lifestyle and priorities. Although there are many benefits to preplanning, some benefits are more relevant than others depending on their personal characteristics. Learning more about the traits of people in your community through a market analysis is an important step in ensuring you are reaching the right people with the right messages.
Provide relevant information.
Today’s consumers have more information available to inform their buying decisions than ever. However, many people have not participated in funeral planning, which can make the process seem daunting. There are many ways to make the topic of funeral planning more approachable, including community presentations and participation in local events. These provide chances to explain just how easy and rewarding the preplanning process can be.
2. Stay Connected with Potential Clients.
Nearly 40% of policy owners said it took two or more years to complete the paperwork for their advance funeral plan. Your potential client families need a reason to act – without it, funeral planning will likely be pushed out of their minds by other priorities. It’s up to you to stay connected with these members of your community to help them take the next steps.
Don’t miss opportunities.
Preneed professionals juggle many tasks, and you deserve tools that can help you manage and monitor your business. A funeral home customer relationship management (CRM) system can help ensure you are staying in contact with people at the right times to keep them engaged with the benefits of funeral planning.
Pay attention to details.
A CRM system can also be helpful in capturing details about a potential client, such as their interests, whether they’ve attended a community event, what made them interested in preplanning and more. This information can help guide meaningful conversations as you build relationships with them to help begin the preplanning process.
3. Share Why Preplanning Matters.
In the survey, policy owners cited many reasons why they had decided to make funeral plans when they did. For many, the recent death of a loved one was the catalyst to preplan. Others simply felt they had reached the “right age” or were “finally comfortable with the idea.” This means funeral professionals can play a valuable role by sharing the many benefits of advance funeral planning with potential clients, offering peace of mind and high levels of satisfaction.
Encourage clients to share their experiences.
Nearly all the policy owners we surveyed were “completely” or “very” satisfied with their decision to prearrange. In addition, nearly all would at least consider recommending prearranging to someone else. The stories from these satisfied clients are powerful and can spark interest in others to experience the benefits for themselves. Encourage your client families to share their positive experiences through online reviews and referrals. After all, nearly half of surveyed policy owners said they prearranged because they “knew someone who had done it.”
Tell your funeral home story.
Your own funeral home’s purpose and history offer another powerful way to help client families experience the peace of mind of having their plans in place. Nearly three-quarters of policy owners surveyed said they considered just one funeral home for making advance funeral arrangements. You know that you provide exceptional service, and why you are passionate about what you do to help families – it’s time to make sure your community understands all that you have to offer.
The research cited in this article is just a sample of what you can learn from Homesteaders’ exclusive Preneed Motivators report. These insights are available for free and can set you well on your way to better understanding the reasons behind consumers’ decisions to prearrange and the solutions you can offer them.