Ongoing education and training are essential for any business to remain competitive and capitalize on opportunities. While we may be stating the obvious, professional development often competes with other day-to-day priorities and may not get the attention it deserves. Yet keeping skills sharp and staying ahead of new trends, tools, technology, and ideas is especially important in the ever-changing cemetery, crematorium, and funeral management areas. In fact, the death care industry is currently experiencing shifts in trends and attitudes that require informed decision-making and possible adaptations to your business plans and processes.
There are ample reasons to stay curious and up-to-date with your business practices, and the following considerations will keep you even more motivated to do so.
What will the future bring to the cemetery, funeral, and crematoria industries? The future is already here.
We're in the middle of experiencing major shifts in trends, behaviors, and attitudes toward how we plan for the departed.
So how does a cemetery or crematorium take on a more active role in shaping the conversations and decisions taking place? Read on for more ways to improve engagement with your customers:
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a term you need to know. Every day, people use search engines like Google Search and Bing to find services they need. Consumers type in search terms or phrases like "funeral home", "how to make funeral arrangements", "cemetery near me", "burial options", or "cremations". The relevant websites that most closely match the search terms they used come up in organic search results.
A website is a great way to be easily discoverable and provide your location, contact information, and details about the services you offer. It also gives you the opportunity to allow people to search your deceased records, send a direct message or contact your staff, and get their questions answered quickly. A website it the foundation for getting your business online.
If you already have a website, are you monitoring number of visits and weekly or monthly traffic? Do you have a plan for promoting your website to audiences who are actively searching for services like yours? (Fair warning, your competitors may already be advertising online.)
Marketing is no longer a one-way message where businesses push out their key messages. Online audiences now expect a two-way conversation in real-time, and they value these authentic, personal exchanges. This is especially true of cemeteries and funeral homes – after all, what is more personal than burying, cremating, or services for a loved one?
Social networks such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are especially popular with Millennials and younger people. Better still, business pages or accounts on these social media platforms are free, and provide an easy way 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.
Educating your team on best practices for running events, collecting comments and feedback, and using 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.Understanding event management best practices can help you scale the volume of events you run, from consultations, property tours, historical tours, or even lessons on how to prune roses. The right software lets you manage a comprehensive list of regular events.
Do you know how your business ranks within your industry? Do you know what 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 to ask your customers 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.