A single interaction may be your only opportunity to earn business or a referral for a client family. As consumers continue to place high value on exceptional customer experiences, each chance to quickly build – and then maintain – relationships is incredibly valuable. Consider that a study by Salesforce indicated that 72% of customers will share their good experiences with others.
With that in mind, there are some simple things you can do to put clients at ease and establish trust, even during the most stressful and difficult times. Here are a few steps that can immediately improve the quality of your interactions with client families.
Focus on phone interactions.
Details matter when working with client families via phone calls. You may only have seconds to connect with the person on the other end of the line, and that connection could make the difference between whether you or your competitor have the chance to serve that family.
It’s worthwhile to periodically review your funeral home phone call best practices and procedures with staff members. Consider creating a reference guide for the categories of phone calls your firm receives, how to handle each type of inquiry and who is responsible for taking the next step. Documenting your procedures can help ensure that there are minimal disruptions during busy times or when a staff member is unavailable.
Funeral professionals often speak with families during the most difficult times in their lives. Your compassionate demeanor can make a tremendously challenging time easier for a family needing guidance about what to do next.
Showing empathy can be difficult for professionals who are experiencing symptoms of burnout. The Finding Resilience program offers resources and support* for funeral professionals to help prevent burnout and find joy in the important work you do to serve families.
Adjust your body language.
In many situations, your posture, gestures and facial expressions can make an even bigger impact than the words you use. Your body language as you listen and speak influences how you are perceived in person and even over the phone.
To learn more about how your communication style, including your body language, can affect your preneed process, join us for our upcoming preneed training webinar, “Funeral Planning Tips, Techniques and Body Language” (1 p.m. ET on November 16, 2021).
Extend excellent service online.
Consumers increasingly expect companies and service providers to offer online sales and service. Make sure your firm is positioned to meet this demand through online funeral planning tools that empower client families to make satisfying decisions and complete the process from start to finish. Visit the eFuneral Partner website to learn more.
Keep in mind that each part of your firm’s online presence can play a role in quickly building relationships with families in your community, including your social media channels. Build a funeral home social media strategy that incorporates best practices for interacting with families and getting them the information they need, when they need it.
Respond promptly and consistently.
It’s always disappointing to hear that a company didn’t follow up on a request or question. Be sure to have a process in place to provide prompt responses to inquiries, every time.
Families who have questions about advance funeral planning also deserve the highest level of care and responsiveness. If your staff finds it challenging to keep up with the calls, consider using appointment setting calls with Homesteaders Solutions. This program can help your team set appointments, relieving the administrative workload and freeing up more time for them to work with families.
* The information provided through the Finding Resilience program is not intended to replace information from a mental health or medical professional. The reader should consult an appropriate professional in matters related to his or her physical and emotional health.