The Power of Aftercare in Death Care
What is Aftercare and why is it a powerful business building tool?
The Death Care industry as a whole has three key components:
Pre-need prepares for at-need, which facilitates aftercare, which feeds pre-need. To break the flow with a weak or absent plan for aftercare can cost valuable sales. It disconnects the relationship you have already got the foundations of.
Who is this 'relationship' with?
Well, consider every person who walks through your doors, attends your services (virtually or in-person), talks to you on the phone, see's your ad in the local newspaper, reads an article about your services, hears how wonderful you were from a friend who utilised your services or meets you at events, as a 'relationship' – a potential sale for the future.
We humans are slightly more predictable than we like to think (a fabulous book on this to look up "Predictably Irrational" – Dan Ariely). In addition to the neuroscience of predictable behavior when given choices – there is the element of people power – trust. We tend to buy from people we trust. Trust is quickly formed when dealing with people who are 'like' us. It also requires consistency – we say what we mean and do what we say we will do.
The five steps to building a successful sales and marketing program that includes well-crafted aftercare might look something like this:
Step 1: Contact capture (pre-need)
How are you collecting the names and contact details of all of the people you come into contact with (directly and indirectly)? Where are you storing these details? How do you expand their details?
Step 2: Engagement (pre-need)
What are you saying to your contacts? How often? Where is the value for them in what you are sharing?
Step 3: Relationship development (pre-need)
How are you encouraging them to trust you? How do you respond to their calls/emails/social media comments? How are they made to feel special and understood by you?
Step 4: Sales (pre-need and at-need)
What is your ideal average customer? What is their budget/style/value-set? What do they know about your services and standards that set you apart from your competitors? DO you 'do' everything you say you will? Are all of your staff trained in the XYZ FD way?
Step 5: Service (aftercare)
How do you thank your visitors/customers? Do you send out communication on the anniversary of their loved one's passing? Do you connect with your local florist to offer special prices/packages for your contacts? Are you across the cemeteries events to invite your list to attend to celebrate the life of…? Do you suggest special grief services?
Possibly the most difficult decision to make for any Funeral Director is to embrace your own persona and be true to it. Be the service provider you want to be. Cheap and cheerful, elegant and exclusive, family-oriented… By being clear on who you are as a service provider, aligning all of your sales and marketing activity to that persona, and staying true to it, your prospects can know you and if you are 'like' them. You will attract the prospects you want to deal with. Trying to be everything to everyone has yet to be found to be a successful strategy.
Above all else – talk to them. Nurture those contacts through various touch-points… phone calls, emails, newsletters, brochures, and community events… Be accessible and receptive to all contact and ensure your staff are aligned to 'who you are' and 'what you stand for' so there is a consistent experience of your business, regardless of who your prospect contacts and when.
If you need help managing your prospective customer list, byondpro has all of the tools you need. We're here to chat about any of the above too.