Any business professional needs to maintain a reasonable level of education and training just to keep up with continually changing expectation and technology. Especially in the cemetery, crematoria and funeral director area as business is changing quickly, as are customer expectations, it is a whole new world out there. Add to that ever-changing compliance and regulatory requirements and professional development can become a significant part of your occupation, and help you do your job better.Education and training can take many different formats, but the goal is always to perform better and where possible, achieve industry excellence. Education and reinvigorate your team, allow them to try new things, and augment your business plans and processes.
What will the future bring to the cemetery and crematoria industry? We know already most people are online, even retired people. We know there is a movement towards thinking about death and becoming more comfortable talking about it; visiting death cafés, using death doulas, having open, honest conversations about end of life scenarios. People are wanting to engage with cemeteries in new ways, including using their facilities for events; weddings, parties, anything.
So how does a cemetery or crematorium enter this debate, and be a contributor to these discussions and decision? There are several ways to do this efficiently; you need to be educated and informed before jumping into action. Here are just a few:
Do you have a presence on social media, does your competition, how many people view your website weekly, do you have a website? What is your social strategy? Are you engaging with your customer base and your community?
Chances are every member of your team has a presence online, but does your business? A website is a great way to promote your location and contact details and the services you offer. It also gives you the opportunity to allow people to search your deceased records. A website can be as complicated or simple as you wish; it's the first starting point for getting your business online.
Social networks such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are popular with the Millenniums and younger people, they again provide an easy way to promote your business and services and allow you to engage with a worldwide audience directly.
There are plenty of options to learn more about social and website strategies and plans for your business; from private courses, to TAFEs, to Google's Digital Garage.
Do you run events, consultations, tours, education, historical tours, lessons on how to prune roses? Chances are you do not have access to an Events team to manage a comprehensive list of regular events.
Educating your team on best practice for running events, collecting comments and feedback, and looking at event management solutions can make a massive difference in the professionalism and ease of running regular and ad hoc events for your business. As with anything, the right solution can help you streamline the process while ensuring all critical steps are actioned, and your event is successful.
Do you know how your business ranks within your industry? Do you know your customers really think about your business? With just a little training and some expert advice, you can find out.
A great way to get genuine feedback is to use surveys and ask your customers to tell you how well they think you performed — measuring these results against a standardized measure such as the Net Promoter Score (an index ranging from -100 to 100 that measures the willingness of customers to recommend a company's products or services to others) — ensuring that you remain competitive and that your products and services remain relevant in a changing market.
Education and training take time but can bring immense benefits to your business. It also allows your team to expand their skills in areas that might personally interest them, such as social media.
Your team are already online and engaging in their own interests, harness this interest and level of engagement and these skills and utilise it to help your business where appropriate.