YES … The burials industry is being affected by the digital world
Today, every industry and organization exists in an ever more demanding digital world and is being pushed to a place where technology is playing an increasing role in the daily life of the organization and its staff.Let's take a look at a few ways in which cemeteries and memorial gardens can use technology to deliver a better service, improve operational effectiveness, and build revenue opportunities:
Deliver Better Service
The audience planning and paying for burials today are increasingly the Millennials, and this generation has grown up with technology in the internet and mobile age.
Millennials not only enjoy the experience of transacting online but actually expect to transact in this way, and in many cases will avoid any organization that does not give them the choice.
To properly engage these customers, providing digital interaction capabilities such as online communication (including social networking), funeral planning, as well as online booking and payment processing would provide an improved service, delivered in the way that customers expect it.
Improve Operational Efficiency
Consider some of these operational benefits:
- Digital Mapping would make grave and memorial sites easier to manage and find. Adding availability and deceased data to the sites would facilitate legislative record keeping, help in directing people to locations, and assist sales by knowing what is available.
- Web Portals could be provided to make the booking and planning of funerals possible 24/7 without taking up administrative and operational resources.
- Automated Documents and Permits driven by system based booking, planning, sales, and funeral processes reduces errors, saves time, and ensures compliance.
Create New Recurring Revenue Opportunities
There are many factors causing eroded cemetery revenues. First, there's a lack of space in cemeteries for new income-producing burials. Second, there's a significant trend toward cremation instead of burial. Thirdly, a lower interest on trust funds used for maintenance is a contributing factor to declining cemetery revenues.
These conditions leave many cemeteries searching for alternatives to traditional funding mechanisms, innovations in cemetery land and asset use.
Technology has sparked what could be dubbed as the "subscription economy" where the concept of a smaller recurring fee is far more attractive to a customer than lump sum up-front payments. Further, the revenue from ongoing fees over a period of time far exceeds what could have derived from an up-front payment. By adding additional services to this recurring model (for example, automate the placement of flowers weekly) it creates a wealth of new revenue streams.
Ready to Embrace the Digital Age?
Each of the examples above would be very difficult to take advantage of without the use of the marketing automation and digital capabilities presented by technology today. By embracing modern solutions, cemeteries and memorial gardens can streamline communications, manage operations more efficiently, build new revenue opportunities, and deepen relationships across their ecosystems of customers and partners.