Later in this article you can read a press release issued last week that announced the acquisition of Aftercare.com by Tukios. Tukios is a major player in the video memorial creation software used, by Tukios count, over 5000 funeral homes.
In our opinion, at Funeral Director Daily, companies with reach like Tukios, are smart to use that reach to move into more facets of death care and the acquisition of Aftercare.com should be able leverage those Tukios clients into Aftercare.com clients.
Aftercare.com, according to the press release, “offers a simple follow-up program where the family receives a series of greeting cards and a survey to keep the funeral home top-of-mind. They also have an automated texting solution that does the follow-up for the funeral director, creating engaging conversations and driving customer reviews.”
While funeral directors have always known that they were “taking care of the living” even as they cared for the deceased, I think the profession is seeing a rapid expansion into this realm with products that have a technological bent to them. While greeting cards and texting is not what one would call “high tech”, I believe that the data and goodwill that may be received from the feedback and consumer reviews will be able to help funeral homes retain top of mind awareness to keep clientele.
And, there really is a great value in staying in contact with families after you have served them at need. When I operated our funeral home I always wanted at least one touch point in each of the immediate three weeks following an at need service. In Week #1 we sent a thank you letter. In Week #2 we sent a survey to be returned and in Week #3 we sent an invitation to our aftercare programs.
I always felt that this gave some indication that we cared. Another reason I had this done was that I had always heard about hospitals, ambulance services, and other providers sending a billing statement “before the client got home”. I always wanted the client family to see the return address on the envelope, think they were getting a billing statement, and then be presently surprised that it was a welcome communication from the funeral home. . . not a billing statement.
Accounts receivable people may question my methods of not sending the billing statement out until the 4th Week, but the reality of the situation was that our preneed program covered over 50% of our billings and those that it didn’t, many times stopped in to see what the final balance was. I might argue that if our accounts receivables was a percentage point or two higher than normal, we more than made up for it by our growth in services in part due to our aftercare presentation.
I think that we will see more of this type of acquisition going forward in 2021. Once a company like Tukios acquires a customer it is easier for them to add ancillary sales to an existing customer than it is for another company to get inside the door to make that sale.. . . .and, in the funeral home business there are many companies with a foot in the door who can help those newer companies get inside. I don’t even think that it is a question that growth by expansion and/or consolidation will be happening in the funeral tech world moving forward.
After what we have seen happen with Tribute Technology over the past three years, if you have a small proven funeral tech company I would say you may be in a seller’s market in 2021 as we come out of the coronavirus period into a more settled funeral home world. My hunch is that the larger players with established clientele will be looking to grow by adding new dimensions to their company. . . just as Tukios did in this circumstance.
The following is the Tukios press release from last week:
December 15, 2020 – Aftercare.com has joined the team at Tukios, the leading provider of tribute video software. Both companies have a very simple value proposition for funeral homes and will continue to lead in their respective categories.
Aftercare offers a simple follow-up program where the family receives a series of greeting cards and a survey to keep the funeral home top-of-mind. They also have an automated texting solution that does the follow-up for the funeral director, creating engaging conversations and driving customer reviews.
Curtis Funk, the founder and CEO of Tukios, believes that this is an excellent step forward for both companies.
“We are very excited to work with Ellery and the team at Aftercare,” Funk said. “We have a very similar vision of creating software that does the work for the funeral director and we are looking forward to making the lives of our clients easier in more ways.”
Tukios has over 5,000 funeral homes using their simple video creation software. As this number has grown, their customers have been requesting expansion.
Ellery Bowker, the founder and CEO of Aftercare.com had this to say; “I believe that a lot of our success, and the success that Tukios has had, can be attributed to the fact that we really put the customer first. We work with them and try to imagine ourselves in their shoes. Then we create simple solutions to heal the pain points that they are feeling.”
More news from the world of Death Care:
- Exhumation process in murder investigations is routine, although results aren’t. Akron Beacon Journal
- A non-destructive method for analyzing Ancient Egyptian embalming materials. Science Daily
- Paving Farmington Cemetery streets. Washington County Enterprise-Leader (AR)
- Cremation business owner’s hearing continued until February. Herald and News (OR)
- Funeral home owner offers grim warning as morgues fill up with Covid-19 victims: “Mask it or Casket”. Video story and article. NBC4 – Los Angeles
- You hate burying your friends: Levelland Funeral Home says it’s overwhelmed with virus deaths. Video story and article. KAMC- ABC (TX)
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