Recently I completed my first long distance Ironman event in Cambridge, Maryland. For those of you who have heard of Ironman but do not really understand what all is involved I will briefly explain – an Ironman 140.6 mile triathlon is broken into three different sports (Swim, Bike, Run) with the swim being 2.4 miles long and often the most feared because you are alone and in a large lake or ocean. The bike is 112 miles followed by a 26.2 mile run or jog or walk or crawl. Needless to say it is a long day that starts will the swim.
The prep room is central to every funeral business with every case being prepared for burial, cremation or transit within its walls. Business owners and managers are tasked with balancing prep room budgets to properly service the needs of the families they serve, while still maintaining high standards and profitability. Did I say profitability? Yes, I believe the prep room can be a source of profitability as the work that is performed there often plays a role in the decision to view or not to view. Often an unpleasant viewing experience will determine future decisions on if the family opts for viewing.
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.
A new year always brings new resolutions to improve, whether in personal or professional areas. There’s always something that we might do better and this can apply to new embalmers as well as veteran embalmers. As Rod Serling of The Twilight Zone might have said, “submitted for your approval” are ten resolutions for 2018:
There was no better way to open the Steve Jobs Theatre at Apple’s new complex in Cupertino, California on September 12, than with one of the company’s signature launch events. As millions watched on, the show started with a recording of the late CEO and luminary echoing throughout a dark room. It was a posthumous reminder of what has made the tech giant into one of the world’s most recognizable brands; their commitment to improving the human experience. When Tim Cook took over the spotlight from his predecessor, he continued with a tribute to Jobs, setting the stage for a monumental day. And monumental it was.
Breaking away from the usual model, the event did not release the standard line of expected products. Instead, not one but three phones were announced, including the iPhone X – to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the smartphone’s first edition. Additionally, viewers were privy to a new Apple Watch, a 4K version of Apple TV and a revamped operating system.
What does this mean for your funeral home? Well, with the new phones hitting the market just last week, we have created a list of 6 things your firm can learn from the latest release. These will help you get the most out of the technology, understand the devices families will be using and make your funeral home more appealing to the community on and offline.
Over the past several weeks, our Funeral Home Marketing Series has looked at ways to better understand your customers, build an effective funeral home website, delve into the world of funeral home social media, and develop a well-structured funeral home marketing plan. Essentially, this is the background stuff; all the aspects that your funeral home needs to build and promote your brand. The next step can be daunting for many, but it’s a critical element for any business. You need to put (and keep) yourself out there.
Put a Face to the Name Continue reading
Virtually everyone has used Internet Explorer (IE) at some point in their online life. Some cringe at the very mention of it from the nightmares the browser has made them deal with. Others are quite content with the browser and perhaps have never known nothing else. No matter what side of the fence you sit on, you’ve no doubt had an experience with the internet browser. Today those experiences may be cut short as Microsoft has made some large announcements concerning the future of the company’s browser. Continue reading
As 2015 comes to an end, we look back and reflect on things that have happened over the course of a year – and my what a year it has been! If someone were to ask our strategy team some of the biggest things that came to light this past year in the funeral profession and what funeral homes should be aware of in the online world, they’d probably say that the online world has opened a funeral homes door to more than just those in their community – they’ve been exposed to the web. While that is a great thing for their business and they get more business from this, it is also a scary thing if a funeral home isn’t on it’s A-game, knowing how their firm looks online. It’s time for Funeral Homes to watch their obituaries online and know who, what, when and why companies take their obituaries and treat them like their own. It’s a practice that has surfaced in 2015 and is only going to get worse. Continue reading
It’s almost that time of the year again! The time where thousands of funeral professionals from around the world gather in one place to learn what they need to do to take their business to a new level and see the latest products and services available to them on the expo floor; all while catching up with old friends that they may not have seen since the year before. Last year, it all happened in Nashville, TN – a favorite to MANY who I spoke to! And this year, we’re gearing up for Indianapolis, IN with about a month to go!
For those who have not been to the National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA) annual convention and expo, it’s an event that’s just as fun as it is educational. With this particular year, there is so much to take in so here’s a little guide from someone who has been going to this national show for many, many years! Continue reading
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: