The term Collateral Damage is typically used in military applications and defined as “injury inflicted on something other than the intended target”. You might be wondering what this has to do with your funeral home and your payment policy. Many funeral directors feel they were called to this profession. It is unlikely that you woke up one day and said I want to be a funeral director so I can talk to grieving families about how they intend to pay for a funeral. The challenge for many is a balance between a servant’s heart and a business mindset. This is a neglected aspect of the profession often times creating collateral damage. So who are these unintended targets? First of all your business can suffer by allowing your accounts receivable and uncollected debt to get out of hand. Even if you collect all of your money, if you are not doing it in a timely fashion your profitability suffers. If you or your staff is uncomfortable asking for payment, I can promise your families will not be comfortable either. Here are three simple strategies that will allow you to better serve your families while increasing your bottom line.
With the release of our new Google Calendar Integration in mind, we figured it would be a good time to talk about staying organized. Not only are we going to walk you through the steps of using our latest tool, but we are also going to give you some awesome tricks that will help your firm stay organized in 2018.
No matter what industry you work in, whether you work for a company or for yourself, staying organized is an important part of being productive and knocking things off the ever-present to-do list. For some this comes naturally, but for others organization is an elusive concept – oft preached, seldom practiced. Regardless of which side of this proverbial fence you find yourself on, there is always room for improvement. Don’t be afraid to explore ways to improve both your personal and professional organization – of course, for funeral directors, the two are intrinsically bound. Currently, there are so many resources available for the hyper-coordinated and haphazardly alike. In this post, I am going to share 3 of these helpful tips & tools, including our new Google Calendar integration, that can help get your funeral home team on the same page and improve your organization this year.
In our last post, we covered some of the trends that are going to shape the funeral industry in 2018. While there is nothing more exciting than looking forward to the future, this year is going to be a turning point of sorts. For firms who are prepared and/or willing to stay with the times, things are certainly looking up. However, funeral homes that still hold onto traditional ways of doing the job and fight the influence of technology are going to find themselves facing an unwelcome reality check. Mark my words. This year, more advancements will be made in funeral home technology and death care than ever before. As newfound innovations are aggressively sought by technology providers and everyday consumer habits continue to creep into funeral service, the landscape will begin to change drastically.
All of this, of course, in preparation for a generational shift that will see millennials planning the majority of funerals within the next decade. So the question remains, is your funeral home ready to adapt?
Imagine a young woman preparing to plan a funeral for one of her parents. “Alexa, who offers the most affordable cremation service near me?” she says to her Amazon Echo, as she walks in the kitchen. The answer to be provided by the popular digital assistant, of course, is a matter of search engine optimization. However the query will not go through Google, the world’s most popular search engine. Instead it will be answered by Bing – the long overlooked “other” option. Chances are, the funeral home that gets recommended will also be receiving a call from this young lady. Is this what you picture choosing a funeral home to be like? Probably not.
If this scenario has you a little lost, listen up. Because this is what funeral home technology looks like in the very near future. And it may not be easy to spot the changes that are taking place.
Although last year was touted as our best ever, 2017 was truly special for our company and raised the bar even higher. We added more experienced professionals to our team, welcomed many new clients to our family and developed new technology to help funeral homes not only grow their businesses but better serve families as well. In short, the past 365 days were spent redefining what it means to be a FrontRunner. As the death care industry changes, it has never been more important for firms to keep up with consistently evolving consumer demands and adapt to the needs of younger generations. Enter our goals for 2018: to push the limits of what is possible even further. But before we go there, let’s first take a look back at some of what made the last 12 months simply unforgettable.
The days of families needing or wanting to walk into a funeral home for the entire funeral planning process are coming to a close. Just as the days of brick & mortar shopping begins to meet a similar end. Everything nowadays is about convenience. Who can get it to me the quickest? Who allows me to do everything online, from the comfort of home? Who offers the most flexible payment options? These are the questions that shape the decisions of modern consumers. Sure, older generations still maintain loyalty to businesses who have been reliable in the past. However, young people hold much fewer allegiances, if any – opting to instead buy from companies that offer the most convenient buying experience above any other factor. For funeral homes, the new challenge is catering to these consumer habits and continually finding ways to create convenient experiences.
It has been quite a month around the FrontRunner office. Since getting home from a crazy trade show season, we’ve been working hard to catch up with all of the new faces we met on the road. In addition, we are in the midst of developing an exciting software that is set to drop in early December. However, now that we have had a little bit of time to sit back and think about all of the progress that we saw at NFDA 2017, I want to share with you a few things we noticed at the show and what they mean for the industry moving forward. Safe to say we’ve been inspired by talking with so many funeral directors and hearing what they had to say about their technology needs.
We are proud to announce A Helping Hand™, a funeral crowdfunding developed by FrontRunner in partnership with GoFundMe that will help bring families and communities together during times of loss to assist with final expenses.
In recent years the crowdfunding space has grown exponentially, transforming into an industry that generates over 30 billion dollars worldwide annually, helping families worldwide. A large portion of that can be attributed to the growing popularity of monetary contributions as a gesture of sympathy. More families than ever before are turning to their friends, loved ones and communities during times of loss, and the results have been nothing short of inspiring. It is now commonplace to see funeral crowdfunding campaigns receive overwhelming support. Furthermore, there have been many instances where support has come from outside of a given community and in some cases, from different locations around the world. It is safe to say that funeral crowdfunding is more than just a trend and because we work with so many funeral homes across North America, it was an essential next step for us to introduce this tool.
Every business, regardless of the industry, faces the challenge of differentiating themselves from the competition. For local businesses, like funeral homes, standing out can be even more difficult. With a limited audience, there is far less room for error when jockeying for position at the top of consumer minds. Every little detail matters and strategy is of paramount importance. A decade ago, funeral home technology, having a website and putting some effort into marketing was enough. For a firm to become a reputable community “go-to”, all it would take is a passive mixture of being online and traditional advertising. These days, in order to stake such a claim, a more progressive approach must be taken. However, this post is not about what to do in order to be different -it is about how to do it. Continue reading
Book of Memories online memorials are a simple, personal and permanent way for families to celebrate the life of their deceased loved one. By offering an interactive environment for friends and relatives to leave condolences, send gestures of sympathy and share meaningful memories, these pages have reshaped the way we remember and have provided a new starting point to the healing process. Over the last few years, we have received such great feedback about this feature, however, and now we’re bringing even more to the popular feature of the FrontRunner website. With families spending so much time on the web, we felt it was important to improve the Book of Memories for 2017. Let’s go over some of the added features and talk about why your funeral home will be excited about what’s next!