Are funeral homes “underestimating” the value of convenience to our consumers?
I’ve never been a procrastinator about planning or getting things done. However, the world around me has changed over the last couple of decades and because of that, and today’s convenience in purchasing, I don’t need to plan or purchase certain items as early as I did in the past.
Take for instance last week. . . . . I’ve been planning on attending the National Funeral Director’s Convention (NFDA) in Las Vegas come September 9. However, the convenience of today’s purchasing allows me to delay my final planning and purchasing until a later date than I could in the pre-internet purchase era. I finally shored up my plans last week on the final day of the “Early Bird Registration” where I save $100 by registering with NFDA by that date.
In the space of about 30 minutes I registered for the convention, purchased my airline tickets, and reserved my hotel. . . Boom — just like that.
And, I was only able to do that because the companies that provide those services were transparent with me about the options available and the actual final costs. I navigated through the NFDA website for my registration, through Delta and Sun Country Airlines for my flights, and through the Trivago and Expedia sites for my lodging. Pretty simple.
My question is. . . .as a funeral home are you making it that easy for your potential consumer? And if you are not, are they moving on to a website and funeral home that is? That is an interesting question that over time could cause seismic shifts in market share for you and your competitors.
I’ll add some things that I also came across in the last couple of weeks which will give you more things to consider as you may ponder becoming more “convenient” for you potential future clientele.
Wal-Mart’s CEO John David Rainey made this comment pertaining to “convenience” when announcing the company’s 2nd Quarter results last week, “Historically, our value proposition has been known for everyday low prices and for providing that value for customers. And what we see right now is that convenience resonates just as much to our customer base. . ”
Another article I came across that is on this same topic come from the NFDA’s Memorial Business Journal and an article on the survey of “Funeral and Cemetery Consumer Behavior” conducted by The Foresight Companies. The article leads with this statement, “Consumers today, less educated about death, want access to transparent information – at their convenience and on their own time – so they can make educated decisions. . . “
That article goes on to state, “The profession had largely been dealing with an older generation of consumers more “traditional” in their methods. Internet and especially online commerce have ushered in an era where technology and transparency are table stakes for consumers across nearly every aspect of retail buying, from which the funeral service profession has largely been insulated.. . .”
There is still a lot of value for funeral homes going out in the community face-to-face and having the discussion about the services that you offer. That can be done through an active Preneed program. . . . .but, in today’s world there is probably as much or more value in offering a top-notch and easily navigated “experience” letting potential clientele research your offerings and choosing Preneed (and At-Need) offerings through a conveniently and easily understood website.
More news from the world of Death Care:
- Photos: Stories at the Cemetery profiles Anchorage pioneers and notables. Anchorage Daily News (AK)
- Cusimano Family Mortuary to make way for affordable housing. Palo Alto online (CA)
- Cornish embalmer hopes to spread her passion for work. Cornish & Debron Post (Great Britain)
- Former owner of Leadville funeral home pleads guilty to misdemeanor charges related to comingling of remains. Summit Daily (CO)
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