Collaborating when Families Want Custom Experiences
July 23, 2020
By Josh McQueen, Vice President of Product
If you’ve noticed that the buying preferences of your families have changed in recent years, you’re not alone. The buying preferences of nearly all consumers have been undergoing a shift, and corporations have had to modify their marketing strategies to reach new and returning customers. No longer can companies have a “you come to us” approach with their consumers. Rather, businesses must meet consumers where they are in order to thrive.
So, Where are the Consumers?
Consumers prefer options when it comes to doing business with a company. Some families prefer to shop online and pick up in store, shop entirely online, or shop entirely in store. The same goes for the families in your funeral home. After speaking with hundreds of families, we’ve learned that more and more funeral consumers prefer to do their own research and have someone guide them through the grief process. Your families will be happy if your funeral home can blend a digital experience with a personal interaction. Passare has developed a way for you to easily interact with your families online so that you can offer that blended experience, and it’s called the Planning Center.
The Challenge of Planning: When Families Want Personalized Experiences
You might find it odd that personalization is a problem, but that’s not what I mean. The challenge here is that truly personal, customized experiences take time in order to ensure they’re completed correctly. However, many funeral homes only have a limited amount of time to make arrangements, and most of their time with a family is spent collecting data and basics of the funeral services and events. There’s little time left to listen to stories and brainstorm creative ideas with the family.
Lack of Personalization and Decreased Value
Whether families want traditional burial or cremation, coffin or casket, or indoor or outdoor service, you have to be prepared to give them options. A lack of options translates to a lack of personalization, which can also translate to a lack of perceived value in the eyes of the family. And if families don’t see the value in the services you offer, they may try to negotiate the price or ask for the cheapest option. Usually, this problem is a non-issue when there’s time to personalize the funeral. If families see the value in the service, they will be willing to pay for it. So, how do you ensure that you have the precious time to brainstorm and plan a custom, one-of-a-kind service?
The Planning Center: An Online Solution
The Planning Center allows you to remotely gather all the necessary details such as biographical information, obituary, and even a little personal information about the loved one so that you can spend more of your time with the family planning some truly unique and custom services. Here’s how you can use the Planning Center to help families complete the following information BEFORE the arrangement meeting:
Gather basic information about the loved one for the death certificate
Get signatures online quickly and easily
Upload and share files, photos, and documents
So, what do you do during the arrangement meeting if the previous tasks have been completed? Brainstorm with families, lay out merchandise in the arrangement room to give families an idea of what they can incorporate into the service, discuss the loved one, and/or think of ways to honor the life. Instead of waiting to plan or playing phone tag, utilize the Planning Center to gather basic information and start planning with families online. Then, you’ll be able to give families the personalized experience of their dreams.
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