The next frontier in death care customer acquisition and retention
Yesterday I teased that today I would introduce you to a company that is, in my opinion, far ahead of the curve in helping to meet today’s, and tomorrow’s consumers where they are in relation to looking at and committing to their death care plans.
First of all, I want to tell you a little bit of how I see the world of information changing. I’ve told you before that I’m an avid golfer — not a good golfer, but avid!
Up until fairly recently if I wanted to learn how to hit a golf ball to the right with a fade or to the left with a hook motion I would go to the “Bible of Golf” — Ben Hogan’s book “The Modern Fundamentals of Golf“. That book, with plenty of diagrams, has been used by millions of golfers to improve their game. It was published in 1957.
Today, however, if I wanted to learn how to hit a “Hook shot” I probably would go to YouTube and search for “Golf Hitting a Hook”. There is no doubt that the internet and its search engines, coupled with the ability to see and hear from a video is now the chosen way for people to learn.
I think it is the same when consumers are searching for death care disposition options on the web. They want to see and know what they are getting for the cost. And, they would really like to be able to ask questions about those services.
What if you could give them the answers even before they asked the questions? Doing that is what the company Strategic Funeral Resources is working on. It is a self-described “operational company that is still developing” but is already using artificial intelligence to help you acquire and retain customers for your funeral home. You can access Strategic Funeral Resources website here.
Strategic Funeral Resources CEO Curt Fitzsimmons comes from a funeral service background so he is not just a “techie” trying to get in the death care market. He knows the death care market and is putting what he and his team know about Artificial Intelligence (AI) to work in that market. While he will admit that he “has just touched the surface” of what is available, he will also tell you that he already has funeral home clients using his work.
Fitzsimmons will tell you that he sees a big future in an interactive interface with your online clientele. He is developing programs for funeral homes with formats that he calls “Intuitive Cremation”, “Preneed”, and “Cremation Options”. These can be marketed with human avatars marketing your products. From my point of view, I’ve seen a demonstration and believe that someday these avatars may be able to prepare most of an at-need arrangement as well.
In addition to those programs which are designed to lead to sales, Fitzsimmons and his team have developed staff training videos for larger operators who want to make sure that all staff members are trained in the same way. Like his avatar based marketing videos, all of these training videos can be personalized to be specific to your funeral home and its customs.
As I said earlier this month — if somebody tells you that you work in Death Care and that must be an old-fashioned, stuck-in-its-way business. . . . they certainly have not seen what is on the horizon to continue to move the profession and its consumer friendliness forward.
**See a short demonstration from AVA (the Automated Virtual Arranger) here.
More news from the world of Death Care:
- Bellefontaine Cemetery’s first mausoleum in 70 years has secret owners. National Public Radio – St. Louis (MO)
- I’m a ‘funeral crasher’ and I’ve been to over 200 strangers’ funerals. New York Post (NY)
- “I’ve found my true calling”: The Lancashire woman who swapped English teaching in China for funeral care in Preston. Lancashire Post (Great Britain)
- The church forbids “human composting” at death. But what about “Green burials”. America – the Jesuit Review
- Tennessee company buys three Valley funeral homes. The Vindicator (OH)
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