2020 has been quite a year. Chances are you’ve either heard someone say or maybe even said yourself “I can’t wait for this year to be over”. While the challenges faced this year have been difficult, they’ve also presented opportunities to identify gaps and find solutions to better serve families and improve business operations.
It’s easy say you can’t wait for the year to be over. But when the clock strikes midnight, 2021 won’t magically be different. The firms that are serious about making strides forward in 2021, are starting to think ahead now about what that looks like.
From how your team works together to the resources you offer families, there are plenty of ways to start thinking ahead and preparing yourself for the new year. This is especially important right now as we’re in the thick of Covid-19. Plus with the holiday season being a busier time of year for many firms, things will only amplify.
Some of these solutions you may already have and if so that’s great. But if not, here are few ways forward-thinking funeral homes are connecting with their community and offering tools to improve the family experience and how they’re served.
When you’re advertising your services and business to the community, it’s easy to find solutions that will reach plenty of people. The billboard ad you place next to the highway or the 30 second tv commercial on your local station may very well reach thousands of people each day. But, how many of those thousands are actually the right people?
That’s the problem with traditional advertising, it can generate awareness but might not be reaching people who are actively in need and looking for the services you offer.
When you use social media marketing or search engines to display advertisements, you get to set the criteria for who you want to see the ads. After all, if you’re investing money into advertisements, you want to make sure you’re not wasting money advertising to people who see your ad and don’t give it a second thought.
Facebook is not only the largest social network in the world; it’s also seeing the most growth among users 65+. When you use Facebook to advertise, you can build audiences that share common interests, live in certain areas, and are in a certain age range. By segmenting who you want your ads to reach, you can make sure the money you spend is going towards connecting with those most likely to be interested in preplanning or looking for someone to help with planning a celebration of life. Not to mention, digital ads are often more affordable than print ads and offer a far greater return on your investment.
We’re now in the digital age and families use the internet more than ever before. Long before someone picks up the phone to call you, they’re learning about your business online. Research shows that 88% of consumers research a product online before purchasing. When a family is comparing their options and deciding what funeral home to go to, the majority are looking online at your website.
Now I know what you’re thinking – you already have a website so what’s the problem? While for some it might be a dated looking design and missing tools that can turn a family off, in many cases it’s the lack of information available.
Your website is essentially your virtual facility. It should offer the same resources a family could access inside your facility. So what are those barriers? Let’s take a look…
When someone is comparing their options, price is often one of the most important factors to consider. Life today is not only a digital age but also one of convenience. Adding a tool like our Quote Builder for instance solves this. Quote Builder is an interactive tool that families can use to see service options and build a quote for the service they want. Once they’re done, it easily be transferred into a full arrangement with the majority of the planning already complete by the family.
When a family visits your website and seriously researching their options, chances are they want more information then just what’s on your website. They might not be ready to make a decision now, but offering resources they can download means they can spend more time learning about what you offer. Better yet, offering downloadable resources lets you capture contact information to follow up with the potential lead and continue to nurture them until they make a decision.
This year has been challenging financially for many – especially with lockdowns limiting how much some people can work. We’re also approaching the holiday season where an unexpected death could lead to even more financial hardships.
When the pandemic first happened earlier this year, we noticed a surge online related to life insurance. Search volume for the terms “Life Insurance” increased 25-50% and some insurance providers noted a 50% increase in applications.
With so many people applying for policies and researching life insurance, expect this to continue to grow. Offering a service like Tribute Insurance Assignments makes it easier for families pay for funeral expenses without spending any money out of pocket. If you offer this service at your firm, our team of agents deal with the insurance company on your behalf and can have funds deposited into your account in as little as 24 hours.
Offering a service like this can help you remove the financial barriers some families may be facing and instead offer a helpful solution so they can ultimately plan the service their loved one deserves.
Everyone is unique, and every family wants to make it special and reflect their loved one. One way to set yourself up for more success in 2021 is by offering more personalization options. Improving your stationery and online memorials are one such way to accomplish this. When you use the Book of Memories for your stationery and online memorials, you get access to a library of themes to reflect the unique nature of the deceased.
With our online memorials, you can even let families upload their own photos to create a one of a kind online memorial theme for their loved one. Now instead of just having a golf themed online memorial, you can let the family show the home course their loved one played every weekend.
Covid-19 won’t be going anywhere anytime soon and that means masks and social distancing aren’t either. During this time, it’s important to have tools in place to continue serving families despite these disruptions. In terms of completing arrangements, having a tool like Arrangement Aide makes it possible for you to help families complete a contract from anywhere on any device.
Another tool you may want to consider is EasyID. With this, you can offer a secure for families to identify a loved one’s remains through a secure online portal rather than having to travel to the funeral home.
Not only do these solutions help you save more time in your day, they let you offer more flexible options for families. That’s just two more ways that you can make your firm stand out from the others in your area and show why you’re the firm families should be choosing.
If you’re serious about getting ready for the new year and setting your firm up for success, we’re here to help. To learn more about any of the tools or services mentioned above, don’t hesitate to reach out. Our team is here to help you succeed and offer solutions to better serve families.
At FrontRunner we pride ourselves on not being just another technology provider but instead a true partner for your business that’s committed to your ultimate success. If you’re serious about making 2021 your best year yet, we’re ready to help you make it happen!
Tommy holds a Communications degree from Laurentian University and an Integrated Marketing Communications Graduate Certificate from St. Lawrence College. He is a Content Marketing Specialist at FrontRunner and focuses on producing engaging content that funeral homes can use to connect with families. In addition, Tommy crafts SEO content for clients and specializes in helping the general public connect with the death care industry as a whole.