Thinking ahead to “what’s next” can be particularly tough when day-to-day-tasks are demanding and the short-term future seems uncertain. But innovative funeral home owners and managers aren’t just thinking about the technology, services and products their client families want now. They’re looking ahead to how those current needs could influence consumers’ perceptions and the types of experiences their communities may expect from them in the future.
Here are a few of the ways forward-thinking firms can continue to connect with and provide the best possible experience for clients and, as a result, help set their businesses on a path for long-term success.
Using data to drive decisions.
Marketing efforts can be more precisely targeted than ever before. Is your funeral home reaching every family you could be communicating with? And are the families you’re reaching out to really the ones who can benefit the most from your expertise and services?
Innovative funeral home leaders know that developing a strong understanding of the market – and the opportunities that exist – is a crucial first step. Sophisticated market research can help funeral homes determine their positioning in the community and serve as a foundation for making important decisions that can maximize marketing budgets.
Being a business people want to work with – and for.
In his latest book, The Infinite Game, author and 2020 NFDA keynote speaker Simon Sinek recounts his conversation with a barista at a Las Vegas hotel. The barista shared that he loved his job and, when asked to elaborate, noted that managers frequently stopped him not to check up on his performance, but to ask if he needed anything to help him do his job. This style of leadership motivated him to do his best, and it showed.
You’ve likely encountered similar examples of employees who provided exceptional service because they knew their work was valued and supported. Innovative funeral service leaders know that creating an outstanding workplace isn’t just important for attracting and retaining the top talent – it also inspires their teams to be the best possible representatives of their firms every day.
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Removing barriers for client families.
Consumers are looking for options that allow them to obtain their own information and make purchases in fast, convenient ways. According to a 2018 Pew Research Center survey, the majority of Americans (81%) said they rely a lot on their own research when they make a major decision. Often, that research begins with an online search. When consumers in your community research options related to funeral planning, what kind of information and experience do they receive?
Innovative firms are embracing shifts in how consumers prefer to gather information and conduct business. They’re making it easier for their communities to learn about their options and implementing online planning tools that allow families to make decisions and put plans in place. Choosing the right tool – one that combines the seamless process consumers expect from online transactions with the impeccable service your firm is known for – is critical for maintaining high levels of satisfaction and earning positive reviews.
Focusing on the entire experience.
The path for a business’s overall success requires long-term strategic thinking rather than focusing on immediate goals. Likewise, bringing value to each family doesn’t end when the service is complete.
Funeral professionals’ expertise often allows them to anticipate their clients’ needs and be prepared to meet (and often exceed) them. Innovative funeral homes are making this outstanding service part of their process, finding ways to proactively offer support at times when their families need it most.
At Homesteaders, we’re working hard to help funeral homes achieve these steps – and much more. Join us at this year's NFDA convention to be among the first to learn about new solutions that can help position your firm for long-term success.