Memorialisation is being redefined – as the popularity of cremations continues to rise so do the options as to what can be done with the ash remains. The challenge that the cemetery faces is to ensure that the ashes are returned for memorialisation so that the cemetery can drive service and revenue opportunities.
So what can your business do to increase memorialisation sales?
The key considerations to plan for are:
Technology is an essential part of efficiently achieving this. Below are just a few technology tools that can be utilised to get consumers thinking about memorialisation and the many options available.
Having a comprehensive database of the community you engage with provides you with an innate ability to connect and to create a lasting relationship.
CRM's are built to manage and maintain contacts and their relationship with others and with your organisation. This enables you to understand the demographic nature of your audience and how they engage with you across your organisation. From this engagement, a CRM also allows you to automate your business processes including the sales cycle from first contact all the way through to post sales.
Your CRM provides you all the tools to record who your audience is, how they are engaging with you and to automate your processes to ensure that you remain engaged thereby increasing the potential for them to memorialise at the appropriate time.
Your audience is changing, and not just the Millennials.
In all demographics, the experience expectation and the method of engagement is shifting and it is through social networks and digital content that the vast majority of the world today engages.
Cemeteries need to embrace the technology of social engagement such as Facebook and Twitter as well as digital marketing activities such as search engine optimisation of their websites and Google AdWords for advertising.
There is a common misconception that these activities are costly. In fact, an AdWord click could cost as little as 1 cent and yet that same click to bring a new memorialisation worth hundreds or thousands of dollars.
More than cost, it is the time and effort of learning "how to do it" and of actually getting it done that is the biggest hurdle for most but there is help out there in the community were you to reach out for it.
Social marketing allows your business to promote services, share events, and provide advice and support for your consumers and gives your brand an ongoing presence thereby again increasing your potential to increase memorialisation rates.
Knowing how your customers feel about the services provided by you helps you to both continually improve the service and you can use your customer satisfaction to promote yourselves to your community.
Surveys are a tremendous tool for this purpose and can be fully customisable and pre-populated with key information to personalise the experience. For example, several weeks after each funeral service you could send a survey to the family, passing on your well wishes for their family or friend and get back accurate and individual feedback.
From your surveys, you can derive a Net Promoter Score. This a method of scoring – much like a star rating – that will provide your audience with an accurate and unbiased opinion of the services and products you offer.
This becomes a benchmark for customer satisfaction in the modern digital engagement trend, this is used by your audience to evaluate their interest in dealing with you.
Purchase decisions … yes even for death care services – are made at the speed of the internet today and so increasing memorialisation rates means allowing your audience to get the information they want, when and where they want it.
Tracking a prospect and staying in touch with your communities and customers requires that you diligently provide communication on a regular basis.
Quality communications and contact at the right time with personalised content allows you to build a lasting and engaging relationship with your audience which over time creates trust and loyalty.
Automating these activities make it possible without having to invest massive amounts of time into organisation and execution which invariably means that the activities do not happen or become very infrequent.
These activities can include general letters or informational brochures, emails, text messages, social postings and postcards.
Once your contacts are captured in your CRM, you can create a unique experience with automated messaging and record the results in your CRM. This saves you time and effort, and you know regular and relevant communications are going to your contacts meaning you are nurturing and growing your relationship and sales prospects.
"Highlight the memorialisation options available and monitor the interaction and interest these – educate your audience to the options available before they need to make a decision. Create notifications when contacts engage in a communication, or follow a link, or ask for more information – never miss an opportunity to talk to your contacts again."
While technology does not replace the need for quality services and products together with professional and dedicated staff, technology can help your business increase memorialisation sales by automating relevant functions, measuring the effectiveness of your activities, managing the execution of your processes and tracking the trends and wants of your customers. Your team can also be freed up from these automated tasks to focus on the most important thing in any business … the customer.
OpusXenta - a new horizon in cemetery and crematorium management software. No matter whether you are a large or small cemetery OpusXenta has a solution that can fit your size and budget.
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