Although reviews matter to all business types, it is a far more serious affair for funeral homes. Families will always want to provide their departed loved ones with the best service they can afford, and will therefore turn to the experiences of others to make their decisions. Findings show that 59% of consumers look at two or three review sites before making a big purchase. Given that a funeral is one of the biggest financial considerations made by a family, reviews are a key part of their decisions making process.
Funeral service has changed more in the last 3 years than in the rest of its history, combined. Consumer’s expectations and habits are changing at lightning-fast speed. Years ago, Families chose your firm because a family member before them did, they read newspapers with your obituaries in them and they actually spoke to each other – not just via text message.
Now, their entire world fits in their hand through a connected, little device known as a smartphone. They use it to Google the answers they’re looking for, they fast-forward through TV commercials, stream music and only use the Yellow Pages book to start a campfire – not to get in touch with local businesses. They keep up with the world around them through Facebook and other social media networks. As a funeral professional, your head is left spinning and you’re left wondering how to keep up and stay in their forefront.
Surely you have heard about the importance of online reputation before. After all, your funeral home website is the new front door to your business and your first chance to make an impression with the potential families. These days, if your website looks untrustworthy, then you may be unknowingly losing traffic. And the worst part is, it may be due to things you previously didn’t notice. Even if you feel like your website is perfectly trustworthy, it is never a bad idea to have a look and see. That’s why I wanted to take some time and dissect the anatomy of a trustworthy funeral home website.
With the International Cemetery, Cremation and Funeral Association (ICCFA) 2018 convention quickly approaching, many in the funeral industry are preparing to descend upon the Mojave Desert for what is sure to be an exciting show. At FrontRunner, Las Vegas is one of our favourite places to travel and we wouldn’t want to let you go there without some suggestions from the team. Over the past few weeks we have compiled a list of things you should do while in Sin City and we even created a comprehensive guide to the show which can be downloaded at the end of this post.
In February, I went with our social media team-lead Madi Harker and video marketing specialist Sky Bonner to San Diego for Social Media Marketing World 2018 hosted by the Social Media Examiner. It was quite the experience. From the eventful trip down there to attending sessions hosted by some of the premier speakers and thought leaders, we had an absolute blast! There was so much going on and over the course of our trip, we learned so much about the way marketing and social media are changing the business landscape. It had us saying “wouldn’t this work for our clients” or “that would be a great strategy to connect with families” at every chance we got. So we have put together some of our most valuable and actionable takeaways from the conference to help improve your funeral home marketing this year.
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.
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.
At FrontRunner, we are more than just a website and technology provider. We work each and every day to help funeral homes around North America build better businesses and become institutions in their community.
When it came to the next thing we’d bring or help bring to funeral service, we knew it had to be a platform to help funeral homes take back control of their obituaries, something we’ve voiced our concern over for years. Unfortunately, the FrontRunner team couldn’t lead this up because of the growth of our company, so we aligned ourselves the right people, and financially supported them with one goal in mind: to protect the future of funeral service.
We are proud to introduce the National Obituary Registry, an organization that empowers funeral homes to benefit from their own obituary traffic, generate more revenue and provides them every necessary touchpoint families want. But we can’t do this alone and require the support of professional associations, newspapers, other technology vendors like us and ALL funeral homes around the continent. Together, we can make change happen.
As our team finishes the final preparations to head the International Cemetery, Cremation and Funeral Association (ICCFA) convention next week, I wanted to take a minute to share some of the things that make it a place that I enjoy returning to again and again! Nashville is one of my absolute favorite cities, whether going for work or for fun (or both)! If you’re heading there next week, you’ll want to make time to take in some of these amazing things that Nashville has to offer. Let me give you some things to take in from experience.
This week at FrontRunner we are launching a brand new video condolences option for online obituary pages that will help connect families, friends and loved ones in times of greatest need like never before. Though any expression of sympathy and heartfelt message of condolence can have a positive effect on a family who has lost someone they love, seeing a friendly face and hearing their voice can have a much greater impact. Why did we develop this for funeral homes and families? Not everyone can make it to a service. There are a number of reasons why people are unable to attend a funeral, memorial service or viewing. For some, their reason is related to business, location or illness. For others, it may simply be a long distance and/or cost of travel preventing them from being present. Regardless of the reason, this feature helps funeral homes reach another level service to the families and communities they serve. We thought, why not develop a feature that helps funeral homes modernize their business and allow families to be closer to those they love?