What being an "innovative funeral home" really means
June 02, 2023
Written by Austin Ryan, Account Executive at Passare
Watch this video and learn the first step to embracing change like a pro, staying ahead of competitors, and driving success in your funeral home.
What does it mean to be innovative?
As a funeral director, you might think that being innovative means having the most cutting-edge technology or the highest quality sound system.
While having the right tools certainly helps your business thrive, there is much more to being innovative than having technology.
Let me explain:
Our families have changed dramatically over the last 10 years.
- There’s been a 44% increase in families who want to collaborate online in the last decade.
- More and more families are becoming dispersed.
- Families' preferences have changed
See more data and insights about funeral consumer changes in this report.
And COVID accelerated these changes even further.
As families continue to change, you need to be able to keep up with their needs. And to keep up with their needs, you have to have the right mindset. With the right mindset toward change, you’ll be able to anticipate families’ needs before they’re even aware they need them.
Through countless conversations with funeral homes, we've identified 3 different mindsets funeral directors have when it comes to change. As you read these, don't use them as a way to label your funeral home.
Instead, let it help you identify a starting place so you can implement changes to better meet the needs of your digital families.
The 3 different mindsets
This doesn't mean a person is 'ignorant'. An ignorant mindset means you know things are changing, but you’d rather ignore the change and pretend it’s not happening, rather than embrace it.
One of the most famous examples of this is Blockbuster. When things started going digital, Blockbuster chose to ignore the digital changes happening and open even more brick-and-mortar locations. They even reinstated older policies like late fees on DVD returns to make up for lost revenue.
We all know how that worked out. No more Blockbuster (well, except for the one location in Bend, OR).
#2: Idle mindset
This mindset means you wait until a change is happening to react to it. It means doing what has always worked until it absolutely can't work anymore.
I've heard funeral directors say before that, "Things are going so well, I'm not getting any complaints, so why would I change?"
While this may be true, you shouldn’t have to hear complaints to know that your families have changed. Start anticipating their needs before you get a complaint.
#3: Innovative mindset
Having an innovative mindset means you anticipate changes before they happen and constantly try new ways of doing things. To do this, anticipate change, you have to be driven by your mission, rather than your method.
Back to the blockbuster example, their main competitor was Netflix. Netflix used to send DVDs straight to your house, and that method worked for a while. But even that had to change due to changing consumer preferences! Netflix was proactive and invested in a digital strategy that was more in line with their mission: providing easy, high quality TV entertainment to their customers, and are a successful streaming service still today.
So, what can you do today to get started? As I’ve covered, the first thing to change is not your merchandise, your processes, or even your technology. Start by identifying your current mindset, and shifting your mindset from ignorant or idle into one that is thinking ahead, proactive, and always innovating.
As you begin this process, check out these 7 different ideas to get you started. These ideas will help you anticipate change, reach today's families, and get re-inspired to do what you love most: serve others.
1. Update existing services
2. Start using social media
3. Offer new services
4. Host, sponsor, or participate in community events
5. Connect with the next generation
6. Attend conventions
7. Tap into your resources
Ready to align your actions with your motivations?
We're here to help with resources like our Innovative Mindset eBook or our case management software that can help you manage your business and connect with families on a new level.
If you want to learn more about how Passare can help you use technology to innovate at your funeral home, you can book a demo here.