Understanding Customer Lifetime Value for Your Funeral Home

Customers have high expectations from the companies they choose to do business with – and many of the items they value are related to the experiences those companies provide. According to a 2022 survey conducted by Salesforce Research, 88% of customers agreed that the experience a company provides is as important as its product or services. In addition, most customers (73%) agreed that they “expect companies to understand my unique needs and expectations.”

These expectations present opportunities for forward-thinking funeral home owners and managers who are exploring new ways to anticipate, meet and in some cases, exceed, the demands of the communities they serve. Their strategies align with customer lifetime value (CLV), a metric that can help businesses gain a better understanding of their customers’ value to and influence on their business.

In this article, you’ll learn insights about this concept as it relates to funeral service, including:


What is Customer Lifetime Value?

It’s relatively straightforward to determine the value of a customer’s purchases from your business. However, this is only part of the true value that each client can bring to your firm. Customer lifetime value (CLV), sometimes known as lifetime customer value (LCV), is a measurement that quantifies the average customer’s total value to a business over the lifetime of their relationship.

Businesses are placing increased focus on determining CLV and using that information to drive their decisions – and with good reason. Accounting for CLV in your strategic planning can help you make decisions that are profitable in the longer term. CLV not only accounts for a customer’s purchases, but also those of the people who use your firm due to that customer’s influence through word-of-mouth referrals, reviews, etc. As a result, it encourages building relationships and retaining those clients you have already invested in acquiring.

Why Customer Lifetime Value Matters in the Funeral Profession

Every person who uses your services or even simply attends a service event at your funeral home has the potential to be an influencer at some level in their communities. Those positive word-of-mouth recommendations and online reviews can drive even more business and increase their CLV.

Homesteaders’ research (as shared in our Preneed Motivators report) demonstrates that 74% of preneed policy owners considered just one funeral home when making advance funeral plans.* The advantage of having a loyal customer base and strong connections in the community can help ensure your firm is the one that families choose.

bar chart with data indicating that 74% of policy owners consider just one funeral home

*Based on the results of a 2021 survey of Homesteaders policy owners.

The Role of Customer Lifetime Value in Funeral Home Marketing

Using CLV to help make business decisions often means putting customer experience at the forefront of your efforts. This includes both what you offer – such as online funeral planning for clients who prefer to make purchases that way – and how and where you market it.

A detailed market analysis from Homesteaders Solutions can help you discover opportunities to reach segments of the market that your firm has not previously served. With this information, funeral homes can implement funeral home marketing that includes the right messages shared via the most effective marketing channels.

Through our revolutionary Market Analysis and Lead Generation, we can now connect you with the right people, with the right message, within the right media channel,” said Homesteaders Solutions President Jill Muenich. “Data is powerful. It is the roadmap of where you could go, uncovering where you want to grow.”

In addition to a market analysis, funeral home owners and managers should gather feedback on how you’re doing – and what you could be doing differently to build loyalty among those you serve. “Anywhere people touch your business, there’s an opportunity to survey them around their experience with your team and your brand,” Muenich explained.

Tracking and Leveraging Customer Lifetime Value

Technology and data are making it possible to analyze, build and nurture connections with customers more effectively than ever before. Predictive analytics help businesses make informed decisions by demonstrating potential value based on existing data. The Homesteaders Solutions team is helping firms discover and analyze the characteristics and buying habits of people in their communities so they can customize their offerings and marketing messages to better connect with more families.

Gathering insights is an important step – but to unlock the true potential of the data, businesses need to be able to capture, analyze and even anticipate the impact of each marketing effort and touchpoint. A funeral home customer relationship management (CRM) system such as EnGauge CRM is a critical tool for firms that want to grow their market share.

“The CRM has to be the centerpiece of your (CLV) program,” Muenich said. “You have to know who your customers are and how they’re connected so you can understand the whole picture as you’re targeting your marketing.”

Each step you take in understanding the customers you serve (and could serve in the future) is a step toward building stronger connections that lead to higher satisfaction and more referrals and positive reviews. To learn more about tools and strategies to grow your funeral home, schedule a Homesteaders Solutions demo.

Homesteaders Solutions: Do More. Better. More Connections. More Opportunities. More than Just Preneed.

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