Last week, I had the pleasure of sitting in on a cremation presentation at the New York State Funeral Directors Association Convention. The title of the presentation was “All Cremations DO NOT Have to be DIRECT” by Mike Nicodemus; VP of Cremation Services with the National Funeral Directors Association, and let me tell you it was just as educational for me as it was entertaining. For those of you who have sat in on a presentation with Mike, it’s hard not to have a good laugh in there at some point. Or, as one of my colleagues who was with me, Jules Green said, “even for a squirrel like me, that was very, very interesting and I stayed focused. Who would have thought?”
It’s always great being on the other end of these presentations. Usually, I am the one at the front of the room teaching funeral directors, but this time I was there to learn and it was so nice to take some time to just listen to some incredible stats and listen and watch funeral directors in the room share their insights on such a growing topic.
I always say that you can use the Internet to get a message out to the masses, instead of just 100 people in a room. So, what a perfect opportunity to write a blog post on some of the things that I heard during the session and chuckled about (as some of it was quite comical). Let’s do a little recap of some of the major points that I personally thought were pretty important:
Providing families with great service is a funeral director’s number one priority. As such, we at FrontRunner are constantly looking for ways to help you improve and expand your service options and we are so pleased to announce another expansion to the Book of Memories. Through a partnership with Remembering Books, you are now able to print your online Book of Memories content into stunning hard-copy books for families to have days, months and even years after the service.
These funeral register books are very customizable and beautifully designed. Multiple copies can be easily created with no tools required, providing families with a product they will be proud to have on display in their home. Watch the video below to see just how easy it is to bring a deceased’s Book of Memories to life!
From the moment a death occurs, communication between friends and loved ones begins. And that communication, even with those you love, can be painful when grief is so fresh, especially if the phone doesn’t seem to stop ringing. Whoever they are, when they first hear of the passing, generally they ask themselves, or Google, three questions:
When is the service?
Where is the service?
Where should I stay? (If they are coming from out of town)
A part of your role as a funeral director is getting the news out. It is so important to post the service information as soon as possible onto your funeral home’s website. For the most part, funeral directors first think about sending the obituary to the newspaper, and leave the posting of that obituary and service information on their website as an afterthought. As you read above, some of the first questions that come to a persons mind when they hear about the death is asking when and where the service is being held. If they turn to Google and find the obituary and service information on a newspapers website, rather than your website – you are missing out on thousands of dollars in revenues, branding and so much more.
Next month marks FrontRunner’s one-year anniversary in our brand new offices. It is hard to believe that we have already been at our new location for almost one year, but where it has come is truly unbelievable.When we first started looking to expand to a larger location, it was a task that seemed next to impossible. At the time, our team was split between two offices and it lost it’s “FrontRunner team” feel. We knew that we had to bring everyone back under one roof. So, we looked and looked and looked. Finally, a beautiful 6,500 square foot commercial condo right on Kingston’s waterfront came on the market and we saw the perfect opportunity to not only have the best office space, but also to build a Technology Center for clients and funeral professionals to be able to come and learn about using technology and marketing to truly grow their business. Continue reading →
Dealing with loss is often the most difficult time for the family and friends involved. On top of dealing with the death itself, there are so many other factors involved that people in their state of distress would rather not deal with. One of these factors is often travel. About 10% of funeral attendees travel from over 50 miles away to visit the service. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could help take care of any travel accommodations for these grieving travelers without having to do anything? Well as a FrontRunner client, you now can.
Where is one place you can escape the cold, meet funeral professionals from all over, put your feet up and relax and learn more in one week than you ever thought possible? Past funeral technology and marketing cruisers would tell you that the annual FrontRunner workshop cruise is exactly that.
I’ll admit – we took a year off from our annual workshop cruise this past year. A lot of work goes into planning this event and with our company growth, we just needed a small break from the cruise. We had more phone calls than ever last year from funeral professionals asking how they could book the cruise (isn’t that the way it always happens?). So, we were very happy to tell them that 2015 was a no-go for the cruise but to be ready for 2016 because it is back on!
Google has announced some big changes to their search algorithms happening April 21, 2015. When you look at the sheer number of searches that come through Google’s search engine each and every month – it is something every business needs to be aware of.
According to Digital Marketing Ramblings, there are close to 12 billion searches on Google each month – this is desktop and mobile searches. Google’s Matt Cutts recently stated that he “wouldn’t be surprised if mobile search exceeded desktop queries this year”. That combined with this important Google algorithm change is two huge reasons to take the mobile-friendliness of your website very seriously.
When you think of FrontRunner Professional – Do you picture a big technology company behind a logo? Or do you picture a family-run business with roots in funeral service?
As the Marketing Director here at FrontRunner, sometimes I take a step back and say – Okay, it’s time to do some planning. In my last planning session, I couldn’t help but think about how funeral directors see FrontRunner. While I know majority see us as a big technology company, I realized how important it is for every funeral director to know exactly who we are, as a family-run business, and where we come from.
So, who is FrontRunner Professional? It’s time to tell a story.
It all started in 1994 in the back of a family-owned and operated funeral home (picture to the right). Many do not know this but FrontRunner’s Founder/CEO, Kevin Montroy is actually a 30+ year licensed funeral director. He owned and operated his funeral home in a teeny tiny little town called Gananoque. If you are tying my last name to his, you may realize that he is related to me. Kevin is my father.
We’ve been working hard behind the scenes to get some incredible features ready and we are thrilled to announce not one, but five game-changing additions to FrontRunner’s award-winning software. It is not just a small change – it represents a new level of our technology and will shape the coming years of advancements, and we can’t wait to move you into it!
As you may have heard, we officially released our Pulse Business System at the 2014 National Funeral Director’s Association Convention in October. Clients and those new to FrontRunner, were so excited to finally have one, single web-based solution that had everything they needed to not only streamline their operations but also help them make great business decisions. With 5 features just released, the Pulse Business System just got even better:
It’s October 31st and you know what that means – it’s the one day where adults dress up in their favorite, yet sometimes scariest costumes and we get to see those little ones jump into their adorable costumes. Wherever you are and whatever your plans are today – Happy Halloween from me and the entire FrontRunner Team!
Funny story, I just have to share today…
As I left the office yesterday, I was sent a link to our website saying “Hey, we updated our pictures for Halloween.” My first reaction was … oh, my. What have the designers turned me into? These guys (and gal) are some of the most creative people I have ever met so needless to say, I was a little excited but a whole lot nervous.
Yesterday, I was just me… Today, I am officially a member of the walking dead.