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.
Technology is often feared in our profession because it is unfamiliar territory. As a result, it is not implemented despite the absolutely incredible things it can for your business. It can provide newfound conveniences and services for your community to drive long-term loyalty. It can streamline your business with a single point of data entry for every call, eliminating hours of tedious work. It can give you the portability to work wherever your families need you to be. And, it can give you new ways to attract more families to your firm.
Unfortunately, it can also cost your company everything if not taken seriously. There are companies out there trying to access your valuable data, obituaries, visitor traffic, and online revenues. Putting your technology and data in the hands of the wrong company or simply
avoiding technology altogether can have serious repercussions.
My thesis argument is a simple one. Innovations in funeral service have created a wealth of potential for business and personal success. So much so that funeral professionals simply cannot afford to be disconnected from the awareness of their positive personal and professional potential. That awareness is central to the pursuit of bigger and better things; if you don’t have it, you can slip quietly into apathy and a victim mentality. If you find the assertion credible, read on; if not, turn the page. (It’s okay; I’ll never know.)
There’s a lot happening in funeral service today. You have the really big (and big ticket) technological innovations like water resomation, the advent of online marketing tools, custom funeral home software products, ancillary sales opportunities, and web-based memorialization (interactive funeral home websites with built-in e-commerce features), and the continued growth of the pet loss services profession. Let’s not forget the elephant in the room: cremation. The rise in cremation arrangements was long seen as tolling the death knell for our profession yet, when you see it through the eyes of someone confident in their potential for success, cremation becomes a not-to-be-missed opportunity.
As the technological demands on funeral professionals continue to evolve, FrontRunner Professional is creating an opportunity to jump ahead of the curve. Clients will have the opportunity to strategically position themselves to conquer new challenges and meet their communities’ expectations.
FrontRunner has acquired a new 6,500 square foot, $1.6-million dollar facility that will house the new Technology and Training Center. The center represents Frontrunner’s ongoing commitment to set a higher standard, and provides all the tools and resources to help clients truly excel in today’s market.
In the state of California, any funeral establishment website must post the General Price List (GPL), pursuant to the Funeral Rule. There must also be a statement that the GPL is available upon request via a link from the home page unless the words “price information” or a similar phrase that includes the word “price” links to the GPL.
As a California funeral director, I’m well aware of Senate Bill 658, which took effect in January 2013. This requirement may give me a skewed perspective on the necessity of online pricing. Couple that with the fact that I’m a website content writer who needs to keep up-to-date with consumer trends and you’ve got a woman who honestly believes that putting your funeral home prices on your website is a smart thing to do.
Each of us has our own very personal reasons for becoming a funeral service professional. For me, it was my love of ritual. My anthropological training allowed me to spend decades studying the multitude of cultural rituals surrounding death. This love turned my strictly academic career into funeral service where I could work with families to create meaningful funeral and memorial services. Add to that my recent certification as a grief counselor and I think it’s easy to see where my heart lies.
It’s also easy to see that my heart does not lie with the seemingly mundane tasks of case management! Chances are you feel much the same as I do. We came to this profession as a way of expressing our desire to care for others not because we wanted to get buried in the minutia of case management (pun intended). Yet, how many times during the week do you find yourself stuck in your office, feeling overwhelmed by your management and operational responsibilities?
Fortunately, today’s technology can free you from the shackles of your office chair and allow you the mobility needed to serve today’s families.
You have undoubtedly been hit up at one time or another by the hype of promised profits through the use of sympathy stores and other online selling tools. Before you put your firm’s reputation on the line, there are a few things that you need to know.
A recent study suggested that the typical funeral home in North America receives an average of 19 unsolicited sales contacts per day. Being in the technology space, I am saddened to say that in today’s market, most of these contacts involve someone trying to sell some form of technology.
We live in a new world of digital phone service with unlimited calling, email blasts, digital fax machines, and social media. Many technology companies use these techniques because they require little to no investment in advertising and no personal contact. Most don’t know anything about the funeral profession because their sales ‘experience’ has focused on everything from vacuum cleaners and photocopiers to used cars. The noise they generate can be relentless and deafening.
Ashley Montroy, FrontRunner Professional’s Marketing and Social Media Manager spoke with Lauren Moore for her article Be Smart about Social Media. The article is published in the March 2014 issue of American Funeral Director Magazine.
The Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project, which has been studying online adults’ social networking site use since 2005, found that last year, 73 percent of adults that are online are using social networking sites. Like it or not, your customers – and your employees – are using social media, probably on a daily basis. It’s crucial, then, that you consider implementing a social media policy for your funeral home.
FrontRunner Professional CEO and Founder, Kevin Montroy, participated in a Technology Roundtable. The following article by Patti Martin Bartsche was published in the March 2014 issue of American Funeral Director Magazine.
There’s no question businesses – including funeral homes – are operating in a rapidly changing technological environment. What worked five years ago is now considered antiquated and not in tune with the times. But how do funeral professionals determine the right time to upgrade, what technology tools best fit their business model and how to protect themselves from security breaches? We turn to three industry leaders: Wes Johnson, president and CEO of Continental Computer Inc.; Kevin Montroy, founder and CEO of FrontRunner Professional; and Kimberly Simons, vice president of SRS Computing, to get the answers.