If you stay up to date with what is going on in the FrontRunner world, you will know that the Fall is our busiest time. Each year, we celebrate this wonderful season by travelling to State, Provincial and International trade shows. Not only that, but we take some time to focus on professional development as well. This year’s travel is already in full swing and we can’t wait to share our stories with you, catch up with our clients on the road and meet new friends along the way. Here is a snapshot of where we are going to be over the next few weeks and a small recap of where we have already been. If you are able to, we would love to connect at any of these events.
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.
Today, things change fast. The information age created a world where more has been available to us than ever before. Never before have consumers been able to access such a breadth of information and use it to their advantage. Everywhere you look, people are using multiple devices to find out what they want to know and are making increasingly stringent purchasing decisions. What does this mean for your funeral home?
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.
Times have changed. People no longer rely on phone books to find a local funeral home, but instead search the internet. When they search for a service you offer or particularly for your business, you want to show up. Not just show up, but show up and look good. Looking good is extremely important because your funeral home website is most often your first impression with potential customers. Before an individual even enters your funeral home or speaks to your employees, they will view your website. Think of your website as a digital storefront, people are looking at it and are generating opinions on your funeral home based on the quality of it. You want that first impression to be a good one.
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.
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?