The start of a new year is often a time of renewed energy and focus as business leaders reflect on the previous year and pursue even greater success in the year to come. For funeral service leaders, this means even more opportunities to act on the lessons learned about client families’ preferences as the coronavirus pandemic continues to change how consumers interact with service providers.
At Homesteaders, we’re proud to work alongside dedicated funeral professionals who are constantly improving their operations and services for the benefit of their businesses and their client families. Several Homesteaders leaders shared what they’d like to see funeral home owners and managers focus on in 2022 – and why those efforts will make a difference.
- Strengthen your communication efforts.
- Leverage data to fine-tune your funeral home marketing.
- Build a better funeral home customer experience.
Strengthen your communication efforts.
One crucial focus area for businesses during the coronavirus pandemic has been communication and the ability to adapt how funeral home staff members connect with families and one another through frequently changing circumstances. This emphasis on communication will continue to be an important factor for firms in 2022 as consumers expect businesses to be easily accessible and add value by building ongoing relationships.
“I am biased toward communication, so it’s my go-to recommendation to help any business grow,” said Homesteaders’ Senior VP-Marketing & Communications Dean Lambert. “Maintaining connections with families served through text messages, funeral home social media, newsletters… It can all add up to additional revenue and recommendations.”
Communication with external stakeholders is just one component of successful communication for firms. Funeral home staff members must also communicate with one another frequently and openly to ensure effective collaboration and consistent, high-quality service for client families.
“Managers need to take time to ensure staff is aware of, and focusing on, the funeral home’s goals. They also need to allow staff to express their opinions on the state of the business,” Lambert explained. “Communication is a primary way to work ‘on’ the funeral home, not just ‘in’ the funeral home.”
Leverage data to fine-tune your marketing.
Creating an effective funeral home marketing plan requires a strong understanding of your target market. Thanks to continuously improving data collection and analysis methods, it’s possible to hone marketing efforts to reach consumers more effectively.
“My hope is with a more surgical approach we take the guesswork out, allow smarter planning, save money and heighten the customer experience with the funeral home brand,” shared Homesteaders Solutions Group President Jill Muenich. “It’s about meeting consumers where they are not only with messaging, but also through their preferred communication channels.”
The Homesteaders Solutions team helps funeral home customers conduct a market analysis to better understand the buying habits and preferences of people in their communities. With that information in hand, we can help funeral home owners and managers identify and act on opportunities to grow market share.
Build a better customer experience.
In addition to earning business from new client families, firms should put an even greater emphasis on earning client satisfaction. If it seems as though customers expect more than ever from service providers, you may be right: According to research presented in the 4th Edition of the Salesforce State of the Connected Consumer report, 58% of customers indicate the recent crises “have raised my customer service standards.”
So how can funeral home owners and managers continue to elevate their client families’ experiences with them? Homesteaders’ VP-Field Sales Dan Lodermeier explained that expanding the funeral home’s services, especially through technology solutions, can help those forge stronger connections.
“The customer experience can be enhanced with a complete digital experience with both a digital storefront (eFuneral online sales) and text-based aftercare,” Lodermeier said, noting offerings that are available through the Homesteaders Solutions suite of comprehensive services.
As firms enhance the technology they use to connect with client families, it’s also critical to invest in staff members’ ongoing professional development. This ensures that not only are they proficient in using the new tools at the funeral home but can also seamlessly incorporate them into an experience that meets client families’ needs.
“Funeral providers can further develop their arranger training best practices and sales process with the families they serve,” Lodermeier affirmed. “All of these improved experiences can lead to and drive more positive business results.”
Homesteaders is committed to helping funeral homes successfully implement solutions that address the growth opportunities shared here – and many others. Contact your account executive to learn more about our programs and services that can help you connect with more families than ever before.
What are your funeral home business goals for 2022? Share your thoughts in the comments below.