The cemetery and crematoria business have seen rapid change in the last decade, and changes will continue. Customer expectations are different, a much more personalized service is expected, and there are no more 'rules' when dealing with a death. Cremations are increasing, putting pressure on cemeteries to increase revenue with reduced burials. Memorialization's are often not fixed in the ground or in a wall, many families chose to keep the ashes or refashion them or scatter them somewhere that meant something to the deceased.
So here are five ways using digital cemetery software you can modernize your cemetery operations.
Using a business intelligence or analytics tool provides an objective way to report on your business. It will help you track goals and targets and identify where your business needs to improve. It offers real proof by way of your data, showing how your business is performing. This saves your business time preparing reports and means you can get an advantage over your competition by quickly addressing any issues identified.
Key features include a comprehensive overview of your entire business from a single, fully customizable dashboard. Allowing you to monitor and report on the data that is most relevant to you. Data is displayed in interactive reports meaning you can drill down to detail behind each figure. This information may not be something that your customers ever see, but it will impact the way you conduct business and manage your inventory and service levels – and this will impact your customers.
Mapping your cemetery provides visitors easy access to your grounds and to find the graves or memorials they are seeking. For you, the cemetery it also provides a visual list of available inventory, location and status. Digital mapping can help increase revenue by optimizing space within your grounds. For your sales team rather than quoting a reference plot number they can provide a map, information on the surrounding area and possibly botanical species.
Putting all of this information online or in a cemetery mapping app allows virtual access to your ground anytime from anywhere in the world. For visitors to your cemetery, a self-serving kiosk can help visitors locate a specific site within the grounds. Some cemetery apps even allow you to use Google maps integration to be directed to the grave or memorial you are seeking. You can also identify Points of Interest within your grounds; be they famous people, architectural, historical or something else.
How much time do you currently spend searching for deceased records? Are your records still on paper or in Excel? The most relevant customer-facing way to modernize your cemetery is to offer deceased records online. Yes, this means migrating all your existing data, but it also means having the ability to back up and secure your records, no further damage to original records, and a fast, interactive search ability.
In addition to a records search with the necessary information, you may choose to integrate this with digital mapping so people can see the location of the gravesite, the headstone, and information about the deceased.
Managing your cemetery or memorial gardens is a complex task and involves many different plant types and locations. Tracking information on these plants and their locations requires a detailed effort by your gardening team. But what if you had a specifically built program that could do this for you?
A Gardens and Maintenance app can help your gardening team keep track of information on the plants including species and sub-species, growth and flowering patterns, history of damage or disease and schedule tasks like regular pruning. Also, recording the location of each plant species gives your sales teams the ability to offer specific sites based on nearby botanical species. Imagine your sales team being able to view photos of different locations for cherry trees, a particular rose, etc. And even identify what species were near an existing family members grave or memorialization.
Chances are your cemetery is already active in the community, you have volunteers, suppliers, visitors, staff, Board or Trust, etc. By using a Marketing Automation tool, you can save time and automate messages, communication, and campaigns based on how someone interacts with you.
So how would this help? For example, a website query would automatically receive a confirmation email thanking them for their query, it may also provide a bit more information and FAQ and detail who will contact them when – and update your CRM at the same time. Maybe you just want to keep in regular contact with customers; you can set up drip nurture campaigns and grow your credibility, allowing you to convert leads faster when the need arises.
There are ways to modernize your cemetery that can make a difference to your community, customers, and operations of your cemetery. Have you started making change already, or are still considering the most effective way to progress modernizing your cemetery with digital cemetery software?
It may seem like a lot of work,but in the end, modernizing your cemetery will put your business ahead of the competition by protecting your records, meeting customer and operational expectations, and future proofing your cemetery through smart analytics. Can you afford not to modernize your cemetery?