There’s nothing more fundamental to the survival of a funeral home than really good customer service.
From the moment a caller first makes contact to the point where they’ve gotten what they came for, it’s vital that your funeral home customer service game is on point.
After all, according to Forbes, your funeral home business is just one of 20,000 like it in the U.S.. The sector is huge, with an annual economic activity of over $20 billion, but it’s also highly competitive. You can’t simply rely on the inevitable to stay in business, you have to provide the right kind of customer service to potential and current clients.
Improving the Customer Experience
If you’ve been working in a funeral home for any amount of time, you already know what an emotional journey it is for a family to walk through those doors.
Whether they’re looking to pre-plan a funeral or they have to handle affairs for the recently deceased, there’s little in life that’s more stressful than talking about its end. There’s a lot more to arranging a funeral than most people expect, adding further stress on top of the stress of their loss.
But you can improve the customer experience with these tips:
- Make it easy for your potentials to reach a person any time of the day or night. Right now what your clients need is emotional support along with your expertise in arranging funerals.
They’re sad and confused and everything is much harder than it should be. For those reasons alone, hiring a funeral home answering service or having someone on-call around the clock is vital. Support those customers and they’ll tell their friends.
- Listen closely to what each family wants for the best outcomes. Funerals, like births, are sort of a one time thing. You get it right or you get it miserably wrong and everybody goes home sadder than when they came through your door.
Work hard on your active listening skills. Listen to what they say about the deceased, how they want to personalize the experience and write everything down. It’s equally important to listen to what they don’t say so you can dig a little bit deeper with related probing questions.
- Go virtual. As more people leave their hometowns in search of better job opportunities, families are becoming more fractured and scattered to the four corners of the earth.
Have you considered offering virtual funeral services? That way family members states away can attend the funeral without having to spend so much money and time to come home for a few hours. The technology is out there, it’s just a matter of employing it. After all, your clients are already used to connecting to family via social media, a virtual funeral is just the next logical step.
Funeral Customer Service Starts With You
When potential clients call you, are you quick to transfer them to someone else or do you let the calls go to voicemail? Are you annoyed when people seem to need more time than they scheduled to talk about their arrangements? Funeral home clients have to be more than just numbers. This is the nature of the business, there’s no question.
You can do things to make it easier, like hiring a virtual receptionist through your answering service and planning extra time for appointment overflow. This way, you don’t have to neglect the emotional needs of your clients. That level of interest and care is key to your being the favorite funeral home in town.